Silencing the guns in Africa.


One of the African Union's flagship initiatives is for the continent to take full charge of its peace and security and aim to end all wars and conflicts on the continent by 2020. A road map to achieving this as well as plans for a dedicated peace fund are already in place.

Peace and stability are key ingredients for any nation to achieve its social and developmental goals. When there is peaceful coexistence between the citizens of a nation, and between a nation and its neighbours, the opportunities for social, cultural and economic interaction and integration increase.

Promoting peace, security and stability on the continent is one of the key activities of the African Union (AU), as the linkages between peaceful environment and sustainable development are naturally evident.

The AU Agenda 2063 places importance on the aspiration for a peaceful and secure Africa and one of the flagship initiatives is that of 'Silencing the Guns by 2020', which aims to drive the African agenda to end all wars, civil conflicts, gender-based violence and violent conflicts and prevent genocide.

Significant progress has been made towards Silencing the Guns in Africa despite the common narrative of Africa being a continent always at war with itself, with severe humanitarian consequences.

In 2002 when the AU was formed as the successor to the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), there were around 28 conflicts/crises situations. By 2009, these had reduced to around seven, due to the efforts of the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC).

However, from 2010 to date (2017), the number has risen again to over 15 conflicts/ crises. Adding to this, there is the emergence of terrorism and violent extremism affecting parts of Northern Africa, the Sahel, Western and Central Africa.

Achievements in the reduction in conflicts have been a result of the efforts deployed by the Member States of the AU in promoting peace, security, stability and development to all African citizens by facilitating dialogue-centred conflict prevention and mediation, as well as peacebuilding efforts in Member States emerging from violent conflicts, specifically the strengthening of national infrastructures for peace.

In addition to the above, the AU deploys troops for the protection of citizens, to maintain peace and bring stability in the continent.

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