The Norwegian Minister of Environment and Development Cooperation, Erik Solheim, had asked the African Union (AU) leader, Malawi President Bingu wa Mutharika to do all he can to ensure conflicts in Zimbabwe and Kenya ended amicably.
In Zimbabwe, Tsvangirai and long-stayed President Robert Mugabe are sharing a government of national unity. Tension is however not completely gone between the two arch-rivals.
Solheim told reporters during his visit to Lilongwe that Africa had suffered deep conflicts and it was Mutharika’s responsibility as AU leader to help find solutions.
“We want President Mutharika to take a leading role in solving conflicts in Africa,” he said, singling out Zimbabwe and Kenya who have been engrossed in election disputes.
Kenya’s President Mwai Kibaki is also sharing government with Prime Minister Raila Odinga. The two agreed to share power after scores of supporters for their differing parties crashed, killing hundreds.
The Norwegian minister also revealed he visited and talked to Mugabe and Tsvangirai after they formed the GoU.
“This is what the continental body should be seen to support to enhance lasting peace,” said Solheim.
Africa is riddled with military coups, fresh ones in Niger and Gabon, insurgency in Madagascar coupled with natural disasters that have not spared parts of Uganda.
There is fresh fighting in Sudan despite a recent peace agreement being signed in Doha. Religious conflicts have also erupted in Africa’s populous country of Nigeria where Christians and Moslems continue to hold fatal running battles. The recent death toll from gun and panga knife assaults reaching as far as 500.
Somalia is no good story either.
Nigeria’s president Yar’Adua is bedridden and acting president Goodluck Jonathan is trying to get a grip at resonate power by sending in military and police personnel to hunt and bring to book perpetrators.
All these have claimed thousands of lives on the African continent.
Mutharika promised to eradicate hunger by ensuring food security, transport in frastructure, energy transformation and ending armed conflict on the 53-strong member African bloc.
Pic: President Bingu wa Mutharika of Malawi and the AU