tv Inside Story 2020 Ep 40 Al Jazeera February 10, 2020 3:32am-4:01am +03
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africa's leaders weigh the conflicts in libya and the sun held a meeting in ethiopia's capital for the annual summit and said they want to find out how they came to violence increased the spirit part of the african union play a bigger role in tackling the continent's security challenges but has the block been fulfilling its mandate so far this is inside story. hello welcome to the program i'm adrian finnegan the african union is supposed to be a symbol of the continent's unity it aims to empower africans to solve their own problems it has an ambitious plan to transform african states at established security but
for many africans peace and prosperity a far from being a reality the $55.00 leaders of the bloc are discussing how to tackle just that they gathered in ethiopia's capital at his ababa for the annual summit the 2 day meeting is being held under the theme silencing the guns will break down the challenges they face in just a moment but 1st malcolm webb reports from at his ababa. african heads of states have gathered here the african union's headquarters ethiopia's capital addis ababa one of the key items on the agenda is the conflict in libya today the african union hasn't played a very prominent role in the attempts to end libya's conflict part of the reason is that it didn't engage much with the 2 warring factions in till last month when the libya conference was held in lin since then the african union has been raising its voice but another key problem with the role of african governments in resolving
this conflict is the role of powerful countries from outside africa who are involved turkey's sent troops to support libya's an internationally recognized government in tripoli meanwhile russia the united arab emirates and egypt have been accused of supporting the forces of general khalifa haftar the conflict in the hell is also due to be discussed of course it's connected with escalated ever since libya's civil war began nearly 9 years ago another thing to be discussed is the possibility of an african union peacekeeping force in libya the united nations secretary general antonio terry's speaking here talked about the need for more african peacekeeping missions and for missions with stronger mandates peace enforcement missions as he put it but he also warned that it would be very difficult to bring peace to libya if the meddling of other outside powers doesn't
stop malcolm webb for inside story. well here's some of the major challenges that will be addressed hopefully at the summit high on the agenda as we heard is how to stop the conflicts in libya and mali and the growing instability in the sahara region the united nations is calling on african union leaders to play a greater role then there's. poverty africa considered the poorest continent on earth almost every 2nd person living in sub-saharan africa lives below the poverty line climate change is also a huge challenge the u.n. says the warmer seas have led to more cyclons generating the perfect breeding ground for locusts. let's bring in our guests for today's discussion here in doha with us is a fairy elliott professor of international relations at qatar university from capetown we're joined by solution i do
a senior research fellow at institute for global dialogue a south african think tank and from birmingham in the u.k. aluminum who's an independent research on conflict studies in africa welcome to inside story all of you thanks for being with us solutia let's start with you the theme then of this year's summit silencing the guns of the a you doesn't have a particularly good record on delivering on its summit theme is what can we expect from this summit what would you want to see come out of it. well i think gauging the 1st thing is the theme itself i think it's of a 12 order in terms of milestones set by the a leaders in terms of silencing of guns we know that this is a bit of a stretch we know the conflict and instability has continuous to characterize the conflict the continent and it remains a difficult task in terms of how you put the different drivers and factors together and you develop cookies of policies and interventions around this i think one of the things that's very important to note as well as that's that africa is taking
over the chair and of course a few weeks ago president obama pours i had set out what he called some of the the key areas that they were that's what africa would pursue in conjunction with the e.u. leadership as well as in terms of where they would like to see the continent going in terms of agenda 2063 i think some of it includes gender poem and looking at the economic integration of the continent but more importantly i think also trying to ensure that you have more kind of cohesiveness with regard to african intervention with regard to security and and peace and stability and i think that has been some of the key drawbacks for the continent and of course questioning around issues with regard to a cohesive climate change policy with him as we mentioned as you mentioned as we saw in the insert but more importantly i think is how do you develop a kind of broad continental consensus and i think that for me is what i would like
to see more and more in terms of of what's happening in the continent today if you have 5 regional economic communities which need to play a much bigger much what more constructive institution role in terms of the broad policies that they want to achieve whether it's in developing its peace and its african peacekeeping force with it around the early warning systems with regard to climate change and of course in terms of stability read it's in. fill in conflict of interest a conflict that's taking place so in a sense i think we be looking at a continent that also kind of finding trying to find itself with the least record in terms of its achieved i want to explore a little more later in our discussion south africa taking the chair of the african union what difference that will make to the grouping but staying with the theme for a moment was it back in 2013 the african union set out its aspiration to end
war and prevent genocide by the year 2020 here we are 7 years on. why hasn't that aspiration been met what the key thing is. this is 7 years down since 232013 when we went into mali by ducal only to end the conflict in mali i remember then the french forces were in mali to end the crisis there i remember then book wasn't. quite as more just was then to do agree the government of france them were highly said in 20. 6 in then after one year after they came to power that downgraded boko haram but as of 201929000 some months ago their marriage and 2022 day book i am still fighting the whole of this the hell is
this meted boko haram. the al qaeda and islamic. in west africa is still fighting people more people are dying so it appears we have spent 7 years fighting this creaminess 7 years fighting these terry's but i fear is that we haven't done much it seems we have made a lot of. moves his way is still in the same position there is we have achieved much it means we have to reapply and we have to restart these data just it means we need to ourselves and our selves why how we not achieve so much even though we seem to have made so much movements woman of our buddy what have we actually i'd saved so it means there is so much to be done. professor
there have been some limited successes in places like sudan and the central african republic for example but why do african leaders seem wary of greater engagement in conflict resolution the international crisis group issued a briefing on on the summit and said that despite the theme silencing the gums guns rather the summit agenda suggests that discussions on peace and security won't actually take center stage why is that our african leaders genuinely committed to collective peace keeping. well thank you actually there are number of issues in this as far as i know african union african union as an organization of the african states in general understand the enormous challenges they out of a single on the security front a but there is a actually a gap between the will and the capacity the capacity to deliver on these issues is really limited when you look at for instance countries where african union forces
are present in particularly like the case of somalia for nist and they've been keeping some of the government in a more or less like life support rather than just delivering any tangible successes in in consolidating the bees or actually moving beyond a certain area so when you look at it there are structural limitations that the continent and its organization face of course i agree with my michael my colleagues here that the the continental organization made real progress since when did used to be called these to call the status come up and now we have number of democracies the democratization aspect is actually. moving find even though there are mixing records here on the continent is actually raising its profile of the global level there are number of i mean progress in certain areas but when it comes to
security particularly in truck state security and violent extremism i think there was more or less like i mean. very very limited you talked about south africa taking the chair of the african union this here i think we can all agree that south africa has punished well below its weight for at least the last decade on the international stage but now it holds the a it's got a seat on the u.n. security council currently it is all of that about to change what sort of leadership should south africa be providing to the a you and what sort of clout will run a post i have with other african leaders. just to pick up on the last point and i'll get to the south african for chairing a i think the other challenge in the continent is not just the political world but the ability to actually hold errant leaders accountable and i think that's also
part of the challenge in terms of the financial resources and whether or not we are willing african leaders are willing to put the vestment into the kind of peace and security architecture and i think that also speaks to the kind of external influence and geopolitical interest that you see now in the stay here and in north africa and therefore coming to south africa never had any sort of solution before if we get south africa then let me let me pick you up on that point can the a you afford to assume greater responsibility for conflict management and if it can't pay who should pay in september the african union force negotiations with the un have a co funding of of peace operations so so what happens next where do they go from there well that's the big question agent because right now we're sitting in a bit of a a cul de sac we're sitting in limbo here because there was a proposal on the table by the president of rwanda paul kagame in talking about if
the scent of of a kind of attack sort of kind of revenue stream that would be able to make african countries and the a u.s. self-sufficient but here's the challenge we said well when i was a select the a view which is a monolithic organization in terms of serenity with regard to statehood it's also the question of big countries versus small countries the bigger countries other willing to support the smaller countries and no one to have the same level of voice so we sitting in a conundrum at the moment and i think this is the challenge for south africa is to what extent after a decade of having to rebuild its social capital in the continent it will have to start pushing on some of these proposals in spite of the fact that. i think that africa also has to now go back to the e.u. and try and really establish its credibility its credentials except for because it's kind of been out on the on the periphery on some of these issues i know
president from opposers made a very interesting statement talking about the alignment between the u.n. and a you etc it was vague he in terms of bringing. resolution 206063 i think it was about not mistaken when it was but it's at the last time on the u.n. security council but i think the big challenge here is that africa's need to bring a consensus back to the table and right now we're finding that if you're looking at africa if somehow the more the african region is completely out of that strategic and but in terms of what needs to happen and what needs to go ahead in terms of a consensus because we're not seeing that and of course the external role of actors like turkey russia even the western powers except to have actually had constructed the architecture on what their interests are within libya and in particular around the north africa and so he'll reach an. extent is the a you failed on libya effectively been sidelined as far as libya and that conflict
spill over into the hell are concerned. it's representative a last minute addition to to the palin conference can it can be a you provide any solution to the conflict in libya or is it now too late for it to get involved as has that moment passed. from the beginning you were sidelined like you are a limitation because in the 1st place when the western wards where getting involved and in the levy and conflicts did the norse actually evolve in you all they were concerned about was to get rid of. gadhafi even president obama said he made a mistake because he planned getting into libya to get rid of gadhafi would up plenty. about the outcome a lot of fun or get out of his ouster so in the end a you was not involved in getting rid of him that i was involved in plenty of about
is after a month or so up until now the whole of the planning is always done outside of africa imagine even the the piece of meat in there we're been told hurled out of africa so op wanted and now everything they've been doing it's been our sides. africa without really getting involved what needs to be what needs to be done now is to get involved actively in finding african solution to the libyan crisis because we are looking for an african. a you has to be in the forefront of getting that solution on otherwise no problem i mean no solution will be found regarding the problem in in libya and that is why it is deadlocked. they got in the the the way the problem of libya has affected or the african countries particularly nigeria we know arms have moved from libya to other places especially the
