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One of the impediments to growth and development of a society is conflict; as every conflict opposes peace. In 2013, Africa Union member state representative gathered in Ethopia to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its body during which it proposed tackling violence and conflict in order to implement Agenda 2063. Before leaving Addis Ababa, the AU leaders resolved not to pass the burden of conflicts to future generations, so they adopted “Silencing the Guns in Africa by 2020.” Coincidentally, the UN secretary-general’s remarks to the general assembly in 2020; enumerated four looming threats that endanger 21st century progress and peace. One of which is global conflict. In his words, “devastating conflict continue to cause widespread misery. Terrorist attacks take a merciless toll. The nuclear menace is growing. More people have been forced from their homes by war and persecution than any time since the Second World War. Tension over trade and technology remains unresolved. The risk of a great fracture is real.”
For Africa to silence guns among her citizenry requires getting to the root causes of conflict from bottom to top approaches. Climate change is a leading cause of conflict in the world; as it is seen in the farmer-herdsmen clashes, Boko Haram (all due to shrinking Lake Chad), Niger-Delta crisis and other resource control conflict. In 2015, Barack Obama agreed to the partly causes of climate change in escalating world conflict by saying, “I understand climate change did not cause the conflicts we see around the world, yet what we also know is the severe drought helped to create the instability in Nigeria that was exploited by the terrorist group, Boko Haram. It is now believed that drought and crop failures and high food prices helped fuel the early unrest in Syria, which descended into civil war in the heart of the middle belt.”
Also, the impact of climate change on the destruction of mankind is known by world leaders like Bill Clinton when he said, “first, I worry about climate change, it is the only thing that I believe has the power to fundamentally end the march of civilization as we know it and make a lot of the other efforts that we are making irrelevant and impossible.”
Climate change is a gun to the environment as it carbonize the earth surface, thereby denaturing the environment and weaponizes man’s ways of life such as culture, behavior, psychology, health and man’s relationship to one another. For Africa and the world to silence the guns, it needs to silence climate change as it silences our way of life.

Oladosu Adenike is climate/peace activist and focuses on disarmament and climate governance        

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