Libya and the AU/ECOWAS Disconnect
The last 4 months or so have seen people power on display across Africa and in the middle east in countries where very few people have sat on the liberties and rights of the many. Where leaders who have the mandate of protecting the many have chosen for decades to protect themselves and a select few.
The masses [what the politicians call “them asses”] have taken to the streets beginning in Tunisia right now to Libya where currently the United States, Britain, France, and half of Europe are shelling everything and anything in the name of protecting civilians against al Qaddafi. This is a direct response to policing a “no-fly” zone across the desert oil rich sovereign state of Libya.
The first aircraft that was shot down by France is reported to belong to the rebels. So the question then is who is supporting who? Who is safe in Libya?
As an African, my question is what is the African perspective to all of this nonsense? Libya and Al Qaddafi contribute up to 15% of Africa Union budget and pays up to 40Million dollars a year as dues for poor countries that can not fulfill their dues obligations. So as the “super power” of Africa, I expect a strong voice of Africa to be on the stage of world debate on the Libyan crisis. As was the case in Egypt and Tunisia the AU was silent and so has the regional blocs on the continent.
While I do not believe that any leader worth calling himself or herself a leader should kills his/her own people no matter the reason. I do not think that the way the rest of the world [including Africa – by being silent] have forced Libya to the current state and for that I am hugely disappointed in the AU, ECOWAS, the Arab League and the UN. But more the AU.
I sincerely think that the time has come to remove the top brass of ECOWAS and AU who are largely resigned, re-tired military people whose thinking of peace, security, conflict and participation is shaped by military thinking. I think [humbly] that Afrika deserves more.
That Libya deserves more; that the Libya crisis can be resolved in a better way. I hold the view that Ivory Coast, [until recently Niger] and other conflict spots around Afrika can be resolved better thank now.
We have a tradition, we have a culture and we have time [centuries] tested means of conflict resolution across this country. We can resolve conflicts, and yes, conflicts are good; its only in the way it is handled that is the challenge or problem.
What Afrika should be looking at is transcendental conflict resolution mechanisms…we focus too many times on the two protagonists. Lets look that the peace with large. The macro should be our focus while keeping the micro within our field of view.
While I hate the phrase, for this purpose: “YES, WE CAN”!