Violence is not a new phenomenon in the African socio-political scene; it has a long history of existence and the outcome has remained largely the same: more and not less violence, less and not more peace. The infatuation with violence is the real and worst enemy of African progress.
Africa’s future lies not in the depth in confidence for the strength of violence but in the significant reduction of its use and an increase in wilful and honest engagement in negotiated solutions. Protracted wars in the Democratic Republic Congo, Somalia, Mali and the new armed conflicts in South Sudan and Libya as well as the increased militant activity of Boko Haram in Nigeria threaten governments’ capacities to provide security as more and more guns from ill-disciplined and corrupt military personnel find their way out of depots into the hands of militant groups across the region.
African governments are nothing but associations of rogues committed to violence against civilians. The continent is run by insane people for equally insane objectives. We are led by foolhardy individuals with little sense of morality; individuals interested in keeping power at whatever cost. They are less inclined to creating conditions for negotiated solutions. Until African States begin to understand the hollowness of force and aggression, they will continue to give less credence to negotiated solutions to the detriment of socioeconomic and political development.
The apparent reluctance by many African governments to address legitimate socio-political grievances through honest and negotiated solutions acts as agency for political agitation and the continued growth in militancy while easy availability of and access to guns raises the spectre for more armed conflict across the continent.
It is delusional to think that social justice can be achieved through violent means. Peace cannot be built on the base of aggression and violence; if anything, violence breeds more violence. Aggression and violence committed by States within the African continent is often for no reason other than being the convenient escape exit for incompetent regimes that cannot stand opposition and civilian scrutiny.
Policy and not violence must be at the core of African politics. What Africa should appreciate is that aggression and violence are no cure to political problems. Now more than ever before, Africa has to accept that any perceived good attained from brute violence and aggression is temporary yet the damage it causes is permanent. The continent needs politicians with well placed morals; politicians of integrity and politicians more inclined to negotiated solutions; confident politicians prepared to create real space for civilian participation in governance.