Tanzania: ‘Unconstitutional government changes as major cause of escalating terrorist incidents’ – President Hassan

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Dar es Salaam, May 25, 2024: Tanzania President Samia Suluhu Hassan has said that unconstitutional government changes were the major cause of escalating terrorist incidents, which put the continent’s security at stake.

The revelation was made on Saturday, May 25, 2024, during the opening of a meeting to mark the 20th anniversary of the African Union’s Peace and Security Council (PSC), held in Dar es Salaam.

Other African leaders who spoke at the meeting said that the failure to adhere to internal democracy by conducting free, fair, and credible elections has led to growing conflicts among African countries.

In her opening speech, President Hassan said that despite achievements recorded in the last 20 years, Africa has failed to silence the sounds of gunfire due to conflicts and power struggles.

“We have witnessed conflicts, power struggles, and lack of control. However, we haven’t managed to silence the gunfire in Africa,” said President Hassan, who is also the PSC chairperson.

She called for the efficient implementation of directives made by meetings of African heads of state aimed at curbing existing threats and growing insecurity.

“Two issues threatening peace are terrorism and extremism, which are spreading across all parts of the continent,” she stressed.

The head of state underscored the role of unconstitutional government changes in the intensification of the vice, saying that the challenges of continuation raise fundamental questions about their persistence.

“The question is, are we effectively using our values to address these burning issues?” she said, challenging the meeting to provide answers.

She challenged African countries to prevent ongoing conflicts through dialogue and reconciliation.

“The African Union (AU) has comprehensive dispute resolution systems. However, the systems are not being used effectively,” she said.

“Therefore, I believe that rigorous implementation of these tools, along with plans to silence the gunfire, is essential to enhancing peace and security in Africa,” she added.

Furthermore, she noted that it is also important to utilise the African Standby Force and the African Peace Fund to enhance their capacity to implement security plans.

Tanzanian retired President Jakaya Kikwete, who spoke at the meeting, said staggering internal conflicts among African countries are related to administrative shortcomings.

“It could be a democracy where people lose faith in the processes due to poorly organised elections where actual winners are not declared. Instead, opponents who have lost the polls are declared the winners,” he said.

He said the lack of democratic leadership is coupled with the presence of inequalities, discrimination, tribalism, and nepotism.

Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo said PSC has recorded remarkable achievements in the last 20 years, noting that there are some areas where the council didn’t perform as expected.

“When you look at the areas we were supposed to address, they include the situation in Ivory Coast as compared to Liberia, which is a success within the African continent,” he said, referring to Somalia and South Sudan from the East African Community as other areas with political stability.

“The idea of outsourcing tasks to foreigners is akin to giving others responsibilities to act on our behalf,” he said, completely discouraging the move.

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