We need trust to promote peace building- Fr. Chilufya at Launch of ‘Silencing the Guns’
As part of effort to promote the African (AU) Union agenda of peace, prosperity, and well-being of all, the Justice and Ecology network (JENA), Jesuit Conference of Africa and Madagascar (JCAM) in partnership with the Ignition youth Network Initiating Generational Outcomes (IYNIGO) on March 4, 2020, launched “silence the gun” campaign in Accra.
The launch among other things was to plan the way forward in reducing conflict and illegal weapons in the continent
Speaking at the launch of the programme, Rev Father Charles Chilufya, Director of Kenyan bases JENA called on African leaders to promote trust as it is integral for peacebuilding.
“A major challenge to peacebuilding in Africa is that some African leaders that are supposed to be driving the process are not trusted by the people”, He noted.
Father Chilufya stated that some African leaders are plundering state resources meant for improving the living standards of their people.
He warned most leaders to stand to damage their personal credibility following their neglected promises and weak relationship with citizens they rode on to acquire power.
“Once the personal credibility of a leader is doubted by the people, it becomes difficult for such a leader to have a regime with sound institutions”, Father Chilufya stated.
He also bemoaned the lack of capacity and preparedness of the continent to combat old and new conflicts that erupt.
While good progress has been made in reducing state-driven conflicts, recurring conflicts in several regions as discovered by Rev Father Charles Chilufya are gaining momentum compromising already achieved lasting peace.
“Guns are still active in Libya, South Sudan, the Central African Republic (CAR), the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, and the Lake Chad Basin, which includes Chad and parts of Nigeria, Niger and Cameroon”, he added.
Following the over 600 million young people in Africa that are unemployed, uneducated or in insecure employment, Father Chilufya explained that these young ones are becoming vulnerable and taking up arms despite the AU leaders’ resolution not to pass the burden of conflict to future generations.
The JENA Director also made a passionate appeal to African leaders to turn their attention to address the challenges affecting the overgrowing youthful population on the continent.
“We need to take seriously the youth dividend who form over 70 percent of the African population; we need to empower young people and give them means to become responsible and capable individuals, but more importantly help them to realise their own dreams,” he noted.
In his support of the initiative, the member of parliament for Ofoase, Ayirebi, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, underscored government readiness to partner with any organisation to end violence and extremism.
In a goodwill message, the West Africa Centre for Peace Foundation(WACPF) cemented the need to “silence the gun”, to allow many to grow as gun-related violence continues to increase at an alarming rate that requires local and global intervention.
by Richard Adornu Mensah – Newswatchgh.com