Evaluation of silencing the guns in Africa: issues, challenges, and future prospects

SOURCE: African Journal of Peace and Conflict Studies
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
TITLE AUTHOR(S): N.A.Check, P.Hlanyane
DEPARTMENT: African Institute of South Africa (AISA)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 12787
HANDLE: 20.500.11910/18858
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11910/18858

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The African continent has been facing grief and sorrow for the past three decades due to the number of people killed and massive infrastructure destroyed during the many years of wars and instability the continent witnessed. The lingering aftertaste of the Rwandan genocide, the continuous conflict in the Congo, the recurring pre and post-election violence, the impact of the unconstitutional change of governments, the impact of Boko Haram and Al-Shabaab activities have reinforced the theoretical assumption of Africa as a 'bottom billion'. Despite prioritising silencing the guns on the continent, the African Union's efforts at permanently resolving conflicts on the continent have met with little success. Thus, this paper seeks to evaluate the efforts the African Union has deployed to address recurring conflicts on the continent through the ???silencing of the guns??? conflict resolution project. Though the 'silencing the guns' mantra was adopted in 2013, which aims to silence conflicts on the continent by 2020, a cursory survey on the continent suggests that a lot still needs to be done to address internecine conflicts on the continent. The paper assessed the work of the Africa Peace and Security Architecture, APSA, reviewed practical conflict resolution initiatives undertaken by the AU, assessed challenges in achieving these projects and made some recommendations for a conflict-free Africa. Moreso, the paper finds that the trigger to fundamental insecurity challenges on the African continent lies in the manner in which a state is conceived. It notes that multilateral organisations on the continent need to re-assess and think of how to structurally transform the foundation of the state on the continent.