Youths condemns extremism,xenophobia and terrorism on Africa day!

“Freedom is indivisible; the chains on any one of my people were the chains on all of them, the chains on all of my people were the chains on me.” ~ Nelson Mandela

Platform for Youth Development Trust (PYD) joins the rest of Africa and African communities in commemorating Africa Day. The day set aside to mark the formation of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) on 25 May 1963 reminds us of the determination of African people to fight for freedom.

This year, the day comes at a time when cases of terrorism, xenophobia and extremism have become a big irritant to the objectives of the African Union.PYD therefore challenge young people in Africa to push our governments to fight terrorism and xenophobia.

The African continent, reputed as the cradle of mankind, has been defaced by cases of hatred and intolerance which has culminated in brothers killing each other for belonging to different nations, ethnical and religious groupings. Those involved in instigating xenophobia attacks have not been convicted including the infamous Durban violence of April 2015 that displaced thousands of foreign nationals and the 2008 attacks which resulted in the death of more than 60 people in South Africa.

The message to take home as we commemorate Africa day is that we are brothers, those boundaries dividing nations are artificial and a creation of colonialists. African history is clear and chronicles our Bantu origin as nonviolent while relegating the deployment of inflammatory language and hate as foreign and a subversion of ubuntu/unhu. No country in Africa was able to achieve independence on its own without solidarity from other states.

The increasing number of gender based violence cases targeted at women and girls in Africa is also a serious cause for concern. The story of the 276 Chibok school girls from Nigeria who were kidnapped and abducted by BokoHaram in 2014 paints an African continent that does not respect the rights of the girl child.

It is believed that BokoHaram has caused more than 32 000 deaths and displaced over 2 million people. Many of the girls, most of them Christians, were forced to marry extremists and have children with them and in some instances radicalized to the extent that they end up refusing to return to their original homes. Such extreme violation of human rights cannot be allowed to manifest in Africa, particularly when the life of these innocent girls are being used in political gerrymandering to trade them with captured Nigerian army commanders.

Furthermore, Africa is battling with cases of sexual violence and rape that have continually undermined the potential of women and girls. The killing and abuse of women which has been normalized under the guise of patriarchy is totally unacceptable and inhumane. Recently in April 2017 a South African young woman Karabo Mokoena was killed in cold blood by her boyfriend who later burnt her body. This has been the case in many African communities where the killing and abuse of women by men including rape has been going unpunished because of weak laws and poor policing. PYD believes that civic society and the general public should play an active role by advocating for tough legislation and penalties against perpetrators of gender based violence and human rights abusers.

Since the formation of the African Union, the continent has evolved from violent and armed conflicts to adopting negotiation, dialogue and mediation processes.It is important to note that in recent years, the African Union has launched the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) as well as New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) to try and address issues related to governance and democratization. Platforms like SADC and ECOWAS have assisted in the intervention of potentially armed conflicts in favor of peace and negotiation processes.

PYD is actively involved in many activities that seek to push governments to provide an enabling environment that promote a culture of peace and provide conditions in which citizens are able to participate in the political affairs of the state as equals, regardless of religious and ethnic differences. We believe in a free media that allows grievances to be aired and addressed, the right to development and the well being of all human kind with the participation of young women and young men to ensure peaceful coexistence amongst nations, states and peoples.

In our view, our African governments are not doing enough to disrupt the activities of terrorism and xenophobia.It is our strong belief that different levels of development and economic performance is the main cause of xenophobia and the onus is on member states of the African Union to work hard and create avenues for the participation of citizens in national development.

This year, PYD will join hands with the Female Students Network (FSN), Zimbabwe Reveal for Generations Trust (ZRGT) and the International Peace Youth Group (IPYG) in a belated Africa Day celebrations at the Belgravia Sports Club on Tuesday the 30th of May 2017. ONE AFRICA FOR ALL!!!!

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