By Abdi Ali
Published March 21, 2016
Africa’s politicians are responsible for instability on the continent.
General Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria, says conflicts result from the inability of leaders to “prevent marginalisation in their societies, prevent injustice, reduce unemployment, reduce poverty, embrace democracy and good governance, and manage diversity.”
Obasanjo also blames ‘external interference in Africa’, citing the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO)’s air strikes in Libya in 2011 that led to the removal from power of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi and the current chaos and anarchy afflicting the north African country that has become a ‘failed state’.
“The repercussions [of NATO’s interference] are now being felt in Mali, Nigeria and the Sahel,” Gen Obasanjo told a press conference on the upcoming Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Africa in Ethiopia that he chairs.
The theme of this year’s Forum, scheduled for April 16-17, 2016 in in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia, is ‘Africa on the Global Security Agenda.’
This is an apt theme, given the continuing fallout from the NATO intervention in Libya, for which US President Barack Obama, has criticised the British and French governments for getting rid of Gaddafi without having plans in place for effective “follow-up”.
Chair of the Tana Forum, Obasanjo is critical of African Union member states for what he terms as their “lack of political will.” This ‘lack of political will’, the former military and civilian President of Africa’s most populous country says, could explain their unwillingness to “contribute to the African Union’s general budget.”
More than 150 participants—current and former Heads of State and Government, high-ranking government officials, academics, civil society representatives, experts and policymakers from the AU, UN and other international institutions—are expected to attend the 5th Tana High-Level Forum in Ethiopia.