“You need to design a strategy that addresses not only the manifestations but also the causes of violence."
KAMPALA - The Deputy Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah has called for new measures and a new framework for countries within Eastern Africa to combat terrorism and civil wars.
Oulanyah made the remarks while meeting the IGAD delegation who had met him to get his views on what can be done to prevent extreme violence from happening in the region.
"You need to design a strategy that addresses not only the manifestations but also the causes of violence. The process should thoroughly interrogate the causes," Oulanyah said.
The deputy speaker urged governments in the region to address problems out of which violence can easily erupt like the high rate of unemployment among the youth.
"The youth are the raw material from which terrorists and rebels are made. It is usually the unemployed youth who find solace in such extreme acts of violence. If you go to the streets of Kampala, you will get thousands of people with nothing to do but just waiting for something to happen," Oulanyah elaborated.
He cited the example of the September 2009 deadly riots in Kampala after the Kabaka had been blocked from going to Kayunga which spontaneously happened.
The IGAD team is carrying out consultations in all the member countries to come up with a strategy to address violence in the region. The draft report is expected to be ready by October this year.
Dr. Simon Nyambura, who led the delegation, said extreme incidents of violence like terrorism and wars are hampering development in the region.
"Our mission is to develop a coherent strategy which will help the region deal with violence in a more coordinated and collaborative manner," Nyambura explained.
The project is funded by the Japanese government and United Nations Development Programme.
Arguing that the regional bodies like IGAD, East African Community and others have an impartiality deficit, Oulanyah called for a new framework in the region which will be used to solve conflicts.
"Many of our leaders go to the regional meetings when they have sides and therefore cannot pass the impartiality test. It is not only the power of the argument that matters but also the power of the people behind the argument," he explained.
IGAD countries include Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda.