African Union: The Need for a Common Defence System. (Viewpoint)
Muchie, Mammo, New African
Africa can only ignore organising a workable defence system at its peril. The lack of such a system has made Africa open and vulnerable to the hazards of unending armed conflicts.
We know about the fashionable argument that says poor African countries don't need armed forces. "We need hospitals, roads, food, education, not armies; afterall armies only stage coup d'etats and make our conditions worse."
This would have been the greatest of all arguments if it did not mimic textbook conditions. In the real world, you need a security system to ensure and assure the safety of your hospitals, roads, food and education. "What use is a full stomach today," a friend of mine reminds me, "if the owner of that stomach can be, or is, captured tomorrow by a rebel army or a foreign predator?"
The continent has been exposed to a protracted regime of insecurity since time immemorial. Even before the onset of the colonial era, Africans lost Ancient Egypt because they neglected their own defence and security requirements. Intruders owing mainly to the lack of organised credible defence systems overran all subsequent African empires. The situation degraded to a point where in the early 1500s the continent fell to the ignoble history of slavery.
We like to think that a nation is the aggregate of the individuals in it. If the individual, after eating to his fill, goes to bed at night and locks his door (for security), then the nation has even more reason to have a solid system of doors (or security) to protect the individual from rebel and outside predators. There are economic, political and other benefits that flow from …
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Publication information: Article title: African Union: The Need for a Common Defence System. (Viewpoint). Contributors: Muchie, Mammo - Author. Magazine title: New African. Publication date: October 2001. Page number: 36+. © 2005 IC Publications Ltd. COPYRIGHT 2001 Gale Group.