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Archive for the tag “Civil Society”

Tchad: Communique de presse conjoint (07.02.2018)

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Tchad: Portant Suspension des activites des Partis Politique rassembles au sein de regroupments: ADO, COPRAT, CCPPOD et CPOMO (06.02.2018)

Szlavik represents a Shady Company of Men: Polishing the image of Nkurunziza and Museveni!

Joseph Szlavik and his lobby firm in Washington D.C. are using his close-connected network in the Senate and the House, to trade secrets and interference of knowledge from not so favorable sources. The Scribe Strategies and Advisors are have certainly no scruples in their dealings. As the vast funding from Republic’s and their leadership. Proves that he can bought by anyone who opens their check-book. There is no story he cannot open and abuse, to make sure that his company earns fortunes.

Therefore, be aware that certain connected journalists has been touched by this lobbyist like the Sioban O’Grady, who has had interviews interconnected on several occasions during the last year. As well as Kevin Kelley in Daily Nation, who has been used as tools for the agenda of the Lobbying firm.

Promotes the cause of CNDD-FDD:

This lobbying company has a long history in Burundi, as they have wanted to retain the company as far back on 12 December 2005, when Minister of External Relations and International Cooperation Antoinette Batungbwira wrote a credible praise and wanted to extend their work together.

The government of Burundi, had the funds and the ability to push their agenda in Washington D.C. during the 2015-2016 as their noble lobbyist Joseph Szlavik, signed his earnings to the proper American authorities. On 10th November 2015, the CNDD-FDD paid the lobbyist $ 59,980.00, as he was also paid on the 5th February 2016 $ 60,000.00 and on 25th April 2016 $ 92,230.00. Also, his fees continued as on the 8th August 2016 got $ 90,000.00 and 19th December 2016 the total salary $ 60,000.00.

The lobbyist has during the 2 year period earned astonishing $ 362,000.00!

The CNDD-FDD could afford to pay a man to spread their message and play after their tune in the congress and senate! This shows the power of the monies, as the lobbyist himself explained his position and what he did to earn this amount of money: “Registrant (Scribe Strategies & Advisors) counseled and advised the Government of Burundi on U.S. Policy and informed congressional and executive branch officials and staff and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) on development in Burundi, and promoted relations between the United States and Burundi. Registrant provided public relations support and strategies to the Government of Burundi” (13.04.2017 – NSD/FARA Registration Unit).

Registrant (Scribe Strategies & Advisors) arranged for Foreign Minister Alain Nyamitwe to speak at the Atlantic Council on June 22, 2015 and on the VOA’s “Straight Talk Africa” on June 23, 2015, and Newsmax TV on June 24, 2015, about recent political developments in Burundi; arranged for presidential spokesman Willy Nyamitwe to speak to the Atlantic Council on January 22, 2016, and on the VOA’s “Straight Talk Africa” on January 20, 2016, and on France24 TV on January 21, 2016, all of the topic of the recent developments in Burundi” (03.03.2016 – NSD/FARA Registration Unit).

Promote the cause of the NRM:

The Government of Uganda and their Foreign Affairs has used the same man to pursuit their agenda in Washington D.C. as they paid the man on the 5th May 2016 $ 62,500.00. In 2015 they also paid him well for the help of spreading the message of Foreign Minster Kuteesa on the 24th June 2015 paid $ 55,200.00, also $ 69,800.00 on 7th August 2015 and on 9th December 2015 $ 64,535.11. The Government of Uganda totally paid the amount $ 250,000.00 to the lobbyist over 2 years!

Registrant (Scribe Strategies & Advisors) arranged for Foreign Minister Sam Kuteesa to appear on Voice of America program. “Straight Talk Africa” September 16, 2015; the topic was Kutesa’s tenure as President of the United States General Assembly; also arranged for Kutesa to speak at the Atlantic Council on September 15, 2015, on the same topic” (03.03.2016 – NSD/FARA Registration Unit).

That the company uses their reach and their messages as back in day, in 2015, when Scribe Strategies and Advisors, they used Kevin J. Kelley to write a piece in the Daily Nation:

Mr Szlavik noted that his firm did have a contract about 10 years ago to lobby for Uganda in the US. In accordance with that deal, Mr Szlavik explained, Scribe sought to persuade the Bush administration to list the Lord’s Resistance Army and the Alliance of Democratic Forces as terrorist organisations. The US does designate the LRA and ADF in that way” (…) “Earlier this year, Mr Szlavik added, he discussed with Uganda’s ambassador in Washington the possibility of Scribe again doing lobbying work for Uganda in the United States. But no agreement has been made, Mr Szlavik said. “There’s no contract, no numbers, no payment,” he declared” (Kelley, 2015).

