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Conciliation
Last Updated: 01/18/2005
Africa: Gateway to Peace.
Brendon Lewis

Brendon Lewis explains why world peace could start with collective security in Africa.


Africa:  Gateway to World Peace


If ever a place in the world needed the blessings of peace and stability then that place is the continent of Africa.

Africa remains a volatile continent because of its continuous plague of self-appointed military governments and would be revolutionaries.  Whether their objective is to gain possession of territory, natural resources or simply power and control, people acting with shameless selfishness and disregard for the welfare of others, continue to cause the problems here that base natures and low-minded leadership always cause in the world, and we constantly see the results of such problems reflected in the plight of the many millions of innocent casualties and refugees that are the victims of the ‘Grab it for ourselves’ mentality that is the ultimate cause of any conflict.

This mentality is of course not unique to Africa.  Many so-called civilised nations
have histories steeped in acts and campaigns of theft and violence. Even today, we
still see them pursuing acts of war out of thinly disguised motives of self-interest and acquisition.

Why Africa is more prone to problems of this nature at this particular point in time is due mainly to the hardships and lack of restraints that exist on this continent. 
Hardship, especially poverty and starvation, bring our both the worst and best of
human qualities: the starving mother, who gives up her own food to see that her
children live and survive shows the best human qualities; the arrogant soldier, who
uses his gun to take the food from the mouths of children to feed himself, shows the very worst. 

Unfortunately, because of the lack of restraints in some parts of Africa,
the first type are vulnerable to the campaigns and ravages of the second type, and will continue to remain so until such times as some form of restraint is set up so that any would be militia could not arm themselves and create problems for others.

If of course, mentality of any would be military campaigners could be elevated to the point that they would practise self-restraint and only act out of the best interests for everyone, then any other form of imposed restraint would be unnecessary. 
Realistically however, we are more likely to see flying pigs than to see this happening to the extent that Africa could be a safe and secure continent.

What is the solution then?  Africa has in recent years had examples of every type of crises and conflict that might manifest in the world; Genocide, invasion of territory, revolution and rebellion, would-be dictators vying for power, anarchy and dissolution, struggles to control wealth and resources.  The only thing missing is the march of the Roman Empire across the continent of Africa conquering and subjugating everyone as it went!  So a solution for Africa would be a solution for the rest of the world; if Africa could be made safe and secure, then the rest of the world could be made safe and secure by the same means.  That’s what is good about the continent of Africa at the moment: it can be an example for the rest of the world to follow.

Worldpeace.org.uk (our website) advocates that the only real solution to achieving World peace, is for each individual nation or regime, to give up its armed forces and weapons, and for there to be one central, universal army (but not government) to maintain security in the world. We give various accounts of how this may be brought about. Africa is one of the places that we consider to be a good place to start.Before describing how it could be achieved, emphasis must be placed on the integrity and character of any such army; it would have to be of the highest principles and discipline, otherwise it would only create a worse problem than those it is intended to resolve.  We give details of how this character and integrity can be cultivated on our website.

So how can a central army be created and what will it do?  To create a central army in Africa would of course require the support and direction of an organisation such as the African Union, but we see it proceeding something like this:

First of all, some relatively stable countries, Ghana, Togo, Benin and Nigeria would be good examples, agree to combine their armies and weapons to form one larger
single unit.  Why would they want to do that? Well for one thing, by doing that the
first advantage would be that they have a bigger and better equipped army available to defend all four countries.  Secondly, by giving this army automation, i.e.: it acts under its own volition and not under the direction of any of the governments of these countries, it is also ensured that none of these countries will ever be at war with each other.  How could they- they only have one army between them?  This combined army would both protect these four countries from outside invaders, and also ensure that no other militia were allowed to form and arm themselves within there own borders.

Next door to Ghana is the country Ivory Coast, which is currently experiencing
problems with rebel groups.  For a legitimate government, joining a coalition army
would mean giving up control of its own army and weapons, but for the advantage of having a larger and more equipped army available to deal with the problem of rebel factions.  Such rebel factions could then be disarmed and disbanded, but of course, allowed to express any grievances that they may have through other, legitimate channels.

Any stable country could one by one be amalgamated into this coalition army with the object of it becoming one universal army acting under its own volition and self-
restraint,  (this is not going to be an army of conquest and subjugation), but it is useful here to show how countries with problems can be incorporated into and benefit from it.

Liberia for example, is next to Ivory Coast.  Liberia is not so much a country with a rebellion problem, but rather two rival factions vying for power by means of armed conflict.  Both sides now are beginning to realise the pointless destructiveness of their engagement.  If there was a coalition army in formation both sides could agree to surrender their armies and weapons to it and settle their dispute for power via the ballot box, thereby saving a lot of bloodshed and disruption to the lives of the Liberians.

Sierra Leone, is another country having difficulties on the West Coast of Africa, only here it seems that it is the people who are having problems with the government, rather than the other way round.  If it was the case that the population of a country was having problems with a government whose only interest was to stay in power in order to get rich by controlling that country’s natural resources (e.g.: Sierra Leone’s diamonds), then at the request of that population the coalition army could remove that government and make it surrender its army and weapons.  The coalition army could then assume the role of defending that country which would then be free to elect another more altruistic government.

This then is how the central army would gradually expand and bring peace to Africa.  We appreciate that some problems are more deeply entrenched and difficult to eradicate than others are; gorilla rebels for example, have already proved to be more than a match for the might of the U.S. army.  A universal army however, would be better established to deal with such problems than any other arrangement, and with a policy of intolerance and disarmament of any other form of militia, with appropriate preventative measures, e.g.: cutting off the supplies of ammunition to these groups. Eventually, all rebel factions would be rousted and overcome, if indeed they still felt that they needed to rebel after a universal army was established.

Other problems are easier to resolve.  If for example, there had been a universal army established when Eritrea invaded Ethiopia in 1998, all Ethiopia would have had to do would be to join the universal army and enjoy the benefit of a much larger and better equipped armed force to defend their territory.  As a result of such a conflict, Eritrea could have been overcome and made to surrender its own army and weapons to the universal army, who would then both police it from acting aggressively again in future, and also defend it against any other aggressor.  The border between Ethiopia and Eritrea would then be independently determined and maintained from then on.  The same would apply to any other border dispute or invasion of territories.

A larger, more encompassing armed body could also overcome the current problems in Somalia. If there was a universal army they could impose a law of disarmament in Somalia, i.e. no more militia with their own warlords, arms and ammunitions. One militia cannot surrender its arms and soldiers at the moment because the others would all move in and overpower it. It needs outside control, protection and supervision.


Complete disarmament of the various factions in Somalia could be achieved either
forcibly or peaceably depending on the agreement and co-operation of these various factions.

If this universal African army was created and it brought peace to the continent of
Africa, then that would be a major contribution to World peace in itself.

However, we (Worldpeace.org.uk) see this as being only a first step, one that the rest of the world could observe and follow. If a single, universal army brings peace to Africa, then a single universal army will bring peace to the whole world.  To us it is self evident that it would; our mission is to make it clear to the rest of the world. To this end we solicit your support through our website (www.Worldpeace.org.uk).


Brendon Lewis

 

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