JOYCE BANDA THREATENED TO ARREST AL-BASHIR AT AFRICA UNION SUMMIT
6/12/2012 10:44:42 AM -
The Biblical story of Jesus and Judas in which one sold away the other for financial gain to outsiders might be sounding too religious to reflect the recent developments in the Africa Union but, alas, here we are! The members of the AU Assembly are now openly threatening to hand over one another to the ICC (International Criminal Court) in The Hague, for prosecution as Jesus was handed out to the Romans to be crucified at the Golgotha. Yesterday, it was the Justice to the Jews according to the then Roman imperial world power but today, it is the justice of The Hague to the Africans according to the 'International Community'.
A lot of people today do find it very difficult to accept any version of history that implicate Africans as being active part of the over four hundred years Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. The Africans, as leaders and as ordinary people, well understood what they stood to gain with the none Africans buyers and equally what they stand to lose by not actively playing their own part in the then legalized inhumane trade. The rule at the time was, 'handover some of your own to us for peanut or we have some of your own to sell you to us'.
The horrific adventure was all about working together to advance the interest and values of the traders as a sign of loyalty or suffer as an enemy. Interestingly the Malawian President Joyce Banda position of handing over Omar Al-Bashir to the ICC (International Criminal Court) confirms this even the more. This confirms again that the ill-fated past suffered by the continent is not only a thing of the present but very active too, and if nothing drastic is done now it will even be worse for generations in the future.
It was very unfortunate to associate Mrs. Banda's position on Al-Bashir with financial and economic factors. These unprecedented developments in the Africa Union is said to have several evidence confirming that the domineering motives are financial rewards from the EU (European Union) aid donors and the IMF (International Monetary Fund). In fact, the IMF is said to be reaching an understanding on a new $157million assistance programme to Malawi. How different was this when our ancestors were said to have received rewards of gun powders, mirrors, alcoholic gins to capture and hand over their kins men and women to the powerful alliance?
Some will be calling this as an act of betrayal to the common spirit of the Africa Union solidarity and shall be considering Mrs. Banda position as anti-African. Some others will be encouraging Mrs. Banda to do more in serving the interest of other nations to save her own national interest. Some others might be heaping the blame on the Africa Union's ambiguous nature that makes it very difficult to differentiate the Pan Africa body from the United Nations'. A lot are also not losing the sight of the fact that the activities of the Union confirms the notion that African Union member state leaders loyal to the international community survived better than those that do not. Thus, it is better to rely directly on the 'international community' than to rely on the Africa Vulnerable Union as all those who did that in past ended up the worse. The saying that 'it is better to be on the right hand side of the devil than to be on his way' is indeed becoming the case in our weak Africa Union and Mrs. Banda among most AU member states leaders are actively responding to reality long before they even assume their respective state's highest offices. Hypocrisy, individualism, subservience and external dependency beyond the Africa Union characterised a failing continental body, and reliance on the formal colonial powers is now becoming the best option. The choice of ICC over that of a fellow AU member state leader by Banda amplifies this than any other.
Come to think of it, both Al-Bashir and Banda are all African Union citizens as well as members of the AU Assembly that has the highest duty in Union decision making on issues concerning the continent as whole. Every member of the AU Assembly is also abreast with the tenets of unification in accordance with the AU Constitutive Act. Equally both Banda and Al-Bashir pledged to a duty of upholding the AU position of non-interference in the internal affairs of one member state by any other. The Constitutive Act then prays any member with such concern to seek redress from the Union directly than to take a unilateral position.
Clearly Mrs. Banda's position violated the AU Constitutive Act that should be subject to a form of punishment if the AU is working as expected. Indeed the Malawains have every right to relieve themselves of the obligation of hosting the AU Summit, as Addis Ababa is always there and has been the best option. Opting out of hosting the Summit could be for any reason and would have attracted lesser rows than openly singling out Al-Bashir for ICC and donor interests. Banda here was just ponding off Sudan for Malawian's' benefit.
This year's 20th Summit scheduled for Malawi is very critical to the Union as it is expected to see through the election of the Africa Union Commission Chairmanship that could not attain a conclusive end at the January 2012 Summit. The summit was also aimed at healing up the differences among the AU member state heads that developed at the January summit. The forum was also an opportunity to address several concerns of the Union of which President Al-Bashir is critical to most.
The choice of the venue was an honour granted by the Union to the late Malawian president Bingo Wa Mutarika for his dedication and selfless service to the progress of the Union whose sudden death paved way to Mrs. Banda's presidency. By tradition, Benin Republic was supposed to host the Summit as the home state of the current AU Chairman Mr. Boni Yayi. So having Mrs. Banda throwing the honour accorded to the late president and the Malawian people, at the Union's face leave a lot of questions to be answered.
The concerns about arresting serving heads of AU member state by the ICC (International Criminal Court) is not something new and with the case of Al-Bashir, the AU on several occasion had made it very clear that such affront is not helpful in the building of the spirit of the African Unity and that it shall never be honoured. It is also on record that several AU Summits has addressed this issue and with Mrs. Banda's position as the Vice President of Malawi, this consensus seems to be betrayed as a reflection of the will of the people of Malawi. What then is exactly the will of the Malawian people and that of Banda? If Bino Wa Mutarika's position has been inconsistent with that of the generality of the Malawains in the AU, then how are we sure that it still not the case under Mrs. President Banda?
