The United Nations has dispatched a record number of ‘peace-keepers’ in Africa in recent years, deploying soldiers to trouble spots such as the Central African Republic and South Sudan. There are now more U.N. peacekeepers in Africa than at any time in history — roughly twice as many as in the early 1990s. As of the end of November, more than 70 percent of the 98,267 U.N. peacekeepers deployed globally were in sub-Saharan Africa, according to J. Peter Pham, executive director of the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center.
Yet the “blue helmets” and thousands of other soldiers sent by the AU and African regional groups have failed to prevent fresh spasms of violence. The peace-keeping forces have cost billions of dollars.
The conflicts across Africa is about a war of resources, it is about oil and strategic minerals.
Poverty and inequality blight much of Africa. Amid Africa’s new economic growth and dynamism, too many of its people — what the economist Paul Collier calls the “Bottom Billion” — continue to suffer from poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, and curable diseases. Africa scores poorly in the United Nations Development Programme’s latest Human Development Index — only Mauritius, at 80, and Seychelles, at 46, rank in the top 100 countries. In other words, while some people are making the most of the new opportunities, the gap between them and those left behind has widened.
Africa is rich in natural resources, culture and in its people and the rest of the world and Africans themselves must be reminded of this and we must continue to set the facts straight.
Rather than Africa rising, it is more Africa sinking deeper into the swamp.