Kwibuka 29: AUC Chief acknowledges climate change cause ethnic conflicts


Moussa Faki Mahamat speaking during a ceremony to mark the 29th anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide (International Day of Reflection) held at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa. Image from file/

For the first time in 29 years of the genocide commemoration, the Pan-African institution, AUC, has acknowledged climate change and subsequent resource scarcity as growing threats to peace that may result in a repetition of the Rwandan tragedy.

“Human cruelty resulting from inter-community conflicts, terrorism and numerous particularly violent armed groups, accentuated by climatic disorders and the scarcity of resources, makes many regions of Africa unlivable, plunging thousands of people into unspeakable precariousness and distress”

While speaking at the Rwandan genocide commemoration held at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa on Friday, African Union Commission Chairperson H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat condemned the scourge of armed ethnic conflicts mushrooming across regions.

“Here and there on our Continent, armed militias are being formed on the basis of the ethnic community, weapons of war are circulating, and, more seriously, hate speech and the stigmatization of communities are being abundantly relayed and amplified by powerful social networks. War crimes and crimes against humanity are being perpetrated. There is a risk that the irreparable can again be committed,” said the AUC chief.

The interaction of climate change with other environmental, economic, social, and political factors makes it not only an environmental risk but a threat multiplier. Research has shown climatic disorders as accelerants of instability, heightening other drivers of insecurity such as water, food, and energy insecurity in Africa. Climate change has come to be known as an environmental driver for human conflict as evidenced by the Darfur conflict that was in part driven by climate change, as well as, the rapid environmental degradation currently experienced in Sudan. Chances of conflict increase as groups are forced to move or compete for resources needed for survival. 

H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat reiterated the African Union’s responsibility to protect and oppose growing criminal practices on the continent that lead to self-destruction. He declared, “We will all act in favor of peace, to silence the guns and subsequently place our countries, our Continent on the path of stability, security and progress”.

While commending the example of reconciliation and restoration set by Rwandans under the leadership of President Paul Kagame, H.E. Moussa Faki said, “This action urges us to display additional commitment and courage to overcome our challenges, whether endogenous or exogenous”.

He also noted that member states, under the coordination of the African Union, are tirelessly working to build the Africa We Want. In line with Agenda 2063 for an integrated, prosperous, and peaceful Africa.

The Rwandan Genocide (International Day of Reflection) is set aside annually to honor the lives of more than 1 million Tutsis massacred over 100 days beginning on April 7th, 1994, and reiterate solidarity with Rwanda and its people. This year’s commemoration coincided with the Jewish Easter, Christian Easter, the Orthodox Easter in the following week, and all during the Holy month of Ramadan. Notably, special representatives of the UN, Ethiopia’s Minister of State, the diplomatic corps, AU officials as well as members of civil society from Africa, and the Diaspora were in attendance at this year’s event held at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.









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