There should be discussion and counsel going on as just a brief month after the interview and article in the Daily Nation, the company earned about $ 60,000 paid by the Ugandan government. So the company knew all about it in 2015, but wanted to spin the news and their role.

The Company was more upfront about their role in spinning the news for Burundi, as the Scribe Lobbying firm in 2015, addressed matters close to the heart of government of Burundi and again, they used their fellow journalist in the Daily Nation:

The allegations by Joseph Szlavik, head of Scribe Strategies & Advisors, followed reports of fighting between government troops and an unidentified armed group near Burundi’s border with Rwanda” (…) “Mr Szlavik noted in an interview with the Nation that the Burundian leader’s right to run for re-election had been affirmed in May by the country’s Constitutional Court” (…) “Western powers call for respect for the rule of law, and this was the ruling by the Constitutional Court of Burundi,” Mr Szlavik said” (Kelley, 2015).

So Szlavik, the man paid by the Government was clearly knowingly keeping it cool with Burundian authorities, not only spreading their agenda, but also their motives to keep power. Using the tools of legislation and not addressing the grievances of the people demonstrating at the time. Therefore, showing that the ones feeding him was more important than actual justice. That they also, this used the fellow friend in the Daily Nation, show’s how systematic the Scribe Strategies and Advisors work in the East African region.

This is just a quick look into the matter and not really digging deep into the polishing tricks of the company and their employees, as their staff and connections into the House and Senate in the United States was massive. The role to play and their reasoning as the paychecks from CNDD-FDD and NRM comes, they easily comply with the methods and needs from Bujumbura and Kampala. With no care of the implications and ramifications to the innocent in Burundi nor Uganda. Certainly, this is blood-money and I hope they are cursed. Peace.

Reference:

Kelley, Kevin J. – ‘US lobbying firm denies Uganda is currently a client’ (01.04.2015) link:http://www.africareview.com/news/US-lobbying-firm-denies-Uganda-is-currently-a-client/979180-2672786-3ti6at/index.html

Kelley, Kevin J. – ‘Burundi claims Rwanda aiding rebels’ (13.07.2015)

Press Statement: Privacy International’s initial reaction to EU export control proposal (30.09.2016)

eu-parliament

PI Research Officer Edin Omanovic said:

“The European Commission has proposed sweeping updates [PDF] to trade regulations in an effort to modernise the EU’s export control system and to ensure that the trade in surveillance technology does not facilitate human rights abuses or internal repression.

Privacy International welcomes the intentions of the proposed changes in terms of protecting human rights as it does all such moves. More than half of the world’s surveillance companies identified by Privacy International are based in the EU. Since 1979, when it was revealed that a UK company had provided the necessary wiretapping technology to the genocidal regime of Idi Amin in Uganda, there have been calls for safeguards over the trade in surveillance technology. Recently, Privacy International has reported the export of various surveillance technology used in human rights abuses in Uganda, Ethiopia, Egypt, Colombia, Morocco, Central Asia, Bangladesh,Macedonia, and Pakistan.

A previous version of the proposals was obtained and published last month by Euractiv. Privacy International at the time published an analysis of the leaked proposals as they related to surveillance technology, below. Since then, industry and national governments have been lobbying the Commission, which is in charge of formulating policy in the EU, to make changes. The eventual proposals only differ slightly however, with the main change being that the definition of “cyber-surveillance” technology has been narrowed. The actual annex which contains a detailed list of what technology has been subject to control has also been published. In addition to spyware used to infect devices, mobile phone interception tech, and mass internet monitoring centres, the Commission has proposed to add unilateral EU categories. Currently these are listed as telecommunications monitoring centres and lawful interception retention systems.

The proposals encapsulate the best and worst aspects of the European Union. Their stated intent reflects Europe’s commitment to fundamental rights, and — as a regulation — it will be binding on all member states, massively magnifying the effect of any legislation. However, they come five years after initial calls for reform made during the Arab Uprising, when it was revealed that the spying apparatuses of numerous authoritarian states largely relied on European surveillance technology. The policy making process has been marked by technical and bureaucratic complexities detached from individuals, making it vulnerable to the interests of industry, powerful national governments, and civil society.

