APSACO Talks : COVID-19 and security in Africa
The outbreak of COVID-19 has had a devastating effect on the global order across the globe including Africa. In fact, the pandemic is not just a health issue, the implications are far reaching on the socio-economic, political and security spheres; a development that poses the critical question on Africa’s ability to absorb the consequences of COVID-19.
The pandemic has not led to disruptions to peace and security in the region, but protracted impacts from what it could lead to instability in the future. According to the African Union Commission and the UNDP Regional Service Center Africa’s jointly published report (July 2020), most countries are experiencing a period of relative peace, especially across borders, which has not been impacted by COVID-19.
However, inter-communal and inter-ethnic violence continues in some of the countries in the region, which could increase as COVID-19’s impact leads to the loss of livelihoods and increased food insecurity. Similarly, civil unrest could worsen with weakened socioeconomic conditions. Extremist groups could use the pandemic to improve their standing and increase their recruitment across the region. Thus, the impact of COVID-19 could lead to increased political instability if peace deals and reforms breakdown.
Further, terrorist and non-state armed groups are also capitalizing on the pandemic to increase attacks. Moreover, by restricting travel and closing borders, African nations hope to curb the spread of the coronavirus. But the measures also affect the movement of peacekeepers and aid, potentially intensifying conflicts.
In the light of all these considerations, this year’s commemoration of the African Peace & Security Annual Conference (APSACO) sets out to come to grips with the global issue « COVID-19 and Security in Africa », while focusing on human security with regards to the role and impact of non-state armed groups and private security.
This conference aims to provide an opportunity to exchange knowledge and experiences with representatives of international and regional organizations, experts, politicians and civil society actors in order to assess the general performance in the implementation of the COVID-19’s related security measures. The conference also intends to debate effective and innovative actions to improve the performance of countries to achieve a relevant implication of the security dimensions on their executions on the ground.Keep me informed