Ghana’s former President, Flt Lt Jerry John Rawlings has in separate meetings with the Algerian and EU Ambassadors called for an urgent need to restore global ethical and principled values, stating that President Nelson Mandela if he were alive today would have described the trend of brutal and unfair practices on the global scene as unconscionable.
He also went on to say that so long as Africa’s end of the economic stick remains so short, a solution to the migrant crises and its horrible consequences would continue to elude us.
The former President said the level of violence, brutality and injustice that has become pervasive across the globe happen when political authority begins to lose its sacred sense of reverence.
“How worse is what Assad [is] doing compared to what the Palestinians recently suffered? How worse is that compared to what the Yemenis are presently suffering?” President Rawlings questioned at the meetings on Wednesday.
The former President said the savagery inflicted on fellow Africans in South Africa and elsewhere in the world happens when people, in looking for a scapegoat for their economic circumstances, take out their anger on the vulnerable because they cannot directly take on a failing political authority.
He said though humanity is making a lot of progress, so long as it is not pinned down by ethical practices, containing radicalism would continue to elude us.
“When political authority loses its sacredness, the effect percolates down and this is what we end up with. When former President Mursi can be sentenced by a regime that evolved out of what Mubarak left behind and the world is quiet about this unconscionable action, it shouldn’t surprise us that we are having difficulties in containing violent radicalism.
Humanity, President Rawlings stated, is looking for a way of fighting this injustice and when they don’t have an appropriate or fair way of fighting this kind of injustice they resort to violence of the nature we are witnessing today.
On the unfortunate xenophobic violence in South Africa, President Rawlings said other nationals had been compelled to seek work in South Africa because of unfair trade practices of some big South African companies.
He said South African Airways for instance not too long ago pushed Air Namibia out of Ghana by drastically reducing their fares only for them to shoot up when Air Namibia folded up. He highlighted how the trend is pervasive among South African firms who employ unfair business practices to gain monopolies in other African countries. These practices naturally create unemployable situations in these countries.
The former President commended Algeria for maintaining a progressive minded political inclination. “The fact that your country survived the Arab Spring comes as no surprise to me. This is something to be proud of. Most of the continent has veered off and we are paying a very high price for it leading to the massive immigration of people who are ready to die to look for a better place to sustain themselves.”
Ambassador Youssef Delileche of Algeria in his remarks indicated that his country was keen on seeing to the resolution of the several conflicts on the continent, particularly those in Mali, Libya and Western Sahara. He said Algeria was of the firm belief that the AU should take the lead in resolving these conflicts primarily through dialogue. He indicated that during his tenure as Ambassador to Ghana he would do his best to strengthen the bond of friendship between Ghana and Algeria.
Former Foreign Minister Ambassador Victor Gbeho who was present at both meetings remembered the contributions Algeria made to the success of the new independent Ghana and over the years towards consolidating the independence of the continent. He also complimented the role Algeria has played in combating extremism on the continent.
On the role of the European Union Ambassador Gbeho called on the EU Head of Delegation, William Hanna to consult broadly on the evolvement of a new world order. He noted that President Rawlings was very sensitive to developments at the international level and encouraged him to sustain discussions on developments between the EU, Ghana and the rest of the continent especially on post-2015 development challenges and the Economic Partnership Agreement.
Ambassador Hanna who has been in Ghana for six months was complimentary of the influential role President Rawlings had played in Ghana’s democratic tradition stating that the cultivation of different governments under democratic rule was impressive.