Honor and Loyalty : World Peace: African Youths must not be turned to Mercenaries

With its sheer number of deaths, about 20 million worldwide, the coronavirus pandemic has illuminated our minds on more than just the shortcomings and failures of our health systems, especially those renowned for their performance. COVID-19, or rather the way it has been managed, has in fact helped to reveal the exceptions, divisions and hidden selfish interests in a humanitarian system presented as inclusive and united.

But, to see the eagerness, the aggressiveness and the coldness with which some will have monopolised the materials intended for the response to this health crisis, there is clearly a discrepancy between theory and practice, in terms of inclusiveness and solidarity in times of misfortune. Yet this is what is vehemently and peremptorily demanded of all, now that only one part of the world is in armed confrontation with the demons of its claims.

And as if the positions taken by States didnot suffice, we are increasingly witnessingmanoeuvresinciting the constitution and mobilisation of groups of volunteers called upon to fire the shots on the eastern European battlefield. These are presented as non-discriminatory enlistments, without mentioning that treatment will be as well. In any case, there is reason to doubt it, especially since acts of humanitarian racism against young African students are still fresh in our memories.

Moreover, for our States already engaged in filling the bottomless pit of the war on terrorism, the question that arises with real acuity is that of the return of the members of these international volunteer brigades, once their missionbeyond the confines of the continenthas been completed. What place and status should be reserved for these hordes of warmongers when they shall return with knowledge, know-how and assets acquired in other times and places, a sum of capacities likely to be recycled in armed criminal or terrorist groups established in the country?

With the significant increase in many imported speculations which substantially burden the meagre African budgets, our countries and our peoplealready suffer enough from issues they are not directly concerned with. It therefore seems ill-advised, even suicidal, to add to this socially precarious situation, the risk of increasing our misfortunes, out of solidarity with calamities that others must have created.

The response to the massive transformation of our youths to mercenaries will come from our families as well as from our public authorities, who must together show vigilance, persuasion and collaboration, in order not to jeopardize the human potential of our future emergence or channel into the service of predatory hegemonies that are usually opposed to the aspirations for peace and prosperity of our continent./-

Navy Capain,

ATONFACK GUEMO,

Head of Communication Division - MINDEF