Created in response to the scourge of conflict and insecurity on the African continent by leaders committed, through the 2013 Solemn Declaration, to a continent free from the burden of war for the next generation, the African Union (AU) Silencing the Gun (STG) Programming aims at addressing the root causes of conflicts, eradicate recurring conflicts, and prevent and manage insecurity on the continent.

It is against this backdrop that PALU took part, on 30 August – 1 September 2023, in an expert roundtable to implement the STG’s Master Roadmap. Held in Nairobi, Kenya, under the auspices of the AU, and in partnership with the Institute for Security Studies (ISS), the gathering, under the theme “A Decade of Silencing the Guns in Africa: Experts’ Roundtable on Progress, Lessons Learned and Way Forward”, specifically aimed at addressing structural causes of conflicts on the continent, promoting their early detection, and involving the public in concerted efforts on silencing the guns. It further sought to critically examine the achievements, gaps and challenges of the STG initiative with the goal of identifying strategic priorities for its future.

 

During the roundtable, participants noted that while notable progress around mediation and shuttle diplomacy in resolving conflicts has been made, enhancing the domestication of the Master Roadmap remains paramount to achieve the desired results. The roundtable however coincided with another coup d’État, this time in Gabon, the last in a resurgence of the genre in Africa, particularly in francophone countries, highlighting the salient need for early detection of conflicts, even in the absence of widespread armed usage.

We leave you with a question, in what ways can the organised legal profession contribute, jointly or individually, towards silencing the guns in Africa?

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