Peace & Security: Anti-Militarism

As progressives, we actively support the quest for transnational shared security with and for all African peoples. Africans need and deserve civil security for the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness. Because we do not believe that the current pressure to militarize Africa supports or promotes security in most African communities, we are strongly opposed to the Western focus on building larger, more politically powerful, technologically-equipped, and expensive militaries in African countries. This militarism reflects a policy based on a belief--and a habit--that military solutions are the first step toward peace and security. Military responses to conflict and contestation often are counter-productive in the long term and frequently result in gross violations of human rights and deaths of civilians.

We advocate more U.S. support and resources for human rights, conflict transformation, and negotiation in Africa in order to develop long-term peace based on the often difficult agreements among different legitimate stakeholders, including many varieties of Islamic organizations across Africa such as Boko Haram, AQIM, al-Shabaab, and Uamsho.   With this emphasis on conflict resolution, additional funds are needed for economic development activities in health, education, housing, and infrastructure as incentives for conflicting groups to come to the table and to begin to build cooperation across lines of conflict for the reconstruction of disrupted civil society.

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