Cote d'Ivoire, Poses Threat To Peace In Africa - Atiku
SAN FRANCISCO, Dec 10, (THEWILL) - Former Vice President and presidential aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar has warned that the ongoing crisis in Cote d’Ivoire over the refusal of the incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo to accept the verdict of voters poses threat not only to the African sub-region but the world aswell.
The former Vice President made the charge today in Abuja at the launch of public presentation of the book, “Nigeria at Fifty: Contributions to Peace, Democracy and Development” in commemoration of the 13th anniversary of the death of Lt. Gen Shehu Musa Yar’Adua.
Atiku said notwithstanding the demise of apartheid and the end of Cold War, the world still faces monumental challenges of security and peace.
He warned that if the Cote d’Ivoire situation is not handled with care, it can degenerate into a civil war with grave consequences for the West African sub-region.
On the wider world, he said that the escalating tension between South Korea and North Korea if not nipped in the bud can endanger international peace and security.
“Many aspects of our world today have become more dangerous and deadly. The on-going political stalemate in Cote d’Ivoire, arising from the refusal of another African leader to relinquish power after being defeated in an election, if not handled with care, may lead to military confrontation and even renewed civil war,” he said.
Already, he said there are still civil wars in the continent that threaten neighbouring countries and sometimes overwhelm them with the influx of refugees, putting enormous strains on already lean resources.
According to him, the flow of small and medium arms across our borders is a serious security challenge which can only be confronted through international collaboration.
“And we are still confronted with the challenge of growing our economies in a sustainable manner to lift our people from poverty. There is no doubt in my mind that international collaboration, especially by regional actors, is necessary for significantly growing Africa’s economies and reducing poverty,” he said.
On the global level, he warned that the “on-going military confrontation between South Korea and North Korea, if not handled with tact and wisdom, risks being escalated into a major military confrontation that might even involved such major powers as the US and China.”
Also, he said the Middle East, Iran and even non-state actors are posing enormous diplomatic and security problems for the world because they play by their own rules, outside established international norms.
Atiku noted that terrorism in its “variety and sophistication, poverty and disease, piracy, environment and climate change, racial and religious intolerance and extremism are grave matters which impact on our foreign policy and which we must address both directly and in collaboration with the rest of the world.” He identified climate change, with such consequences as desertification, and food and water shortages as posing security challenges as nation-states and peoples compete for dwindling resources.
“The trafficking in narcotics and human beings respects no borders, and are, therefore, challenges the international community must mount a global strategy to deal with,” he added.
He called for the establishment of an up-to-date regime of foreign policy and external relations with a Ministry well kitted with professionals, skills, expertise and well-informed leadership at home.
“We need to acknowledge that global and regional challenges of Millennium Development Goals, education, science and technology, new partnerships for Africa’s development, and much more. We need a renascent foreign policy with a Ministry and Presidency of activism and foresightedness," he said.