Former president, Olusegun Obasanjo has blamed instability on the African continent on some of its leaders, saying they failed to manage diversity in their societies.
Speaking at a press conference in Ethiopia on the upcoming Tana High-Level forum on Security in Africa, Obasanjo cited NATO air strikes in Libya in 2011 that led to the removal from power of Muammar Gaddafi , as one of the outside interference responsible for conflicts in Africa.
“The repercussions are now being felt in Mali, Nigeria and the Sahel,” he said.
He said African leaders are failing their people because they have 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.
On the issue of African peacekeeping operations, Obasanjo agreed that the lack of funding from African Union member states is a major setback for peace and security on the continent.
He said while he served as Nigeria’s head of state, he was in charge of a high-level panel to search for alternative sources of funding for the AU, but nothing fruitful came out of it.
The ex-president 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 Mr. Obasanjo, who is Chairman of the Tana Forum.
He 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.”
More than 150 participants are expected to attend the Tana Forum, 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.