Most vulnerable groups of people in the world are those who are displaced whether as a result of conflict, persecution or other human rights violations. Causes of conflict vary from place to place, taking into cognisance socio-political, cultural and religious mix. Also not to be taken for granted is the foreign policies of nations as it affects each other.
Causes of conflict encompass prejudice, persecution, poverty and other root causes of conflict and displacement. At the international stage, for instance, Palestinian refugees are in their fourth generation today. Let’s examine the way in which each succeeding crisis has helped shape an expanding body of refugee law and analyze the International Community’s changing response to the problems of forced migration. Above all, let’s examine interaction in the broader political context and the fundamental line between displacement and international peace and security of forced migration. The scenario glaringly paints not an easy task of the Jewish race. Their history goes back almost four millennia spanning five continents due to persecution
Coming home to Africa, the expulsion of South Asians from Uganda was an attempt to redress the exclusion of Africans from economic and political structure of World Economic Order. This bitter and ugly scenario in recurrent decimal reproduces itself all over Africa. The Rwanda genocide, the protracted religious inspired hate killing in Central Africa Republic, pockets of border community clashes between Kenya, Somalia Islamist extremists insurgency, Nigeria Boko Haram fundamentalists terrorism, cross border banditry, pastoral herdsmen and farmers in various communities across the continent of Africa.
According to the UN agency, some million people had been displaced in 12 countries in Eastern Africa by end of March, either as refugees or internally displaced persons. The total displaced population are internally displaced persons and people severely affected by conflict. DRC, Sudan, Somalia and South Sudan continue to record the highest number due to large scare conflict. The insecurity in DRC has further compelled the citizens to live as refugees in neighboring countries. New arrivals were mainly from South Sudan; eastern DRC, Somalia and Sudan where the security situation remain volatile. What seems a worsening case scenario is the threat of death to South Sudanese children. Even if hostilities end, fighting and displacement have already shattered the lives of millions of people. The causes of conflict become complex by the day as other internal and external variables fed into the core unabated causes. On the international scene, spiral wave of civil wars in Syria, Iraq; Israel versus Palestine; Libya, Ukraine and break away Crimea separatists. Nature stands gallantly waging devastating war on man and his society, leaving on its trail pain, death and displaced people. Today, with major episodes of genocide and ethnic cleansing plus numerous cases of inter communal violence in various parts of Africa, it is clear that the Nation building project needs to be re -conceptualized in a manner in which ethnic identity and national identity are not mutually exclusive. This must be considered as one of the major trajectories of cultural liberty in today’s diverse world.
It is apparent that it is the suppression of culturally identified groups that leads to social tensions and political violence. Tolerance for diversity and respect for multiple and overlapping identities are essential for national unity and solidarity, as well as indispensable for maintaining peace and stability. The state building project as it were, was a case of old wine in new bottle. It’s no doubt had negative consequences for human security in general and for the poor in particular.
On the other side of the spectrum as we examine causatives are the oppressed of the world today. As long as their ambiguity persists, the oppressed are reluctant to resist and totally lack confidence in themselves. They have a magical belief in vulnerability and power from the oppressor. However, recent mass actions sweeping through the Arab world give credence to the fact that the oppressed have seen examples of the vulnerability of the oppressor. Until this occurs in any society, they will continue disheartened, fearful and beaten resigned to fate.
As long as the oppressed remain unaware of the causes of their condition, they fatalistically ‘accept’ their exploitation further. They are apt to react in a passive and alienated manner when confronted with the necessity of struggle for their freedom and self-affirmation. Little by little, however, they tend to try out forms of resilience action.
As the stinging pain of oppression bites harder, passivity has over time given way to activity. This dramatic turn is a natural response to oppression and exploitation of people with impunity – forms of resistance that shuns non-violence and dialogue for political solution. Instead, resorts to egregious maiming, looting, terrorizing and killing of soft targets. Also, not spared in the wanton misadventure are properties of individuals and the public state owned with impunity.
This manifestation of cumulative angst and frustration bourn out of discontents has put most governments on their toes. The governments of most nations of the world today are pitched against powerful and sophisticated non-state actors, groups constituting militancy, insurgency and fifth columnist. On the other hand, the rise in military expenditure is a function of the security threats to rulers due to the increasing numbers of internal wars, with their mix of international criminal networks eager to fish in troubled waters.
While the primary responsibility for arms control and reduction belongs to African states, the producers of small arms, which include the major world powers, also share the responsibility in the proliferation of these weapons of destruction and their devastating consequences in resource wars in Africa and other developing nations of the world.
Corruption, the arms traffic, the drug traffic and other forms of international crime and inter-related as factors of deepening poverty and insecurity. Nation’s budgets are channeled into security intelligence and operations as other relevant sectors suffer neglect to the detriment of the people. Options in containing security challenges bleed a nation’s budget as it involve clandestine operation which is always suspect subject to proof; intelligence evaluation, sophisticated information apparatus, and security classification.
Other options include: political line (dialogue), psychological line, information line and military line (engagement). When any nation is faced with such monstrous dimension of intrigues, very little can be expected of its government. It is a pity and lamentable that we are one among nations of the world trapped in this cul-de-sac held hostage by violent non-state actors.
The people look in awe and fear as they unanimously ask what went wrong with the social contract – the contract that envisages society’s safeguard against the predicted nasty, brutish and short life if man was allowed to survive individually.
Ameh writes from Abuja via [email protected]