Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God. (Matt 5:9).
A call for peace, negotiation and respect for human Lives in the Sahel countries of Africa.
The Association of Evangelicals in Africa (AEA), held its continental Leadership Summit in Gaborone, Botswana, from 24 to 26 August 2023. The summit was held under the Theme: Transformation Agenda towards, ‘The Africa God Wants.’ At this Summit, AEA issued a joint Statement, calling for peace, negotiations and respect and protection of human lives in the Sahel countries (Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso and lately Gabon), which are currently facing political challenges. Based on the Word of God which says; Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God, (Matthew Chapter 5, verse 9).
The Association of Evangelicals in Africa (AEA), is deeply concerned about the political instabilities and conflicts that are tearing the SAHEL region apart, causing enormous human sufferings, loss of innocent lives, and destruction of foundations of social cohesion. As spiritual leaders of our respective communities, we believe in the importance of peace, dialogue and reconciliation in resolving political problems.
We therefore, call on African governments, regional, sub-regional and continental organisations to prioritize negotiations and respect for human dignity and lives in the process of the search for solutions.
We call on all the actors in conflict places; the armed groups, the political factions, members of the public and all the actors involved in these political crises, to put an end to all violence and to engage in genuine dialogue in order to reach peaceful and lasting solutions.
We, the Association of Evangelicals in Africa, reiterate our call and commitment to peace, respect for human dignity, and lives, and that, in addition to prayer, we avail ourselves to peace-making and peace-building processes.
The current political convulsions are a result of historical factors and injustices that have culminated in very high proportions of anxiety and frustrations, and clearly call for a continental united, sober and broad-based approach.
The political crises in our continent have in many respects further contributed to our underdevelopment. The people of Africa have one hope, and that is; for an Africa that is freed from inequalities, injustices, corruption, ethnic hegemonies and divisions, as well as divide and rule tendencies common in our mother-land. We pray and appeal for an Africa, where guns are silent, where conflicts are solved through dialogue, where fellow Africans, act as each other’s brother’s keepers and where African natural resources are harnessed and used for the good and prosperity of her citizens.
We encourage and employ all the protagonists, to listen to the voice of their peoples, to hear their legitimate demands and to engage in constructive talks, putting aside personal interests, subordinate party interests and put the general interest of the public as a priority. We call for an inclusive approach, based on mutual respect, Pan-African spirit and the search for common solutions, in order to break current impasses.
We are aware, that there are challenges that these countries of our beloved Africa face, and we express our willingness to support and advise the mediation and reconciliation efforts of the various parties in order to achieve lasting peace.
We also urge the international community, regional organisations and all relevant actors to strengthen their commitment to foster dialogue, cooperation and solidarity with the Sahel countries in political crisis. We urge them to spare no effort in supporting peace initiatives, placing a high value of human life as a priority, provide the necessary humanitarian assistance and contribute actively to transformative actions in the socio-economic and political developments, avoiding inhumane, unsuccessful and misdirected sanctions against innocent populations.
Finally, we call on all religious communities and their followers, to mobilize for the promotion of peace, religious tolerance and peaceful coexistence in their respective societies. Religion has a fundamental role to play in the process of reconciliation, particularly in cultivating the values of respect, forgiveness, love and unity.
We reaffirm our commitment to pray, mediate and work together as Evangelicals in Africa, for peace and stability in the politically troubled countries of the Sahel. We believe in the power of peaceful negotiation and peace building, reconciliation, unity of the continent and solidarity, to overcome divisions, and build a better future for all the people of this region and for Africa as a whole. We call on our members across Africa, and allies around the world to dedicate September 2023 to a 24-hour fasting and prayer for peace in Africa and in particular, the Sahel Region.
Issued in Gaborone, Botswana this the 26 August 2023.
Bishop Dr. Goodwill Shana
President, Association of Evangelicals in Africa
Rev. Dr. Jean Libom Li Likeng
Rev. Dr. Mario Li Hing
Board Chair, Association of Evangelicals in Africa
Dr. Master Matlhaope
Secretary General, Association of Evangelicals in Africa