The Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, President Robert Mugabe says Africa’s continental sovereignty is under threat because of failure to address African security challenges.
He said there is need to eliminate external interference in the continent’s internal affairs.
President Mugabe was speaking at the official opening of the 10th Committee of Intelligence and Security Services of Africa (CISSA) conference underway in Harare.
President Mugabe said, “Fellow Africans, the time for us to demonstrate our will of common purpose, if the battles against the evils of foreign intervention and is attendant latter-day scramble for Africa, is to be won is now. The time has come for Africa to accept primary responsibility and behave in a manner that should exclude the requirement for others to intervene in our affairs."
The President noted the renewed economic interests in Africa by the west which is crafting policies for interventions in the continent, and called for the intelligence apparatus to come up with counter strategies to deal with the imminent challenges.
He advised the intelligence supremoes to equip their governments with tools to enhance the capacity to deal with challenges of external interference.
"If we are to arrest the scourge of conflicts, a bright future for Africa becomes a reality as the necessary tranquil environment will then be obtained. Consequently, Africa will be fully capable of exploiting her raw resources for development purposes," he added.
Meanwhile, the Director General of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) of Zimbabwe, Retired Major General Happton Bonyongwe has assumed the chairmanship of CISSA for the next year.
Retired Major General Bonyongwe said the conference is reviewing the security situation as Africa’s collaboration has become critical in the face of growing threats of neo-colonialism.
He said Africa’s development has for long been dependent on donors, adding that the continent's intelligence supremoes have a mammoth task to come up with counter strategies as the west is employing many tactics to maintain its economic hegemony in Africa.
He also highlighted that it is now time for the African governments to address poverty which is a major cause of conflicts and insecurity.
Cde Bonyongwe added that the theme ‘The Nexus Between Africa’s Resources and Development’ is relevant as it is informed by the fact that there is no development without security and no security without development.
The outgoing CISSA Chairman, General Rashid Lallali of Algeria said African intelligence apparatuses have the capacity to deal with threats through collaboration.
The representative of the African Union (AU) Chairperson, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Ambassador Ramtane Lamamra said conflict remains a painful part of African history, adding that failure to intervene in member states’ crises has been a major setback as this gives the west an opportunity to exploit the situation, citing Mali where French troops intervened.
The Minister of State Security from China, Mr Yo Yung said his country will continue to co-operate with Africa on a mutually beneficial basis even in peace and security issues.
CISSA was formed in August 2004 in Abuja, Nigeria after the realisation that there were many threats facing the continent which could only be countered through collaborations.
The idea was also mooted after Zimbabwe had arrested mercenaries who were enroute to Equatorial Guinea to overthrow the government of President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo.
The official opening ceremony was attended by intelligence chiefs from CISSA member states, cabinet ministers, a representative of the African Union (AU) Chairperson Ambassador Lamamra, CISSA Executive Secretary Isaac Moyo, academics, religious leaders, service chiefs and delegates from as far as China, Italy, Portugal, Indonesia and the United Arab Emirates.?