Africa must focus on building a safer Africa – Modise

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Defence and Military Veterans Minister, Thandi Modise, says Africa must never waver in its determination to build a safer Africa.

“Our continent has seen enough destruction and bloodshed, at times arising from unnecessary conflict.

“This conference gives us space to reflect on our reality as Africa. Southern Africa has seen an increase in natural disasters, sluggish economic reforms and growth, new forms of extremisms and terrorism,” Modise said at the 10th Moscow Conference on International Security.

In almost all regions of Africa, religious extremism, coup d’états and the rise of “strong men” show the link between socio-economic challenges and political inefficiencies.

“It is evident that when the war against terrorism succeeds, perpetrators relocate or mutate to different locations.

“We must also accept that while we collectively work towards peace, resolutions are not fully implemented. Sometimes solutions on the table are not necessarily well-implemented or resourced,” Modise said.

Modise said there is no country in the world that can claim to be immune.

“The reality of intra-state tensions cannot be ignored. Unresolved tensions between and within countries are often exploited by opportunistic groups of armed and sometimes faceless and stateless actors. 

“We have contributed to regional and continental efforts to maintain and uphold the rule of law, conducted peace-keeping and assisted in post-conflict reconstruction.

“We have helped train and integrate opposing forces and also provided support other than military when called upon to do so,” Modise said.

Modise told delegates at the conference that South Africa is always ready to engage in the resolution of conflict.

“We believe that we must continue to choose mediation and peace. As a nation in search for sustainable peace across the globe, we must utilise this platform to accelerate our advance towards a safe and secure world.

“Our position is that multilateralism remains a central pillar to resolving conflict. We respect and encourage resolutions that rebuild people and nations rather than encourage the “might is right” phenomenon,” the Minister said.

The conference, which started on Monday and ends today, is being attended by Ministers of Defence from different countries, as well as experts and key stakeholders in the military field.

Modise is scheduled to have a bilateral meeting with the Russian Minister of Defence, General Shoigu, on the margins of the conference.

The conference will also be an opportunity for Modise to engage with her counterparts on security issues in the context of ongoing global security challenges.

As one of the key players in peace and security on the African continent, it is hoped that this conference will help expose South Africa to practical and innovative strategies to address defence and security challenges that confront Africa. –

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