Privacy International will be working to analyse the full implications of the proposal and to ensure that effective safeguards are eventually implemented, and encourages everyone to do so.”

Opinion: Why is there so little sanction on Corrupt behaviour and why don’t the donors stop the funds?

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We should question the ability of certain leaders to be able to squander away government funds, donor-funding while keeping their citizens in poverty and neglect the civil service, the state functions and keeping the state fragile; so that the Executive can brown envelope the Members of Parliament and that other civil servants to get paid, instead of government salaries depend on being paid under table for government delivery.

This is not one nation problem, this is not a one continent problem, and this is a worldwide problem. Not only government acts like this organizations, multi-lateral organizations and businesses. Corporations and other LLCs are also misusing their fortunes and ability to generate wealth for their stakeholders through intricate and complex banking structure that fixes the profits away from the countries we’re they earn high profits; while squandering away the profits so that the owners and stakeholders gain massive funds and leave the consumers, workers and the nations as they keep the funds away from the State of real business.

Tax Avoidance

Why can I address the neglect of government in the same regard as tax-avoidance in modern business, because the same ethics and norms are made and regulated by the Parliaments, Executive Power and by the interests of politicians; that needs funds and create business in their constituency as they earn currency on opening business there. So with that in mind, the way the business is set-up and regulated are by admission from the political framework and laws, not to talk about tax-regulations together with multi-lateral agreements that either opens or closes doors for tax-fugitives from the profitable country.

The Government are the Sovereign Power, the ones that represent and distribute the resources and funds to their citizens through departments, ministries, institutions and programs that are sufficient to make sure of education, security and development of the country. That happens as they can either use their taxes, aid and loans to fund the government work. Well, they could if they wanted to represent the people who paid the tax and elected them.

One key reason for the maladministration and mismanagement from the government are that they are responsible for sham elections and rigging themselves in power; worst case scenario the government and executive took the power with the gun; so the responsibility is more on the ammunition instead of the transparency and accountability towards the citizens. The citizens are supposed to have safe-guards from corrupt behaviour and alleged graft; as the Auditor General and Ombudsman are supposed see through the files and budgets, together with registered procurements, so that the actual facts are the same as the planned efforts from the State.

That is why the breaking figures and knowledge of squandered monies from the funds. Something that shouldn’t be that easy to do or get away with; as so many leaders and executives have saved giant bank-accounts in Swiss Banks and in Tax-Havens. So the humble men from villages all of sudden own 30 luxury cars, 4 mansions and have a wife who spends a ministries months salaries on exclusive clothing and shoes in Paris and London. While the taxpayer are struggling to eat and feed their families, which is an issue that shouldn’t be there when the Executive and wife can have a cortege of 25 cars driving from their State House to their Ranch without any consideration.

Obama Stockholm

The worrying sign is that the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and other Multi-lateral organizations don’t sufficiently sanction this kind of activities or even punish the countries with this behaviour; except when the nations are on their back hunting wild goose. The United Nations and European Union, other Pacts doesn’t even sanction much either. The diplomatic tensions and the wish for resources sometimes stop the knowledge of the thievery, if not to save face of both parties as they doesn’t want the public of the nation importing to know about the maladministration.

What I am wondering with all the corruption scandals, with the rich executives and the haemorrhaging of monies from the state and businesses; It happens daily while the begging for funds from international community and also getting investors from the exterior to invest in business. These businessmen are set in function with civil servant and government officials that are corrupting the state; something that the world knows… and still keeps it going around.

Certainly the knowledge of this isn’t something in the shadow, some places all of this is in the spotlight and expected by the officials, as a second way of getting add-ons on their meagre salaries as the government doesn’t pay enough or on time for the Police Officers and Teachers to secure pay to pay for food and even rent. Therefore the system generate where the Government can’t even supplement funds for their own, while their leaders eat the most delicious stakes. This should be a warning, but the world moves on.

quote-the-givers-of-most-of-the-corruption-in-africa-are-from-outside-africa-olusegun-obasanjo-88-15-33

What worries me… is how this keep on happening with different names, different places and with different funds, while the sanctions and the stopping of funding from the communities doesn’t stop; while the massive overload of stolen monies are hidden and the ability to use this banked currency in developing the state and nation, instead lost in trail of lies and deceit where the accountability got dropped in the ocean.

We should question these transactions and not accept these facts of life, this is the ones that steal the development and progress, steal foreign taxpayer’s monies into personal bank-accounts and private business of elites instead of the public functions as they we’re supposed to go.

