Nigeria and Global Security Challenges By Abbati Bako
POLITICS DIGEST – The current global security challenges has been the most fundemental issue to be addressed in the United Nations General Assembly this week especially the issue of war between Russia and Ukraine which affected global economic interplay. Insecurity has been affecting nations of the world especially African Countries. Nigeria, Mali, DRC, Somalia, Ethiopia, Central African Republic, Chad, Cameroon, Niger, Sudan and many more.
Although there are other issues such as economic meltdown as a result of COVID-19 that affected General Global Economic Interplay higher than 1948 and 2008 and the world lost Trillions of Dollars; hence African nations has been badly affected more than any continent.
Also, the issue of global warming (flood affected many parts of the world especially Pakistan (more than 1000 people were perished), Nigeria (Northern Nigeria was badly affected hundred of people were killed by the flood) and wide gap between the Northern parts of the world and the South. But security challenges is Paramount to be tackled and UN must act ASAP especially in most African Nations.
Africa is the most resourceful continent in the world with 17percent of global population. For example, Nigeria is the most populous nation in Africa with over 200m population and number 7 oil producing nation in the world and global top ten markets for investors. But the country has not been in peace since independence in 1960. From civil war between 1967 to 1970 to five successful coup d’etat and many attempts. And again, the huge debt into the tune of Billions of Dollars (although China promised to clear the debt of the 17 countries of Africa).
But what experts are asking is why? Nigeria has been operating Democractic system for the past 23 years uninterrupted and the system never solve the problems of the people of Nigeria.The country Nigeria and it’s people are experiencing security challenges, economic aridity and stagflation. Can the UN solve the problems of Nigerians and other African nations before the year 2030?
THE POWER OF UNITED NATIONS ON PEACE KEEPING OPERATION—–
The peacekeeping Operations has been an important political issue since the formation of United Nations. The importance attached to this gigantic work, scholars and experts have written so much about it. It has been agreed that, peacekeeping operations is one of the major development that has not been directly reflected in UN Charter since the formulation and implementation of the Chater.
There is no clear cut Chapter in UN Charter which a word “Peacekeeping” is mention therein. In Chapter V1 Article 37.2 there is no word “peacekeeping”.
But some experts argues that, Chapter V11 Articles 41 and 42 will be applied to re-store and maintain peace and stability in any nation around the world (Russia and Ukraine war may have been a fundemental point).
Still there is no specific or direct answer to “peacekeeping operations” in case of breach of peace, act or aggression against any nation. Although some analysts suggests that, Chapter X11 of UN Charter “The Responsibility to Protect” can give purposeful guidance on “Peacekeeping Operation” (Simon C. 2004 ed.) but still there are needs to amend or reform the UN Charter.
So, the argument made by Russian’s officials was on the right way. The idea to go into any nation’s territorial integrity breaches the UN charter (what of the current Russian attack in Ukraine?) I am sure UN Secretary General must be aware of that.
Therefore, amendment must be made immediately. The President of Nigeria Muhammad Buhari and other South-South Nations of the World should insist on the amendment and that might solve the problems of insecurity in Africa and other Asians countries and even in Europe.
The discourse to amend the UN Charter to create a military and police force directly under United Nation’s control has been a subject of discussions since the formations of United Nations. The Canadian Foreign Minister Lester B. Pearson once suggested in 1956 after the invasion of Suez and crises broke out that, the need for ‘a truly international peace and police force’ (Simon C. 2004, Pp103, We The People.
The former United Nations’ (UN) Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld Located in the interstices between the peace coercive measures available to the Security Council- ‘Chapter V1 & 1/2 as he famously called it’ Simon C. 2004, ‘You the Peoples’ Pp103 this writing understand that, it is surprising or confusing as to why the fast leaders of UN ignored the importance of Peacekeeping operations, and not being mentioned in the UN’s Charter?
While most nations of the World suffered tremendously in fighting wars and conflicts, Europe suffered worst than any part of the World and currently African Nations of the Southern Parts of the world.
“The action lay in Chapter six and a half as Dag Hammarskjöld and Lester Pearson were shaping it, initially to constrain the folly of two of the Permanent Members- Britain and France- at Suez, then to ease the process of decolonization and keep it, as far as possible, out of the cold war and, in so doing giving the Secretary, for a while a free eminent role in peace and security matters in the UN frame work’ A.J.R. Groom, University of Kent, UK 2007.
This clearly indicated that, the fast UN leaders neglected to amend UN Charter to signify the importance of peace keeping operations, just to serve the interest of (then) the ‘big three”.
“At San Francisco Conference that led to the adoption of the Charter in 1945, Norway proposed to amend the Chapter V11 enforcement powers of the Council to provide that it should, in special cases, temporarily assume the administration of a territory if the administration of the occupant state it self represented a threat to the peace.” Simon C. 2004, You the Peoples, Pp50.
By and large, if the proposal suggested by Norway at that time were accepted, the issues of Chapter six and a half wound have been a history and will never been mentioned.
Since the inceptions of United Nation in 1945 there have been lots of success stories about peacekeeping operations around the world. Peacekeeping operations in some Countries like Lebanon, Cambodia, Rwanda, Sere Leon, Liberia, East Timor, Kosovo, Cyprus, Angola, Namibia, Western Sahara and many more, were mostly success story.
“The capacity of UN in its economic and social work, and its management of peacekeeping and post conflict reconstruction has expanded since 1990’ Baylis J. 2008 fourth ed. But why the current current global insecurity neglected?
Also UN in Namibia 1989- 1990, Cambodia 1992- 1993 ‘involving 22,000 military and civilian personnel at a cost of 1.6 billion USD over its eighteen months operations ‘Simon C.2004, Pp.73, and Eastern Slovenia in 1996- 1998, are all a success stories. All these will go into history as an achievements and developments in building peace keeping among the Nations of the World.
Mission in Kosovo in 1999 and East Timor in 1999- 2002 has been written in history with the golden pen in UN Peacekeeping operations, and efforts made by the UN to build Government activities by using institutions in those Nations is also a commendable efforts.
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has ended in recent years but the UN efforts to maintain peace and stability and sustain democratic practice are major developments, but can these two countries be called a success story? USA has just left the two troubled nations without involvement of United Nations. What were the achievement? What of Libya since Arab spring?
The UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) must be commended (despite the lack of clear cut law backing in UN charter) for their tireless efforts to keep the World at peace. Although they used to suffer from traumatic pains, including the killing of their personnel in October 2009 in Iraq and even the historic killing of 250 of their staff (including Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld) in Congo in early 1960s. They (UN) must learn lesson from the past as why they suffered such casualties? And preventive measures must be taken in the future. ”Peacekeeping, is not a job for soldiers, but only a soldier can do it” Dag Hammarskjöld (late).
If peacekeeping operations measures were not taken by the UN in some Countries of the World, some wars and conflicts would have last for decades. This writing understand that the needs viewed by some Scholars and Experts in security and IR that, amendment must be made in UN Charter to ensure establishments of UN military personnel, directly under DPKO, or Security Council. “If the Security Council at present time does reflect in a crude way the global military structure, it is intended that there should be an element of geographical representation from all regions” (A.J.R. Groom, 2007, University of Kent, UK).
Whenever there is success, there may be failure. There are some questions need to be asked. Why UN failed in Somalia, Daffur, Democratic Republic of Congo? And why UN succeeded in Kosovo, Cyprus, and Lebanon? What guaranty does the UN have for peace-keeping to succeed in Syria?
On African continent what will be the thought of future Leaders of Africa? It is a fact; democracy is now shining in Africa (despite the economic hardship) Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, Kenya, Namibia, Tanzania, Rwanda and South Africa are good examples. You can count military regimes with your finger tips in Africa today. But why military intervention in Mali and Genie Bissau?
“The spread of elections and peace settlements in the World’s most volatile Countries may lead to a brave new democratic World, in the meantime, though, nasty and protracted civil wars, military coups, and failing economies will plague the bottom billion- unless national sovereignty is curtailed and economic disciplines introduced” P. Collier.2009 ed (Wars, Guns and Votes, democracy in dangerous places). Hence, this writing is on the same page with Professor Paul Collier of Oxford University, London.
Are the World leading Nations in UN having no interest in those nations failed by UN peacekeeping Operations? If yes,what were (their) interest in Kosovo and Cyprus? Also in Cambodia? IF Kosovo and Cyprus are in Europe, What of Cambodia and East Timor?
Somalia is a failed State for over two decades, Why the UN kept silent? Although there is improvement in Somalia.
But the role played by UN in Rwanda was not as much as it did in former Yugoslavia, because Rwanda is in Africa and Yugoslavia in Europe? Although Rwanda is now peaceful and prosperous nations. Kudos for the President Kagami. So, Rwanda is a Shining Star amongst African Nations.
In Labor Party Conference in October 2001, Prime Minister Tony Blair’s address on ‘ Ethical Foreign Policy’ speech, he pledge international action against the Taliban, he went further, proclaiming a moral duty to intervene across the World, wherever necessary- in Kosovo or even in Central Africa. ‘If Rwanda happened again today, as it did in 1993, he said where a million people were slaughtered in cold blood, we would have a moral duty to act there also’ he declared. In this respect, one might asked as whether foreign policy matter is really about morality or interest?
But there are many problems in Africa and it’s the duty of UN and other global political and economic stakeholders to act ASAP (as soon as possible).
One time Foreign Secretary of Britain Lord Palmerrston, once said “We have no eternal allies and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interest is perpetual and eternal and those interests it’s our duty to follow”. And again, the issue of Rwanda is now a history, what of Daffur today? What of Somalia? What of insurgency in Nigeria, Niger, Chad and DRC and others?
Further more; the Blair’s Government approach to the meaning of globalization is no country can afford to ignore famine, war or human right abuses in anywhere in the World. He went on to that, “When Milosevic embarked on the ethnic cleansing of Muslim in Kosovo we acted. The skeptics said it was pointless, we had make matters worst, we had make Milosevic stronger, and look what happened. We now won, the refugees went home, the policies of ethnic cleansing, were reversed and one of the great dictators of the last century will see the justice in this century.”
The UN Charter, Chapter 1. Article 1. 2. 3 and 4 are clear on the purposes of United Nations. Also, Article 2. 1 and 3 on sovereign equality of all its members. Also Chapter V11 ‘the responsibility to protect’. The leaders of UN must always ensure equality, fairness and justice among member Nations.
The issue of security for Human kind does not stop at using military or police alone, also guaranteeing the security and safety of all Citizens of the World from infectious diseases and freedom of want.
Accordant to respected and distinguished Scholar Professor A. J. R Groom of Kent University, UK “there is the needs for “Security from infectious diseases and freedom of want” (April 2007).
Truth must be told that, diseases are killing people especially in less developed nations of Africa, Latin America and Asia. This is very alarming. Diseases such as Acquired immune deficiency syndrome, (Aids) Malaria, Tuberculoses (T. Polio mellitus, Measles, Whooping cough, Tetanus and many more. And now Covid-19 These diseases are killing people more than the war and conflicts do.
The summit of October 26, 2005 made Resolution for establishing ‘Peace Building Commission and Human Right Council’ if this could be done, will be more- major developments in UN activities. The UN Security Council has to address this issue for the benefit of ‘You the People.
The President of Nigeria Muhammad Buhari and other African leaders as well as other Global Economic Emerging Nations must give emphasis on the issues of Security Challenges and Economic Aridity/Stagflation as a result of Covid-19 in Africa and other S/South nations.
My condolences to the Royal Family of England for the passing away of Her Majesty The Queen. Her 70 years legacies to human development will never be forgotten in human history.
Conclusively, this writing wishes the President of Nigeria Muhammad Buhari successful address for the United Nations General Assembly and mercy journey back home.
Abbati Bako, MA, bsis,psc,Doc.pl.sc. International Political Strategy and Communication Consultant and Special Adviser to the Governor of Kano State on Public Affairs Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje (OFR)