View from Africa on the Current Conflicts

Victor Ochen
January 24, 2014

Tears in Addis Ababa for the misery of millions of African civilian population currently caught up in the endless curse of war, being the victims of ethnic driven Africa political leadership.

I was in Addis Ababa, in what appeared as a bright afternoon when warring factions of South Sudan signed a ceasefire agreement. With all African Presidents convening for the African Union summit, my mind repeatedly was struck by one question of “where is the independent Africa we claim if our African leaders free themselves and enslaves their people! And where will change come from? Bloodshed all over the continent, innocent civilian population weather from Juba or Jonglei in South Sudan, whether from Bangui-Central African Republic, whether from Goma or Kivu –DRC, whether from Kitgum or Kasese-Uganda; whether they speak Kiswahili, Arabic, French or Lingala; whether they are Muslims or Christian, young or old; people’s cry is the same that ‘we want peace, we want to be protected, and we want to be treated as human”. As we seek a way forward to create change in Africa:

Young people, the youth of Africa, most of us are hurt and fatigued with decades of war and really want to change the direction of our movement as a continent, these are difficult days and you could be filled with bitterness, hatred and desire for revenge. We can move in that direction as a continent, tribes against tribes, killing each other and satisfying the greedy politicians who send you to war on their behalf, and yet they send their children are studying overseas. This direction will make us die together, loose together and sustain the suffering in Africa. Or we can make an effort like Nelson Mandela did, where he united people both in life and death. We can do well in Africa, because the vast majority of African wants to live together and improve the quality of lives for all those who abide in countries.

Young people of Africa, what we need to create positive change in Africa is not division, we need no hatred towards other tribes, we need no violence and lawlessness to improve our living standard, but we need love, wisdom and compassion toward others, and feeling of justice towards those who still suffer whether they be from your tribe or whether they be from other tribes. The primary struggle right now is to do away with ethnic barriers, as this is the root cause to all problems in Africa; and this is what our leaders have always barricaded themselves with.

Young people of Africa, you are not machines to be used by politicians to kill fellow countrymen, you are a human, you are Africans, and you have the brain to think, to choose and feel. We have the power to make life in Africa free and beautiful, that’s what we must stand up for. We can make Africa a place for freedom, but let’s remember that the hope of remaking Africa, the hope of changing the patterns of negative African history lies with disciplined African Youth population.

Young people of Africa, even though a midst deep fear of war and the pain of ethnic divides that has resulted into turmoil in our continent, we must maintain unity and stick together because change will come from our combined. Let’s dedicate ourselves to work and replace the violence and the stains of bloodshed that has spread across our continent, and address the question of ethnicity that has kept our continent on the dark side of history.

Young people of Africa, the safety and peace of Africa is our hand, so let’s maintain our convictions with courage and determination for positive change. The time is now that we must have ONE VOICE and the VOICE of PEACE and FREEDOM for all regardless of their ETHNICITY or RELIGION.

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