By Joel Cox Ojuko
The horrendous, gruesome, and indiscriminate killing of harmless unsuspecting people by self confessed agents of Al-Shabab in a Shopping mall in Nairobi on September 21, 2013 is yet another sad testimony that peace in Africa is slippery, evasive and a distant mirage that is far flung, and remotely out of reach by desperate recipients whose natural and Constitutional rights to life is under constant abuse.
What a strange coincidence that this mayhem occurred on the day Africa was commemorating the International Day of Peace as enjoined by the United Nations General Assembly to further strengthen and deepen peace among all nations.
But alas, haters of peace and common sense will always find reasons to justify their actions, however callous! It is utterly naive to think that perpetuating violence and injecting restless fears into innocent human beings is a gateway to entrenching political and military gains. On the contrary, terrorist attacks are ordinarily known to be disruptive, counterproductive, and not capable of establishing a stable and democratic society.
Consequently, authors and perpetrators of terrorism are strongly advised to embrace the voice of reason and seek the more desirable option of peace mediation and diplomatic interventions through the African Union and other available channels.
It is now clear in the 21st Century that brute force and imposition of archaic dogma are incurably impotent in creating a stable nation.
As I mournfully watched the television footage of the ugly ordeal, my heart bled for the innocent victims whose blood soaked bodies were being evacuated from the scene of crime. May their Souls rest in Eternal Peace!
As we continue to live in tension and panic of imminent attack from agents of the Al-Shabab and likeminded groups on the African Continent; it is imperative that we do not lose hope. Rather, the search for true peace should be intensified through systematic dialogue, diplomacy and other interventions that are all inclusive, consistent, and neutral in approach and implementation.
Peace mediators should continue to advocate for deeper investigative research in the perceived and actual causes of conflict on the African Continent, which must be documented with clear recommendations for positive implementation.
Indeed attaining measurable peace is not impossible! Yes, peace can be achieved if we promote love, selflessness, non discriminating governance, and strict adherence of the rule of law arising from well intended legislations and practices that clearly preserve human, economic, and social rights of the population.
Let us strive for a peaceful Africa by achieving peaceful resolution of conflicts.
The writer is the president of Across Africa Peace Mediators (AAPEM)