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Africa needs leaders, not dogs of war

I am glad that I am neither a soldier nor a mercenary. Both are instruments of war and destruction. Nobody should ask me to fire machine guns and drop bombs on fellow Africans whose leader came to power through a violent coup and not democratic elections.

I will not draw guns and drop bombs at the sight of marauding African rebel forces that are products of poverty, unemployment and neglect by African political elites who do not put the interests of the people first. Many men who are soldiers and mercenaries in some strange country in the heart of Africa think and believe that they have no option but to be dogs of war.

In fact, they have got no option but to enlist into so-called rebel armies in order to find a job, food, shelter and security. If they refuse to join these marauding armies that do not hesitate to rob, rape and kill women and children they are shot down like dogs.

Power-hungry men
No, I will not go into the heart of the African continent to fight against fellow brothers when they, too, are fighting on the instructions of some greedy man who wants to get into power by hunting down and trying to get rid of some other greedy man who got into power through crooked means. This cycle of war and destruction by some African men who love power that serves the interests of a few in the African continent must come to an immediate stop. I am tired of this unending war unleashed on poor African people in the name of freedom and democracy that we never see.

Soldiers from the Somalia National Army heading for combat
Soldiers from the Somalia National Army heading for combat

First, is there anyone here who can tell me how this deposed president from the Central African Republic got into power? Was he chosen by his people or did he, too, – like the ones who want to depose him – use guns and bombs to get into power so that he, too, could enjoy the spoils for himself? What is it, exactly, that African leaders do for the little people of God? My heart bleeds for young men who are sucked into this war to fight for any side. We do not need this war over mineral resources and power. Look at the Democratic Republic of Congo or South Sudan today.

Democracy
I consider myself a God-fearing man. Thus I will not go into any African nation characterized by poverty, unemployment, hopelessness, famine and war simply to remove one dictator to be replaced by another. African leaders need to get their heads in order before they can get me or my brothers to point guns at fellow Africans. Why do Africans continue to use fire-power to resolve issues when they should let the people decide for themselves, through participatory democracy, what they want to see happen in the land of the forefathers?

Child soldiers being recruited into the army
Child soldiers being recruited into the army

If I am going to be accused of promoting mutiny, lack of patriotism or defiance of authority, so be it. The time has come for African men, including little boys, to refuse to pick up arms to kill other African men and boys who are their blood brothers. Above all, they must desist from using guns to rob, rape and murder African women and children in the name of fighting for peace, democracy, freedom and justice.

It is better to die disobeying unjust commands from big-headed military commanders than to live to carry out their unjustifiable orders that will not bring peace, justice and brotherhood to the African continent. War begets war. Above all, there are no winners in war.

African solutions
I was told by leaders of the African Union that the 21st Century is the African Renaissance Century. And I believed them! In fact, I was looking forward to celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Organization of African Unity that has been renamed the African Union. But, now, I cannot. Instead, I am asking myself questions that tear my soul apart.

Where are the African Union leaders and what are they doing to make sure that there are no more wars in the continent where brothers are fighting against brothers? Or should we continue to look up to the superpowers of America, France, Germany and others to come and make peace in the continent?  I believe in the African solutions for African problems approach. But why can’t we make it work? Where are our leaders, if we still have any?

Peace soldier

French soldiers patrolling in the Central African Republic (Source: Andrea Campeanu, Reuters)
French soldiers patrolling in the Central African Republic (Source: Andrea Campeanu, Reuters)

Someone told me that I can think and speak this way because I am not a soldier. Also, venting such views may be considered unpatriotic and a threat to the state. But I want to make it clear that I am a soldier of peace. As for patriotism, it is nothing but love for one’s country and people that makes one want to avoid war at all costs. A patriot will neither do nor say things that cause or result in war.

Also, the only threat to the state is when there is lack of democracy and the people are neither consulted nor informed about the decisions that are taken by the leadership. To protect the state, we the people must participate, be involved and contribute to decision-making processes that are going to affect us directly, especially leading to the loss of the lives of our fathers and brothers. Africans are too tired of senseless wars.

What we must demand is the restoration of power to the people. After all, no state can justly claim authority if it is not based on the will of the people.

I will say this for the very last time: I am glad I am neither a soldier nor a mercenary that will pick up guns and drop bombs to maim and kill fellow Africans. If I were to do that, I would become an enemy of African self-determination, development and advancement of the African Renaissance agenda.

Refuse to fight
I will not fire a single bullet at any fellow human being, especially in Africa, because all Africans are my family. I will refuse to be a tool of any man who promotes or uses war to find peace.

There will be no justice, peace, freedom and brotherhood in the continent until all Africans learn that we have to live together as brothers or perish as fools.

When you think about it, the real enemies of peace in Africa are self-aggrandizing war lords who become state presidents and ministers to serve their selfish interests and not to satisfy the needs of the people. Look at CAR, DRC and South Sudan today!

Will true leaders who put the people first, please, stand up! It begins with refusing to pick up arms to rob, rape and murder fellow human beings.

We need guns of peace!!!

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