Sameera Casmod | firstname.lastname@example.org
19 September 2023 |12:00pm CAT
In the Africa Report this week on Radio Islam International, Dr Christopher Isike, a professor of African politics and international relations at the University of Pretoria, discussed significant developments in Africa, including a mutual defence pact signed by Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso. In addition, Sudan’s ongoing crisis was discussed, as were the wildfires in Algeria’s Bejaïa and Tizi-Ouzou provinces.
Dr Isike spoke about the mutual defence pact signed by Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso, known as the Liptako-Gourma Charter. This pact not only emphasises mutual defence but also extends to development assistance cooperation, seeking to establish an Alliance of Sahel States (AES). The primary goal of this alliance is to promote cooperation among these nations, both in terms of defence and addressing developmental challenges.
This development is particularly significant in a region that has faced security challenges, including terrorism and instability. The pact signifies a willingness among these nations to collaborate and bolster regional security and development efforts.
Dr Isike also addressed the situation in Sudan, where people are affected by the civil conflict. He mentioned that over 7 500 people have lost their lives, and 5 million have been displaced since the onset of the civil war. Dr Isike highlighted the fact that obtaining passports in Sudan has become a critical issue, as it is often the only means for Sudanese citizens to escape the conflict-ridden country.
He explained that the situation has led to long queues of individuals waiting for passports, which were suspended for a period earlier in the year. While some hope to return if the situation stabilises, many Sudanese are seeking refuge in neighbouring countries or even further abroad due to the unbearable conditions.
When asked about the possibility of international intervention in the Sudanese conflict, Dr Isike acknowledged that it remains a possibility. However, he also emphasised the importance of African nations taking ownership of governance issues. He noted that many of the challenges faced by African countries are rooted in governance problems. Dr Isike stressed the need for African nations to rethink their governance structures and work towards sustainable solutions.
Dr Isike discussed the recent wildfires in Algeria. He linked these fires to high temperatures and heatwaves. Neighbouring provinces have mobilised to combat the fires, which have the potential to cause not only loss of life but also severe economic impacts.
Dr Isike underscored the economic toll of wildfires, particularly on farming and land-related occupations, as well as the strain they put on government resources. He noted that these fires are not uncommon in the region, with intense fires occurring earlier in the year.
Dr Isike observed that intergovernmental cooperation and the development of local infrastructure are necessary to combat recurring wildfires effectively. He emphasised the need to address these challenges both at the political and practical levels, highlighting the importance of coordinated efforts to safeguard communities and economies.
Listen to the Africa Report on Sabaahul Muslim with Moulana Sulaimaan Ravat.