African conflicts foreign-sponsored, expert say African Union expert on Human Rights Ambassador Salzh Sidig Hammad addressing Pan African Parliament in Midrand South Africa.

Zvamaida Murwira in Midrand, South Africa

All the conflicts and wars haunting the African continent including sanction-induced challenges in Zimbabwe are foreign-sponsored by powerful Western capitals bent on exploiting natural resources endowed in the continent, an African Union Human Rights expert has said.

He said Africa was saddled with several conflicts and wars that include unconstitutional change of governments in West Africa, unrest in Great Lakes, insurgency in Mozambique and illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe but all that originated from Western countries who want to extract resources in Africa.

African Union Senior Human Rights expert in the Department of Political Affairs Ambassador Salah Sidig Hammad said this during an ongoing Pan African Parliament Committee sittings in Midrand discussing several issues affecting the continent.

Amb Salah was addressing a Committee on Cooperation and International Relations discussing illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe, conflict in Cabo Delgado in Mozambique and political unrest in the Eastern side of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Earlier on, a Member of Parliament from Uganda, Mr Felex Ogong said there was a need to focus on the real culprits.

“The reasons for the war, you hit the nail on the head. There is no war that is currently taking place in Africa that is an African war. Africa does not produce weapons. Unfortunately, all these wars are imposed on us because of what we have been blessed with. That is the reality,” said Amb Salah.

“All these wars are remotely controlled from overseas from countries that we all know.”

Earlier on, Ugandan MP, Mr Ogong said there was a need to get to the bottom part of conflicts dogging Africa, particularly that in Cabo Delgado in Mozambique where Government soldiers are repelling Islamic insurgency in that province.

Mr Ogong said the war was foreign-sponsored owing to the discovery of gas where Western powers are keen to exploit the resource.

“We need to know what are the drivers of insecurity in Mozambique.

Why is the security or conflict not ending? That point should come out. The war is foreign. It’s because of the discovery of gas. The contract was given to Total but there are issues with who should exploit the gas. We need to isolate who is funding the war. Because we know the war is not African but foreign,” said Mr Ogong.

“We need to focus on the real culprits. It’s because of our resources, our gas. We might spend a lot of resources sending troops and yet the issue is not about our local people who are fighting.”

Zimbabwe is one of the countries that has had illegal sanctions imposed on it after it embarked on land reform programme aimed at correcting historical land imbalances where the white minority owned vast tracts of land at the expense of the black majority.

In the 2006s, Harare struggled to sell diamonds discovered in Chiadzwa Marange, after Western capitals working with local civic society raised allegations of human rights abuse which they failed to prove.

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