AU out of touch

The African Union (AU) has once again shown that it is a club of leaders who are largely out of touch with the aspirations of the African people. In an effort to protect its major benefactor, the Union is now proposing a Kenyan/ Zimbabwean - style government of national unity for Libya.

The colonel himself, sensing an opportunity, has quickly dispatched his spokesperson to tell the world that Gaddafi is ready to negotiate with the rebels. What Gaddafi knows is that if a Kenyan/Zimbabwean-style transitional authority is constituted then he will remain in power. His powers will remain largely unchanged. Where was Gaddafi in the last six months? Why didn’t he offer to negotiate before he was on the run?

The African Union has protected and consolidated the power of those who lost elections in Kenya and Zimbabwe. The transitional authorities in both Kenya and Zimbabwe were about Kibaki and Mugabe rather than the people of Kenya and Zimbabwe. It will be a farce for Gaddafi to emerge from whatever ‘hole’ he is hiding in to lead Libya again.

I agree with many other commentators who say that the AU is on the wrong side of history. We have seen how the ‘national unity’ government in Zimbabwe has not been able to achieve its intended aims because of Robert Mugabe and his Zanu (PF). Once he had been saved by his friends in SADC and AU it was business as usual for Robert Mugabe. The GNU gave Mugabe legitimacy and gave him a strong negotiating position which hitherto he did not have.

Resist the lifeline

Libyans should resist this blatant attempt by the AU to give a lifeline to Gaddafi.

Only a few days ago Gaddafi was calling the freedom fighters rats and calling for their deaths. Now that he is cornered he is trying to pretend that he is prepared to negotiate. It is common knowledge that once his attempt to make Libya an Arab nation had failed Gaddafi embraced the AU and invested huge sums of money in the organisation.

The AU budget has relied on the benevolence of the Libyan strong man for many years now. It is, therefore, impossible for the AU to be impartial in this conflict. The AU is not interested in the aspirations of the Libyan people. The organisation owes its very existence to Gaddafi and his vision for a United States of Africa so it will do everything possible to keep him in power.

It is farcical for the AU to suggest that Libyans do not know what is good for their country. Thousands left their homes, jobs, universities and families to join the ‘rebel’ army. Some left the comfort of life in Europe and America to join the freedom fighters because they believed that Gaddafi should be removed from power.

They did not join the war in order to allow Gaddafi to return as head of a government of national unity. Mooting a transitional authority for Libya that includes Muammar Gaddafi is like kicking the people of Libya in the teeth. Gaddafi has made his own bed and he should be allowed to lie in it. The AU should stay out of Libya.

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Post published in: Opinions & Analysis

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