I am just writing in frustration… and tired of seeing and hearing about the scandal after scandal… While the ones dishing it out are silent, while the punishment is not happening and the characters who are behind the thieving is walking like kings and queens in main-streets of capitals all around the world. That is what is bugging me. It shouldn’t be like this and the behaviour should be tormented, questioned and also charged for their stolen cash. This cash we’re not automatically made for and created for the Executive’s and their Elites; which isn’t justified. So why does it seem that some people are allowed to steal a country, steal a national treasury and the foreign exchange funds are walking scotch-free while hanging around the mayors and government-officials; but when a pocket-thief or a man stealing a goat, gets detained and not hired again.

The rules for this is provable not equal, not for all men are equal under god, except if you like shrimp. Well, that is not the case in this matter, there are too set of standards, the Executives and their Elites; while the citizens and public are a disgrace and can be disregarded easily, but the rich can get-a-way-jail-free-card! Peace.   

Text of Draft Resolution by the U.S. Senate on DRC: “comply with constitutional limits on presidential terms and fulfill its constitutional mandate for a democratic transition of power in 2016”

114th Congress DRC 2016 P1114th Congress DRC 2016 P2114th Congress DRC 2016 P3114th Congress DRC 2016 P4114th Congress DRC 2016 P5114th Congress DRC 2016 P6114th Congress DRC 2016 P7

While petty thieves get fined or detained; why doesn’t the international community or multi-national organization come with decent sanctions towards the Presidents who steals an election and in the end steals a Nation?

NRM-ballot-boxes-599x250

In our day and time there is a level of impunity and levels of carelessness that to an extent that revolutions and demonstrations are the only way out the deadlock that our leaders lead into it. The power-hungry and overstaying leaders who have no sense of fellow brethren and their woes as their cash-flow, castles, cars and estates grows piles upon piles up-to moon.

With that in mind you have these so-called elections that is more selected through in-party and electoral commission made-up for the ruling party and their President than for the people and the citizens to pick their leadership in the confidence of the polls. Even if the Election Day is there and the ballot-paper exists, there is still; the counting of the ballot and the rigging the result that matters. Especially when the higher courts and hollow chambers that are hand-picked men and woman that the President already trusts to deliver his verdict.

If a brother stole a can of fuel or took something at the supermarket and got caught. The World would proclaim and through fines and detaining be officially a crook or thief. Thieving on the higher level embezzling from banks and taking accounts of ordinary savers is called more economic mismanagement. The bank will get a fine and the CEO will be suspended, but the bankers will most likely get away since they are walking in the same clicks as the mayors, governors and Members of Parliament.

The Same mind is if you are a President or MPs and take the elections. If you are lucky then the international observers because of their affiliation with donor-countries or friendly powers of the regime; then the Observer Mission can be claiming fraudulent elections for free and fair with some malpractices and let it go. So politicians are not in the same league as the rest of us. If they are the right ones and ruling in the right area and have the right support from the international community. Then they can take a country, have an election and say they we’re elected free and fair.

Pakistan 2014

Even if they create a sudden stability it will still be tension in the countries and certainly not a healthy peace. As the countries election is a sham and a fraud. The People know that and the citizens are not behind the Parliament and the President. Therefore the President knows this and hides behind the army and the Police. Those two are the keys to his long-staying in Power. Since they don’t need as big support as the public and their reforms for development; since the reforms and public transparency is not needed the President will not deliver that. So the central-leadership is more about delivering new equipment and salaries to the Police and the Army instead of citizens.

The Citizens are the ones that are stolen from and their voices are not being herd. The Police State and Militarized politics that are eating society and taking away the freedom and liberty that are expected to have legitimate power. Certainly the price of the stealing a Nation through the sham election should have created more fuzz and more sanctions. There should be an international reactions and not resume as everything is normal after a stolen election.

Party Election

That Multi-National Organization and Bi-lateral unions between countries should make it harder for world leaders and Presidents to get away with the massive theft of taking a country. The certainty of if the leader can take an election, then the same leader can also take National Treasury and other funds as their own; make the national funds and budgets as private funds and embezzle national budgets to build own fortune instead of delivering citizens needed services of health care, infrastructure and schools.

The thieving of a nation should be questioned and should have certain reactions. Not walk like and react like you’re won the election and is a proud winner. Receiving congratulation letters and making plans for the swearing-in ceremony; also using a government funds on party celebrations while the decay of the institutions that the government is providing is falling apart. That is just wrong. That a man or woman who is illegitimate and uses the power would be more respect and not need the security organization to temper with the civil society or the opposition parties.

