In 2013, the African Union (AU) adopted, as its flagship project of Agenda 2063, Silencing the Guns by 2020.

Its lofty, yet illusive, vision was to create an Africa free of conflicts, making peace a reality for all Africans and purge the continent of wars and civil conflicts.

This lofty vision seems to be dead in the water because guns are blazing in a number of African countries. The AU’s goal of silencing guns on the continent by 2020 has become nothing but an epic failure.

The silencing of guns on the continent will remain a mirage until those who control the levers of political power stop talking with forked tongues and pay undivided attention to what the real causes of the language of the guns are.

We would like to accept as true that most African leaders are, without question, fully aware of the real causes of instability in our continent, but the stumbling block is the type of politics they engage in.

It is politics of greed, deceit, corruption, self-aggrandisement, bickering, lies and dishonesty, which are problematic and a curse. Some of our leaders are proxies for greedy and exploitative western powers whose real interest is to take full control and ownership of our abundant natural resources. This while many Africans struggle to make ends meet. It is unjust, illogical and absolutely ludicrous that millions of Africans live in abject poverty in such a naturally wealthy continent.

Not only that, the blazing guns, flames of hatred and blood-stained machetes have taken thousands of lives and displaced millions of our people.

According to Hassane Hamadou, director of the Norwegian Refugee Council in Burkina Faso, new, dismal records are broken every month.

“Violence has claimed the lives of around 3,000 civilians, forced thousands of schools to shut down and driven 1,6 million people into displacement, a jaw-dropping 18-fold increase over the past three years,” Hassane told

In 2016 November, in Lusaka, Zambia, the AU Peace and Security Council approved the Master Roadmap of Practical Steps to Silence the Guns by Year 2020 and declared: “The continuing insecurity, instability, disruption of political harmony, erosion of social cohesion, destruction of the economic fabric and public despondency in various parts of Africa call on the Peace and Security Council to play a locomotive role in spearheading strategic interventions to put this sad situation to an end.

“Most crises and violent conflicts in Africa are driven by poverty, economic hardships, violation or manipulation of constitutions, violation of human rights, exclusion, inequalities, marginalization and mismanagement of Africa’s rich ethnic diversity, as well as relapses into the cycle of violence in some post-conflict settings and external interference in African affairs.

“Undoubtedly, these challenges can be overcome, as long as the correct remedies are identified and applied.”

The guns are blazing, bullets feeding on the lives of the downtrodden as inexecutable resolutions are produced for a penny a dozen.
Who will silence the guns that spit death in Ethiopia, South Sudan, Central African Republic, Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, Nigeria, Niger and Mozambique?

The war rages on and coup d’états have become a common feature that we thought we had left in the 20th century.

We have had, as a continent, to cope with a deadly wave of military coups over the past year-and-a-half. Each passing minute the question is, which country could be next?

This year alone we have already witnessed two coups – an overthrow by the military in Burkina Faso and the botched attempt in Guinea Bissau.
Next door to us we have a country that may explode anytime. Eswatini is sitting on a deadly powder keg because of a greedy and heartless despot.
The AU has made a success of failure.

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