Isa by one, the former South African president listed African countries on Tuesday where failure to address diversity has been a major cause of conflict, from the Biafran war with Nigeria in the late 1960s to the present clashes in the Tigray region of Ethiopia.
Thabo Mbeki also mentioned the “centrality of failure properly to manage diversity” in conflicts in Congo, Burundi, Ivory Coast and Sudan.
He pointed to the 2004 report of the Sierra Leone Truth and Reconciliation Commission “which tells the bare truth, that it was a result of the failure to govern the diversity that the country experienced the crucial 11 -year war that began in 1991” – – and there is a similar failure to govern diversity “in the violent conflict that exists and is still happening in Cameroon.”
France’s UN ambassador, Nicolas De Riviere, had a few additions.
In the Sahel region that stretches as far as northern Africa between the Atlantic Ocean and the Red Sea, “terrorist groups are using differences to incite hatred between communities,” he said. And ethnic and religious violence is also rampant in the Middle East including Iraq, Yemen and Syria.
They spoke at the UN Security Council meeting about “Diversity, State Building and the Search for Peace” organized by Kenya, which will hold the presidency of the council this month, and chaired by its president, Uhuru Kenyatta
“The main message I want to convey today is that poor diversity management leads to severe threats to international peace and security,” Kenyatta said.
He said inequality within and between countries “is often the result of exclusion based on identity” that has become institutionalized in governments and in economic relations. “And it shows in stereotyping and bigotry,” which leads to other unemployment consequences for billions of people based solely on who they are, he said.
“The result is a deep sense of grievance and bitterness that is easily exploited by populists and demagogues,” Kenyatta said. “It’s fodder for terrorism, uprisings, increasing xenophobia, hate speech, tribal diversity, as well as racism.”
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres cited a UN-World Bank study that found that “many conflicts are deeply rooted in long-standing inequalities among groups,” leaving those people who are excluded and marginalized because they are denied opportunities based on their culture, race, skin color, ethnicity or income.
He pointed to the sharp rise of armed groups at the center of conflicts – “rebels, insurgents, militias, criminal gangs and armed trafficking, terrorists and extremist groups” – as well as the rise of military coups.
While the fighters may agree to end the fighting, Guterres warned, “without including a wide range of different voices at every step of this process – without including everyone – any peace is short. “
She said women and youth should be “meaningful participants” and “when we open the door to inclusion and participation, we take a giant step forward in conflict prevention and pacification.”
Fawzia Koofi, the first woman to become deputy speaker of Afghanistan’s Parliament to leave the country after the Taliban occupation on August 15, said her country was the latest test of whether the international community could come together to promote principles of the UN Charter, including the enactment of the rule of law, justice and equality for men and women.
“There are serious reports that fundamental freedoms are being taken away,” he said. “Women and girls are once again being respected as second class citizens, literally. They are making us invisible again … (and) thousands of people from religious minorities and other minority groups have been forced to flee to their villages. “
Koofi said the Afghan situation shows how the imbalance in power is “at the roots of excessive conflict and inequality.”
Rwandan President Paul Kagame, whose country was the scene of genocide in 1994, said that lasting peace could only be established if the roots behind the conflict were understood by a wide range of the population, and needed it’s dialogue and finding solutions.
“It may not be possible to completely avoid all conflicts,” he said. “In fact, disagreements and grievances are always there in one form or another. But the intensity and impact of conflicts can be reduced by staying vigilant with local needs” and delivering the “expected results. and deserves the people. “
South Africa S Mbeki recalled that the Nigerian government was victorious against the divisive Biafra 50 years ago but its leaders announced that “they will follow a policy with no victory, no defeat.”
Looking at the “painful example” of the ongoing conflict between Ethiopian government and ethnic Tigrayans, Mbeki said, “this is exactly what Ethiopia needs.”