MelesElection3f

If the winner of the election was legitimate then the opposition would still create and question the ruling-party. Still the questions does not end with army taking over certain parts of the county, detaining leaders of the opposition or having most parts of the election decided in courts as the Members of Parliament squabble after a rigged election. The MPs shouldn’t need to settle the matter in courts as much as the Executive shouldn’t need to be questioned. The People should have given it and accepted it in accord with the ballots and the tally from the National Talley Centre. But when the Executive needs the Court and the MPs need it too; then you know something is up.

Zanzibar Election 2016

So why is it without reason, not really questioned or not really any sanctions against the men and woman who steals elections and rig them for their own benefit? While a man stealing a beer at the local supermarket get fined? There is a double standard as it is with bankers who through rigid laws and rigid malpractices of economic framework can get away with mismanage fortunes; while the man who empty the cash-register at the store on the corner get detained for up-to a year depending on the local laws. I am just questioning the reasoning for the well-meaning and fun-loving society we live in where the impunity and the world leaders are in cahoots to take power; while we the ordinary people see the arrangement and should question the demeanor and the reason behind why the national leaders and President with all their power. Can take the Power and get away with it, while we the other ones cannot do the same. That is not justice or rule of law. That is injustice and impunity. Then you shouldn’t ignore the call for defiance or resistance or demonstrations as the people should react to the open-door theft of their state, their government and their public will. Peace.

The Anti-Gay bill will only resurface in Parliament when the NRM-Regime needs to cover-up all their other neglected issues.

Anti Gay Front Page Uganda

Let me ride on the Western Hemisphere for it’s care for the LGBT people in Uganda while letting all kind of other oppressive behaviour happen without any cost or any repercussion. I am sorry to all you western government officials that support the LGBT case. They are all people equal under God. Just as you and me. I have nothing against the LGBT cause or that the LGBT men and woman deserves to screw they want to screw. But distinguish that from the matter at hand. I will discuss the real Equal freedom and justice; that means a governing system that is for Besigye or Mwenda; not just for Mwenda and Opondo, but not for Turinawe.

So let me address you clearly as the National Resistance Movement and their ruling regime under President Museveni have become more and more draconian. The rules of law have lesser value as the regime is more inherent corrupted with the arms, tear-gas and anti-riot Police then actual democratic values. So when you have a system where the Militarized Police Force, Militarized Politics and Army Programs into the Civil Society then the guns are controlling all parts of arenas that the society should lead. So that the Western Hemisphere and international community turns a blind eye to that proves the double standard.

Mueveni Bundibugyo Pre-Campaign 2016 Gun

That there is an problem with “the Prohibition of Promotion of Unnatural Sexual Practices Bill” – 29th October 2014”. Certainly it must be because the United States can have states like Virgina and such with equally astonishing laws, but not duplicated the heat or massive creations of unlawful bashing. So there are issues with these laws as the LGBT is in this narrative a minority in Uganda. A minority of many, but why complain and make issues with that one minority when the general population is oppressed by a militarized regime? Is that because the NRA of USA is so powerful that a gun-loving president (Former NRA turned NRM) in Africa is cool and flashing AK-47 in Rwenzori is amazing, but him creating bad laws against a minority is overboard.

Chris Baryomunsi Quote Daily Monitor

That a country of 39 million citizens had one Cobalt 60 Teletheraphy Machine at Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI) broke down at Mulaga Hospital Kampala two weeks ago or so. While there about 17,000 Cancer sick that need treatment, but there none for them in the country. The international world isn’t doing much. Instead the rich Aga Khan and his Aga Khan Hospital offers 400 patients treatment in Nairobi, Kenya, so there are no opportunity in Uganda. That does not create a stir, which is another minority of people who are sick and in dire need of treatment. That is the same country that has mismanaged international funding to the health care through the Global Funds has been squandered away. The same health care system has X-Ray Machine broken down in Butabika Hospital and other meagre resources and machines at Hospitals that are decaying around the country. So it is okay that President Museveni and the NRM neglect the sick and dying.

Tororo FDC 19.01.2016 School P2 Paya

The same with up-country Primary Schools where the walls are thin and rain-water flows in and the bricks are shredded. Where the payments of teachers are always late and underfunded as the rate has not gone up for years even with the steady levels of the neglect while the donor-funding and programs towards schools since UPE launch that was ushered in 1996. But the now steady report of dwindling county schools and the standard of facilities seem to be planned. As it is district by district, not a one place issue and more broad issue amongst the country. This is just an issue that matters for the kid’s education and their platform for their future. But the Western media and the Western donors will not put this on blast.

