Secretary General of IPU
October 12, 2022

Secretary General of the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) Martin Chungong at the opening of the 145th Assembly in Rwanda Kigali bemoaned the states of military take overs on the African continent and cited Burkina Faso which suffered its second military coup. According to him as a community of democrats, the IPU cannot condone any assumption of power by military force.

And further afield, the Sahel region is facing threats to its peace and security, becoming a hotspot for terrorism and organized crime, alongside numerous other challenges. The IPU’s Call of the Sahel initiative, which is aiming to attract new ideas and new supporters during this Assembly, is meant to be their response to this dire challenge. “I am sure we will all be keen to lend our support to this endeavor, needless to say, the tensions and conflicts simmering on the continent are undermining democratic institutions”.

President Kagame interacting with delegates

He further pointed out in his address on Tuesday, October 11, 2022 that unstable and compromised democracies are holding back the socio-political and economic development of our societies. A coup d’état is never the appropriate response to instability or terrorism. The right of the people to freely express themselves through elections must be safeguarded above all else. Again, the parliamentary community has gathered in Kigali and they must apply themselves to addressing the devastating consequences on the global community of the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine.

“We cannot afford to overlook or move the spotlight away from the many emerging crises in the part of the world where we are gathered today: Africa. I therefore launch a clarion call for all of us to put our best foot forward and strive to identify dynamic and innovative solutions to bring back lasting peace, discourage military responses to instability, and support sustainable development throughout Africa”.

Also parliamentarians must express solidarity with their colleagues in Africa working to preserve security and democracy, show their support for multilateral mechanisms striving for peace and harmony, give their backing to parliaments that have chosen the path of democracy and the rule of law, and ensure that parliaments across the continent always keep the best interests of their populations at heart.

As peace is the only solution and the time for peace is now, “I intend to propose that the IPU’s Governing Bodies consider forging a new partnership with the indigenous institutions on the African continent – the African Union and Pan-African Parliament, as well as the regional integration bodies such as ECOWAS, CEMAC, SADC among others – to identify pathways for addressing Africa’s chronic instability, which is seriously hampering democracy and by extension the well-being of the continent”.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/