Every year on September 21st since 1981 at the UN headquarters in New York, a "peace bell" is rang to inaugurate World Peace Day. The bell is a gift from the United Nations Association of Japan as a "reminder of the human cost of war".
The day is dedicated to peace and specifically the absence of war and violence around the world.
Writing in this newspaper in respect of the world peace day last Friday the UNDP Country Representative, Auke Lootsama , stated, "the overriding principle in our path to peace must be ultimate value of the human being ...deserves full respect and protection..."
But this year's world peace day was observed in a world with less peace, in Syria what started as an extension of the Arab spring turned into an 18-month long bloody civil war with activists now putting the dead at 23,000.
In Somalia warlords have been competing to tear the country apart for over two decades and human loss is high there, and on the eve of the World Peace Day, two suicide bombers blew themselves up in a restaurant in the capital Mogadishu, killing at least 14 people.
In the neighboring eastern Congo, a semblance of peace has been minimal for over a decade as a myriad of militias, particularly the FDLR, visit mayhem on people.
Conflicts are ravaging Mali, Iraq, and Afghanistan, name it and irate Muslim faithful are currently at it with American embassies over a film that depicted Prophet Mohammad as philander. US Ambassador to Libya was killed to that effect.
Recently I attended a forum in which a facilitator tasked himself with an arduous task; keeping his class posted on new developments back home by way of news briefs. Arduous because keeping track of the on goings in this turbulent world is not a rosy job.
One morning his dispatch went like this; New Somali president survives bombing, US Ambassador to Libya killed in Benghazi and Rwanda hits one MDG target on mortality rate.
A third of the news bulletin is about conflict and this is representative of what we read from national dailies as we rush to work and watch over television screens during supper at our houses. Basically, sanctity of human life has lost value.
Daudo Khalif, 25, and Guled Hassan, 35, are Somali nationals who were at the forum, a day before they had tried to lead us through the stanzas of their country's national anthem with very much difficulty.
"I left Somalia in 1991 when Siad Barre was toppled. I was 14 then," Guled pleaded with the class for poor performance via that.
"I was 4 then," Halima chipped in a sobbing mood before adding that she is now Kenyan-Somali.
The two are a representative of so many other nations who have been made stateless by none other factor but conflict.
Siad Barre, a long time dictator was forced out of Mogadishu in January, 1991 and what followed were clan infighting, famine and lawlessness throughout the country. An estimated 300,000 Somalis died of starvation during the year of civil war that followed Barre's ouster.
In a telephone conversation with Khalif, minutes before I settled down to write this piece she told me: "I wish the new government can deliver peace. The one of Sharif was thieving and left security matters to AU peace keepers who are soon leaving".
A United Nations report described corruption in the Somalia's transitional government of Sheik Sharif Ahmed as pervasive and critics said the country was essentially ruled by a popular Somali phrase - "What's in it for me?" There is no doubt such manner less acts have been part of catalysts for conflict in this era.
In Kinyarwanda we have what is called rusahurira mu nduru (one who takes advantage of chaos) and the adage best describes those actions of Sharif's government. It is basically to say that their mannerisms to observe even in unclean indulgencies like thieving.
Corruption has been with us but stealing from people faced with a detestable conflict like the one in Somalia presents another class of craving for quick wealth!
"These villas are owned by Somalis. Some are pirates others work in government," a senior Kenya government official told me as we drove in one of the rich neighborhoods in Nairobi.
"For pirates, I agree but government officials I have doubt...literally there is no government to steal from...," I answered.
"They steal aid money. They compete with South Sudanese officials for property here. We call them cash cows," he said.
To that effect a junior female army officer from Seychelles, a country hit hard by piracy occasioned by lawlessness in Somalia had told me she was happy to see Somalis who are not pirates!
Then I realized that this mother continent we may be performing poorly at IT innovations and with no microchip manufacturing firm to take pride in, but when it comes to 'eating', Africans are so novel that they even flout rules of nature.
We all know that babies are fed on food when 6 months old at least, and even then, feeding them is not an easy task as they cry and spit even the little that is put in the mouth; it's a natural phenomenon.
Just recently, South Sudan president Salva Kiir was pleading with his officials to return $ 4bn they had stolen with immediate effect. Yes $ 4bn swiftly stolen from the coffers of this Africa's youngest nation and do not mind that most of it is aid money from other people's taxes!
One would wonder if there is a correlation between the blunt of war and bloated appetite for easy money.