2011 Tutu Fellow Victor Ochen appeared on Al Jazeera in a panel regarding the annual African Union Summit in Ethiopia in February 2023 in an extensive and wide-ranging interview. Victor responded to questions about the state of the African Union, conflict, famine, and international influence. Victor is a previous Nobel Peace Prize nominee and the founder of AYINET, a non-profit that works with victims of conflict and war and promotes youth leadership and gender inclusion.
When asked about the interest in Africa from outside political influences such as the US, China, and Russia, Victor spoke about the strategic significance of Africa.
He said he is concerned about rising tensions between global superpowers and doesn't want Africa to be a battleground for the superpowers. He made these comments against the backdrop of Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the Russian Foreign Minister having toured the continent the week prior to the interview, while Russia's Wagner Group is increasingly involved in some of the continent's conflicts. Victor would prefer to see a unified Africa where a secure partnership with superpowers will strengthen peace and stability in the continent.
Victor also touched on countries in Africa driven by identity politics. Time and again, he said, identity politics result in massive, organized, criminal activities across the continent. He has seen the very serious political mistrust that has continued to define the continent. In the interview, he also responded to questions about conflict, youth, famine, climate change, and migration.
Victor's life's work is based on peace, morality, and common humanity. Born in northern Uganda, he spent 21 years as a refugee and transformed his experiences into leading the anti-child soldiers’ recruitment campaign amidst the war in northern Uganda. He is one of the most important figures in Africa in the struggle for human rights and justice. You can see an interview profile of him in Tutu Talks.
View the entire interview at Al Jazeera.