Sudan and D.R Congo: In The Wake Of Biases By Global Actors, What Hope Has The African Union For Its Abandoned Members?

By Alan Collins Mpewo

Africa is, without a doubt, a make of extraordinary wonders. It even gets better when persons not so well conversant with its make have to speculate of what exactly the continent really bears. And sometimes it sours into controversy as to what really means to be Africa. It is not to be exonerated for its shortfalls however, considering the line of some of their origins. The Africans, the latest known descendants of this very wealthy continent have graced all known ends of the continent either with fury or admiration. It perhaps explains the pains of belaboring with climate change talks, which were recently concluded. Africa has many countries as sliced out and defined by their colonialists who in doing so, were careless of what could later turn out in the succeeding years. And with the growth in population of the humans that made of the continent, relations of all forms became a reality.

The talk of diplomacy in Africa is not dated closely to the immediate yesterday. The talk has carefully sneaked through decades that form the continent’s glorious and sometimes as it were, terror days. With the relations amongst the humans of Africa’s past, civilizations emerged. Small communities became chiefdoms. Chiefdoms metamorphosed into Kingdoms (sometimes led by women). Empires closely rose. And from those, gave way to countries that have significantly engulfed the surviving Chiefdoms and Kingdoms of the past Africa. Taking from the failed Organization of African Unity that commenced in 1963, the African Union was born in 2001 in Ethiopia to extend the talk of diplomacy. The agitation was informed by necessary confrontation aimed at the ills that led to the demise of the Organization of African Unity.

Among its many objectives were these two that form pivotal to this opinion i.e. To promote peace, security, and stability on the continent; and, to promote and protect human and peoples’ rights in accordance with the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and other relevant human rights instruments. The wholesomeness of these objectives were to be the perfect cure for the then fast changing Africa. Many events later shaped the African Union although some were fairly written off. Today, two questions stand in the way of the wheels of administration at the Commission of this well-meaning body. Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Sudan is plunged in conflict and some might say, unending in many respects if not checked. Calls, cries, and advocacy have seen their way through the ever changing telecommunication landscape from all persons for an expedited solution. The African Union on the 18th day of December, 2023 issued a statement condemning the continued conflict in Sudan. The conflict that commenced at large scale in April, 2023, has seen a crisis in the country. It has gone to also claim lives of refugees, people that are in Sudan as escapees of similar horrors from wherever they ran. But similar statements have constantly been issued for similar or sometimes worse conflicts by the African Union. Statements! Will the situation ever change? What proactive steps other than the failed modus of relief has the union to its members! There isn’t much for propositions.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo has equally had a rather unfortunate run of a genocide that has attracted sympathy from all well-meaning persons. The victims as reported, are forcefully laid to rest at the hands of their captors who are instigated by international criminals. This former Zaire, has for decades been a bedrock for conflict despite its abundance of wealth by nature’s gift of kindness. Not much has yet to be felt by the African Union in the quest for relief to the victims. As for months to come, the trends show that more horror will rain down on the bloodlines of Zaire’s ancestors. Deaths, poverty, diseases, hunger, and calamities fit to be placed in that line.

The two events are happening at a time when international stakeholders have darlings to whom sympathy is addressed. Ukraine! Israel! Taiwan! But for these two nations. The best the African Union can out-do its past shortfalls is to understand that whenever there are competing sympathy demands from an African with a non African global actor, the African is on their own. While the foregoing’s truthfulness remains a point of contention, facts aren’t biased. The African Union might get estimates of potential downfall like its predecessor or far worse, when some (as the historical scribes have it) members reach agitation levels to assess its significance in the times today. To ask the African Union to draw its hands to its actual work as for what it was born seems a mountain to supply. Its challenges notwithstanding, it stands crippled or so it seems. It just should never have been the continent’s own, forsaking its kin.

Is there hope? So it might seem. The wheels of time are spinning so fast that demographics at all levels are not spared. Geopolitics is changing. Scales of power keep shifting. Alliances of old are growing and new ones emerging. Economies are changing face. Conflicts are becoming complex. However, the African Union remains static. A switch up to adapt is the relief at the end of the tunnel. Without it, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo will not be the last.

Alan Collins Mpewo Senior Research Fellow, Development Watch Center



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