Jinja Police 10915

That the Police Force is so involved into politics embedded in the ways that they follows the oppositions, close down their consultations meetings and rallies. The Police Force follows and tag’s the opposition leaders. The Police Force detains opposition members and stop opposition celebrations even when the opposition complies with draconian laws of the state. That is not an issue that creates havoc. This oppressive behaviour from the Police Force towards the Opposition can happen without any clear questions or stop of funding them from abroad.

So the issues are bigger then the “Anti-Gay” bill as the nation is built around the President and his elite. This happens while the rest of people might get detained without questions and without charges. Therefore I feel it is wrong that the international organizations and international media focus alone on this issue. As that is a drop in the sea. The Corruption, the bribes, the embezzlement and the ruin of government institutions should be more in focus and sustain a healthy living for the citizens. The framework of the lawful society is far away. With the current Police State and the current arrest of democracy is more haste to fix.

EU Out of Politics Pre-Election Period

To reinstate the issue of the bill from 2014 is to deflect the grand issues and the mortality of the current affairs. The ways that people are muffled and silenced in general should be more worrying. The way the army and Police are used as strict tools of oppression and the Parliament writing off more and more money to them instead of being representatives of the citizens. That is where the focus should be. Especially since the donor-funding is 20% of the direct donor budget funding of Government of Uganda. That the NRM will spend on the State House, the farm of the President, new Private Plane and cars, not on the services of government that is expected.

So if the Parliament of Uganda under Rebecca Kadaga puts this up again, then it’s in a way to put all the issues to the side. To give space for the NRM to work with that in silence as the bill will create havoc, but give way for all the activity of the government. So you have been warned of the non-sense and should look at the major issues that make a difference for all of society, not just a minority. Peace.

Kasrils joins call for Zuma to step down (Youtube-Clip)

“JOHANNESBURG, 7 April 2016 – ANC stalwart Ronnie Kasrils is the latest to call for President Jacob Zuma to step down. The former minister of intelligence says Zuma and the entire ANC leadership have become a liability” (eNCA, 2016).

Press Statement: “Some African leaders to blame for conflicts” – Obasanjo

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ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, March 21, 2016 – Some of Africa’s leaders are responsible for instability on the continent because they have failed to manage diversity in their societies, the former Nigerian President, General Olusegun Obasanjo, has said. By the same token, he noted, outside interference in Africa has been responsible for conflicts, citing the NATO air strikes in Libya in 2011 that led to the removal from power of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

“The repercussions 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 (TanaForum.org) in Ethiopia. Asked whether African leaders were to blame for the conflicts on the continent, he said: “Yes and no.”

He said leaders were failing their people because they had not been able to prevent marginalisation in their societies, prevent injustice, reduce unemployment, reduce poverty, and that they had not embraced democracy and good governance.

The theme of this year’s Forum is Africa in the Global Security Agenda.

This is apt, given the continuing fallout from the NATO intervention in Libya, for which US President Barack Obama recently criticised the British and French governments for getting rid of Gaddafi without having plans in place for effective “follow-up”.

On the issue of African peacekeeping operations, he agreed that the lack of funding from African Union member states was a major setback for peace and security on the continent.

He said that when he was head of state, he was in charge of a high-level panel to search for alternative sources of funding for the AU, but this came to nothing.

He noted that when the AU was looking for funds to counter the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, member states failed to provide the money. “The AU eventually had to turn to the private sector and it was able to raise $40 million,” said Gen. Obasanjo, who is Chairman of the Tana Forum.

He was critical of AU member states for not contributing to the AU’s general budget, adding, “I think this is down to the lack of political will.”

Gen. Obasanjo noted that Ebola and migration from Africa had security implications not just for the continent “because we now live in a global community whereby if something happens in Africa, it affects the rest of the world”.

This was why Africa had to take a serious look at its security infrastructure, what Africans could do themselves to deal with these issues, and what should be the continent’s role in formulating security policies globally.

The Deputy Chairman of the Forum, Professor Andreas Eshete of Ethiopia, said that Africa had to have not only a stronger voice in the global security architecture but also for its perspectives to be taken into account and incorporated into the global security agenda.

The 5th Tana High-Level Forum will take place on 16-17 April 2016 in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia. More than 150 participants are expected to attend, including 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.

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