African Union: How to Tackle Ethnic Tension in Africa

The African Union delegates during their committee session.

African Union (AU) has started its committee session today (8/4) with 31 delegates present. There are several things that should be addressed: a symbolic move of paper tearing by Somalia, a crisis regarding the death of Chinese people, an investment withdrawal of China from Africa.  

In the first committee session, the AU delegates spoke up about the issues that currently happens in Africa. Mali raised a motion about the root causes of ethnic tension in Africa, which was followed by a heated discussion that revolved around inequality, government incapability, unequal economic distribution, as well as poverty. 

The tension in the next committee session loosened as South Sudan proposed a motion about the role of civil society in establishing peace. Algeria’s response towards it was that it would be nearly impossible for the civil society, like non-governmental organization (NGO), giving meaningful impacts in Africa, because the governments are still unable to protect the citizens from Boko Haram and Al Shabab. 

Despite that, there were some countries showing agreement towards South Sudan; Rwanda highlighted the importance of empowerment to reach equality in every aspect.

Shortly afterward, the African Union reached a dead end in their attempts to propose a motion. At the end of the second committee session, the chairs stated that there were several issues that already brought in the discussion, but none would seemingly be solved. 

The debate livened up as Mali floored a motion about ensuring compliance to African Union policy. In addition to that, Tunisia proposed an annual meeting, in which every country-member would need to hold on to their commitment in the first place.

By the end of the day, there was a crisis about the death of a huge number of Chinese workers because of civil war in South Sudan. As a result, China decided to pull out its large investment from the Africa Development Bank. (NewsArt/Eka Ricky Prasetyanto)

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