THE idea of Africa as a war-ravaged continent is outdated. In the 21st century, the amount of warfare in Africa has declined dramatically, and today most Africans are more secure than ever.
Troubled areas remain, but the larger picture of receding conflict “has implications for how we think about African security needs”, notes this article for Sustainable Security.
For a start it means support to the African Union to improve peacekeeping and conflict resolution capabilities. Arms embargoes against combatants and trade restrictions in conflict minerals would also help, as well as, presumably, greater control of the related financial flows.
And, most importantly of all, the world should “try not to create new ground for conflict”, such as in Libya.
Celebrating African peace may seem premature given the civil war in South Sudan or the ravages of Boko Haram in Nigeria. Conflict has increased since 2011, but the level of armed conflict still remains lower than any time from 1970 – 2000.