The United Nations is struggling to feed 90,000 Eritrean and Ethiopian refugees in Eastern Sudan according to the World Food Program’s director in Sudan Mr. Romario Lopes Da Silva. Eritrea and Ethiopia had a two year bloody war that came to an end in December, 2000 under a peace agreement that was signed in Algiers. However, despite this move, many of those who were affected by the war from the two countries are still bearing the effects of the war.
As this is going on similar cases are happening in other parts of Africa like North Eastern Kenya, Northern Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. People who should be working to develop themselves and their countries have been forced to flee their homes and settle in refugee camps due to insecurity in their homelands disrupting socio-economic activities like education and farming. The health of those affected is compromised in the overcrowded environment as they rely on well wishers for their need. Their security is at stake just like where they came from.
Lack of security in most parts of Africa has not only left people scared but also affected both physically and psychologically. The war psych in the affected areas has a direct effect on the way a country is run. In most of the affected places, there is militarism leaving people tense, unsettled and devoid of opportunity to work, exercise their profession, pursue their education or engage in any meaningful economic activity. Investors fear to invest in these regions as they do not know what to expect. They can’t even come up with long term goals in these regions. Thus, these regions have lagged behind in socio-economic activities that would boost the living standards.
Socio-economic activities are minimal in insecure regions. Considering the arid and semi arid areas for example people scramble for available resources like water. With the scarcity of water, many socio-economic activities such as farming that could boost the living standards of the people cannot be carried out. People thus resort to unorthodox means to earn their living leading to activities like cattle rustling and cross border raids.
Firearms are not only easily available but also in the wrong hands in most parts of Africa. It is estimated that in Kenya alone, there could be close to 50,000 firearms that are illegally owned. Most of those who own them are forced to do so for their own security reasons. With little government presence in parts like the horn of Africa and with the constant inter-community and cross border raids, many people will want to own a rifle for their own security. However, some of them take advantage of being armed and terrorize people and loot their property. African governments should ensure that they provide security to their people. It is only when there is security that people can settle and plan for any meaningful development activities.