POLITICAL disturbances in South Sudan, Central African Republic (CAR) and Chad have put into focus the urgent need for African leaders to rethink the concrete continental unity and critically examine the ramifications of foreign military interventions in our domestic affairs.

While the internal dynamics of these individual countries are acknowledged, one cannot dismiss the existence of foreign political interference in fomenting tribal animosity in South Sudan and religious intolerance in CAR.

It is easier for some analysts to dismiss these disturbances as simply the work of power hungry individuals bent on exploiting divergent tribal origins for personal individual gain but a closer look will reveal that the absence of real continental unity has made it easy for foreign military and political forces with nefarious motives to intervene.

Is it not time that continental leaders move away from paying lip-service to African unity and revisit the tenets of the Organisation of African Unity as enunciated by the forefathers of African nationalism in the mould of Kwame Nkrumah, Sekou Toure, Haile Salassie, George Padmore, Marcus Garvey and others if the continent is to realize real peace and development?

Most African pessimists advance the view that times have changed and that achieving African unity as envisaged by Kwame Nkrumah and others is nothing but a flitting illusion.

They argue that the internal dynamics of individual countries, language and tribal barriers coupled with demands of a global dynamic system have created a virtual world without borders thereby making it virtually impractical to galvanize African people into a real unity project. CONTINUES

BY LOVEMORE RANGA MATAIRE, 21 JANUARY 2014

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