30 December 2013

Gambia: Timely Intervention


It is great and even timely that the Government of The Gambia, in its capacity as chair of the AU Peace and Security Council, calls council members to an extraordinary emergency meeting in Banjul to find a political solution to the conflict in South Sudan.

No doubt, the appalling situation in South Sudan, key among them the perennial instability, lack of security and the countless loss of human lives as the conflict intensifies, needs urgent action to save millions of lives.

Latest reports revealed that at least 1,000 people have died in this month's fighting, and more than 121,600 are believed to have fled their homes.

Tens of thousands of civilians have sought refuge in UN camps, and reinforcements have been arriving to give them extra protection.

As we stated in these pages not long ago, Africans often tend to wait until the Eleventh Hour or even after an event before they started to respond.

The calling of the meeting is undoubtedly a welcome move by the African Union Peace and Security Council.

If we allow the conflict to continue, it is feared that the blood of many women, children and the most vulnerable of the society will be spilled in that country.

Like many other African countries, South Sudan is not immune to the devastating effects of such unfortunate happenings.

Many African countries, for instance, are still suffering from conflicts, whether manifest or simmering. So, if the heads of state of the African Union countries have failed to pay more attention to the situation in some of these countries, it is only natural that things like this one would sooner or later lead to a catastrophe.

And who suffers? It is mostly the women and children.

It is for these reasons, and a host of others, that African leaders should act swiftly to mediate between the two sides in South Sudan, so as to bring an end to this escalating conflict.

Our leaders should take urgent measures to save the lives of South Sudanese, especially women and children. They must act now, by taking the lead to rescue the people in South Sudan, and other countries in the continent.

The search for a peaceful solution to the current situation facing South Sudanese must now begin in earnest!

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