By KABS KANU :
I am one of Sierra Leone’s diplomats in the UN and I think the organization , the United States and the international community in general need to be rattled into action to rise up fully to the occasion and treat Ebola even more robustly than they are doing. I think the UN, especially, can do better than the measures it has put in place so far .
Ebola is an international security issue , and with Boko Haram in Nigeria , muslim fundamentalism in Mali and ISIS on the rampage in Syria , there is the danger that many more states may fail again as it happened in the 1990s and terrorists , like ISIS and Al Quieda could move in to use these failed states in Africa as a safe haven to launch attacks on international targets like the U.S and Britain. The West should never overlook or underrate this imminent danger . The crises could also trigger yet another danger –That of the upsurge of transnational crime which could see the trade in illicit drugs and weapons escalate, ushering in their own problems of state destabilization and eventual collapse.
U.S. National Security Strategy outlook conceptualizes that the U.S. is now threatened less by conquering states than by failing ones.How true . ISIS has emerged mainly , though not exclusively, because Syria and Iraq are failing or failed states .
The worst could happen if Boko Haram leads to state failure in Nigeria and if Ebola becomes a catalyst for State failure is Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. Hence, state failure becomes not only a humanitarian issue, but a dangerous international security problem as well . This is why the world should listen to the Presidents of the Ebola-hit countries –Ernest Koroma of Sierra Leone, Ellen Johnson -Sirleaf of Liberia and Alpha Conde of Guinea –and scale up efforts to defeat Ebola in West Africa before it goes out of hand and spread to other African countries and Western nations . Ebola has never been an exclusive African problem. It has always been an international problem. The point has been emphasized over and over and over that the whole world will suffer if Ebola is not contained now in West Africa.
The UN needs to adhere to one of its stated “manifestos” , which is that it will be more vigilant in staving off state failure from the onset than waiting until things get out of hand as they did in the 1990s in Liberia, Rwanda , Sierra Leone, Serbia , Somalia , DR Congo ,Tajiskitan etc. before acting.
The U.N , the U.S. and the International Community must realize that strengthening weak and failing states against eventual failure is far easier than trying to revive them, a salient lesson that was not lost in Liberia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, DR Congo and the Balkan states. Guinea , Sierra Leone and Liberia ( Because of Ebola ) and Nigeria and Mali (Because of muslim fundamentalism ) have to become major U.S. and U.S. priorities for sustainable socio-economic and political assistance to help them remain viable and stable states in the face of the threats to their future presently.
I attended many UN Meetings on the Responsibility to Protect ( R2P ) . I can remember the UN talking then about establishing a mechanism to recognize early warning signs and to respond to them expeditiously to avoid the mistakes of the 1990s. Well, the time has come for the UN to begin responding more robustly to early warning signs of future dire humanitarian crises , breakdown of state structures, civil conflicts , flow of refugees and displaced persons and the eventual breakdown of international peace and security.
Ebola, especially, needs a full-blooded assault from the UN, U.S and the International world now . The international community cannot fiddle at this time as it did in the 1990s , otherwise the future of the whole world will be jeopadized.
I WILL CONTINUE THIS TOPIC IN SUBSEQUENT POSTS.