Curbing Extreme Radicalization; Role of Peace Builders

 

Key points:

  • Most African regions have continuously experienced conflict and violence especially brought about by ethnic intolerance and sectarian prejudices.
  • Likewise, Africa and the Middle East isn’t new to ceasefires and peace accords to end crises that have claimed innocent lives, turned children into soldiers and rendered millions refugees both domestically and to other countries.
  • The United Nations and the African Union have devices systems and formulas to restore and sustain peace in these volatile and conflict-prone regions succeeding only to some extent resulting to the need for alternative peace-sustainability formulas.
  • The role of peace builders in the conflict torn or prone societies is crucial to prevent conflicts in African countries especially among the youth and cosmopolitan areas.

Background:

Africa historically is the poorest continent, economically below average with weak governments mainly ruled by autocrats and dictators with little or no respect for the rule of law or constitution. This has however changed over time as Africans become more aware of their rights and independence from oppressive leadership that advances agendas of segregation on political, religion and ethnic lines.

Burundi recent re-plunge back into crisis barely before her post-conflict reconstruction had yielded sustainable results is a good example of the risks of dysfunctional post-conflict peace sustainability formula. Burundi plunged into ethnic clashes that lasted 13 years before the singing of a peace accord in Tanzania. In April 2015 a failed coup on President Nkurunziza prompted by his controversial bid for a third term in office threatened a repeat of the civil war in the healing state. Since then Burundi has experienced violence that has been ethnically and politically motivated threatening not only Burundi’s but the East African region’s stability.

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Central Africa Republic is currently experiencing a sectarian war between the Muslim Seleka militia and Christian anti-Balaka militants. The conflict was triggered after Seleka overthrew the government in CAR and their indiscriminate killings of Christian that was net retaliation from the Christians that has yielded the current sectarian war in CAR.

Analysis:

Conflict resolutions for crises in Africa has for a long time been about putting a stop to the war and killings and putting up a workable formula to install a leader in office. This has however on more occasions proved to only provide short term solution to the root-cause of the standoffs.

Peace accords and peacekeepers only over temporary instant solutions that halt killings and atrocities that pave way for post-conflict reconstruction.

Soldiers only stop violence and prevent people from committing acts of violence but they alone cannot change people thinking.

It is very paramount to socialize people to be open-minded and look at the big picture. It is not enough to only reconcile warring faction but equally train them to be peace builders who will engineer long-term peace.

Peace builders are peace equivalents of life coaches; they come of the communities themselves and instill good governance, social responsibility and are the bridge that prevents re-plunge into conflict.

Summary:

The recent radicalization of youths to edge towards sectarian and ethnic intolerances has prompted the need to train peace builders to provide guidance and act as life coaches to the youth.

Peace builders fill the gap left in the society by the violent groups and soldiers. They help in the reconciliation process eliciting civilian-led good governance and sense of responsibility I filling the government vacuums.

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Peace builders especially among the youth will provide guidance in reducing the extreme radicalization of the youth. It will be achieved by socializing the youth to know the problems they are experiencing aren’t unique to them but are rather global forging ways to deal with them rather than joining terrorist network.

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