By Kwadwo Mante (PhD)
Like many Africans, I have been watching events in Libya with a lot of sadness and sorrow in my heart. During the initial stages of the conflict, I was happy to see the African Union (AU) Leaders acting as mediators to convince Ghadafi and the rebels to agree to a peace plan. I was even happier when I saw the South African president holding talks with both the rebels and loyalists to find a common ground that will avoid the drums of war and conflict. To my chagrin (surprise/disappointment), after these initial initiatives, the leaders of the AU outsourced the handling of the conflict to NATO and the European Union. It must be noted that, one of the cardinal objectives of the AU is to to “promote and defend African common positions on issues of interest to the continent and its peoples… and to achieve peace and security in Africa” (au.int/en/about/vision). Those objectives, while nicely written, can only be achieved if the chicken hearted and unfettered leaders of the AU stand up to the bullies from the EU and defend African interests. Yet, despite their initial opposition to outside intervention in Libyan conflict, the three African countries sitting on the United Nation Security Council voted in favor of the resolution which authorized member states "to take all necessary measures ... to protect civilians”. As it turns out, the interpretation of “all necessary measures… to protect civilians” was misconstrued to mean arming and equipping the Benghazi rebels to overthrow Ghadafi.
I am not a fan of Murmar Ghadafi— who in my opinion mishandled the conflict— but I also don’t subscribe to the tendency of other nations meddling in the internal affairs of other sovereign countries. The situation in Libya (had the AU acted swiftly), could have been diffused without the need for bombs, missiles and bullets in that country. When the conflict in Libya started, it become apparent that Ghadafi was more willing to listen to the AU than any other organization in the world.Yet the AU failed to tenaciously push both sides of the conflict to amicable solution. By allowing NATO and the EU to experiment their new bombs and missiles on the soils of Libya (in the name of protecting civilians,) the clock of development has been turn backwards in Libya for the next 20 plus years. It has also given companies from EU the opportunity to make more profits through postwar reconstruction and development; these economic pirates will prevent African companies from post conflict reconstruction and development.
The end result of the inaction on the part of the AU is the depressing chaos, the untold suffering of residents in that country, and destruction of infrastructure in Libya. Why should Africans continue to rely on outsiders to solve our problems for us? Are there more men in Africa now with balls? Is the mumbling Nicolas Sarkozy smarter than Tabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma? Is David Cameroun more eloquent and political savvy than Atta Mills, John Koffour, Jerry Rawlings, and Jonathan Goodluck? Are there more leaders in Africa with testicular fortitude?
Until we learn to solve our own problems, we will eternally depend on these countries to teach us how to walk, eat, dress, bath, brush our teeth, and talk. They will dictate to us, and demand we obey them: that master servant relationship will continue unabated. The current leaders of the AU have failed miserably as far the Libyan conflict is concerned. God have mercy on this continent.
***Dr. Kwadwo Mante is freshly minted PhD. He is a Corporate Finance and Public Health expert based in the US. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Le silence et l’inaction est la plus grande arme de destruction massive
Silence and inaction is the deadliest weapon of mass destruction.
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