sahara and the. chad basin we know mushing areas have also moved from libya to to a u.s. pacific so these are things they should have thought of how to stop them from moving around and causing conflicts not our parts of the continent so these are things we should be planning about and not just being. decide line watching the case and that allowing him to get all of the continent professor. will of that change will be a position a change will it have a greater role to play do you think in libya with south africa so run oppose a chair of the organization taking over from egypt's president who let's face it was was part is that as far as libya is concerned well i really wish that would be the case but. if you just look at things it shows how weak the organization is the irony here is that the buffy on levy spent a lot of money in building as it is at the moment all of these just didn't pay
anything back when it comes to just contributing to the conflict resolution in. libya and even what they are offering at the moment in you is that africans will just off one of the boots the mandate and the money will be just coming from the west or outside the region and if that's the case then i don't think it will just it just becomes like more like an employment opportunity for some and this shouldn't be actually the role that the continent or organization is advocating i haven't seen any actual. i would say. i mean initiative elaborative initiative that addresses or. aside this rhetoric of african brought up the constitution for african problems i didn't see anything at least in the public. african union is proposing. a
g 4 goals within the context other than just sending more troops there. soonish we've got about 6 minutes left and i've got so many questions i want to ask so i need a reasonably concise answer from you here let's get back to the question i asked you earlier about south africa's leadership of the e.u. this here with us so ron oppose a taking the chair and what sort of klaus he will have with other e.u. leaders i think you know so has been building up his foreign policy capital in terms of the investment portfolio and claim to accept investment so he's trying to align that entails of having more of a continental outreach he talks about this in the context of the need for economic integration and how important it is for to a 9 that investment to be the be a you but i also think that it's going to be have an important sell for him to make in terms of distinguishing levies or for africans and to procure worries of
africans and i think if he ties all ties that that with stability in the continent to content to not be development in your client actually deal with peace the beauty and security in terms of sorting out the economic dimensions of the african continent to reinvent. your employment etc i think those are some of the issues he's going to put forward but i think what is your stake in mending from africa as the. 2 girls we. keep trying to be here and so forth. briefly what should the a be doing about african leaders changing the rules to hold on to power and the violence that that fuels many a you has what it strongly condemns and ostracizes those who carry out military coups and yet it remains largely silent on people who circumvent term limits and why is that. well i think the key problem is that. africa
hasn't got a force military force of his own military power of his own whereby they can forcibly remove any leader that decides not to go. for is the 1st time something really practical was almost done was in the case of former president jimmy of gunga when he refused to hand of our power to someone who warned in an election that was adjudged to be free and fair. then african then the time african union was putting together a force that would forcibly remove him because he did not want to go but that was just a one of keys perhaps if african union has got a kind of force that would prove we will be put on a standby just in case there was any african leader that was. tied and
refused to go then that would be that kind of friends or clear fair to him that if you don't want to go then we get rid of you then probably most african leaders will do that we cannot stay beyond the legal time for us to stay in power then they will do that yes we cannot. in power otherwise people are appalled dhea have nor reason to see up to the time they're seeing in power now and that is why we're having the kind of problems we're having they have all of us 3rd in power they have stood beyond their 11 and that is are we having the kind of problems we're having of so many people rising up and seeing that we don't want any more of you professor. what are the chances of a seeing that sort of african force in the near future the prospects of seeing for isn't an african union force on the ground in libya. well i think it's allowed to bendis on how the other parts of the world but particularly the
west is willing to contribute the financial and demanded aspect of it if they do than bus a body the african union or african countries are able to just to provide the troops that are needed so from that point of view i think there is a possibility whether that our enjoyment is effective or not i think i would say it's not in a has not been effective in somalia. and i don't expect that to be the case because whenever there is a shortage or the funding dries up or whatever or the mandate is not renewed in time then all of these things just fall apart and that is the problem we have been facing with respect to the. votes are what he can do i think some credibility is at least injected i would say with south african presidents and i hope even though i mean for the last 4 or 5 years that rotational power the number of countries that have engaged increased it that doesn't mean democratization has been on the rise
there are you know within within you know whether it's a b. ahmed or or others who just came within the party that doesn't mean that that is the monetize ation. process is just going forward but hopefully there is hope for i would say continent we're talking about africa which is youth for 70 percent or more of the people under 35 with a large number of i mean larger resources. big continent or all of these things actually and big interest that's coming from or from overseas ok i think there is a hopeful future but a lot i would say that are in the way aren't with the african leaders let's hope that they are able to just give some i'm afraid we're out of time thank you so much for being with us. a solution i do and you will see in the u.k.
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