In the words of the Malawian's Vice president Khumbo Kachale, the country also had 'other obligations' that take precedence over that of the AU and that the Malawian cabinet had 'decided it was not interested to accept the condition by the Africa Union' of rescinding on the earlier position of trading off a fellow AU member state leader during its hosting an AU summit 'therefore Malawi is not hosting the summit'. The vice-president presentation on the national radio was strangely put to the poor Malawian masses as if the arrest of Al-Bashir is in the best interest of the Malawians that the people will cease to exist if Al-Bahir is allowed to attend the summit without being arrested.
The above position also exposed the fact that majority of the members of the AU Assembly whose meeting Banda might probably be attending for the first time, are not in favour of having any member state head handed over to the 'European Court for Africans'. Thus the summit would have been a failure as most of these member states heads would have abstained in solidarity with Al-Bashir, had the summit been allowed to be hosted in Malawi. So the AU Commission seeing this coming that could lead to the division of the Union, choose to arrest the situation by relocate this very important Summit to Addis Ababa and for a very long time to come, the honour of hosting the AU summit will not be coming that easy to Malawi.
Now, having settled the AU Summit to Addis Ababa after all the twists and turns with both President Banda and Al-Bashir attending, what are the likely developments we should all be expecting? At every AU summit, the members of the Assembly have the obligation of working very closely together in addressing concerns of the Union but in the case of Al-Bashir and Banda, the cordiality will be very strain if at all. The reception between the Sudanese delegates and that of Malawi will also suffer, and there the two have to work together for the benefit of the Union, then the opposite will be the case.
There is also going to be an atmosphere of hate and suspicion among members of the AU member state leaders toward Mrs. Banda as a desperate opportunist whose company is a threat to all the allies of Bingo Wa Mutarika and Al-Bashir. The suspicions and hatred is also not going to be limited to Al-Bashir and his entourage towards Mrs. Banda but the same attitude shall becoming from those that sympathised with Al-Bashir to mar the general outcome of the summit.
It is very important to emphasize the significance of this particular summit as a forum in which the physical presence of every member of the AU Assembly is paramount, and Union ensures to avoid any situation that will be excluding any member from attending. At present, the presence of the presidents of Guinea Bissau and Mali are unavoidably necessary. Thus, at least the election of the Chairperson of the AU Commission shall be done without the view of the 1.6 million and 14 million respective populations of Guinea Bissau and Mali taking into consideration, as their sole representatives who are the heads of states to the AU have been excluded. The decision to exclude Mali and Guinea Bissau was by the general consensus of the Assembly of the AU which is not the same as the unilateral decision of Mrs. Banda to exclude Al-Bashir in exercising the right and mandate of the over 45 million population of Sudan that he alone represents at the AU.
Now having come this far, it is important to exploit the position of Mrs. Banda is advancing what the Action Group of Africa (AGA) has been campaigning against all these years regarding the malfunctioning of the AU and the modifications that will be allowing the parliaments of all the 54 states of the Union to be those voting in the election of the AUC Chairperson. Mrs. Banda's position exposed the important fact that all these years of Bingo Wa Mutarika's decisions being made in the AU does not actually reflect the view of the masses of Malawi. So it has been all about what Bingo Wa Matarika wants in the AU that does not even reflect the view of the second most highest person in the country as the vice president and barely a month into the former president's death, the vice is openly out to destroy the AU which would not have been the case if the view of the nation on the AU has all along been more representative by the view of the nation's parliamentary votes than just the head of state.
Mrs. Banda also exposed the weakness of the position of the AUC Chairperson and the Commission at large in the advancement of the interest of the Union as against the interest of a single member state, in this case Malawi. The Malawian decision confirmed that where the interest of the AU as represented by the weaker AUC Chairperson conflicts with that of a member states, the member state head reserve the right to sustained its interest at the detriment of the Union.
This single anomaly of a stronger member state head as against the weakness of the AUC Chairperson explains why any single AU member state head can invite former colonial masters or the United Nation to administer justice on another head of state of the AU without the AUC Chairperson taking a decisive step to stop it. This unfortunate weakness of the AUC Chairperson as an institution of authority makes every one of the 54 AU member state and the people of the states' vulnerable to sustain the same trend in fate that the African did suffer for over a thousand years. In a nut shell, neither Bashir nor Banda is any better off in the bigger scheme of things.
The parliament of each country voting in the decision of who assume the role of AUC Chairmanship will not only be strengthening the position of the AUCC in decision making as against any single head of a member state, it would have avoided the unfortunate conflict of having an individual like Al-Bashir or Banda from going to a particular location just to express the view of their population on the AU and the AUC Chairperson. The election in each country would have save us this entire Al- Bashir saga and all that would have been the case is having the result from all the 54 AU member states being collated and confirmed at any location on the continent as determined by the Union. This would not only have solved the problem of knowing what the people of Sudan want in the AU as per the Commission leadership choice, it would also have allowed the people of Mali and Guinea Bissau to participate in the decision of who will be providing a lasting solution to their respective problems in the name of the AUC without necessarily having anyone from that country attending any summit.
It is also important here to mention that allowing the parliament of each nation to be the one voting in the choice of the AUC Chairmanship, after the members of the Assembly have made their choice of two candidates and their two deputies, will be making the countries parliaments to be stronger as the instruments of bringing the verdicts of the AUCC closer to the people.
The 19th Summit in which the existing archaic and faulty prone system is being use will be taking place at the AU headquarters in Addis Abba between 9th to 16th July 2012 where the decision of whether Jean Ping shall be continuing for four more years as the AUC Chairperson or Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma will be assuming a mandate of the Chief Executive of the Union for the next four years. In this 'democratic' election, both Al-Bashir and Banda shall be representing the views of the populations of their respective states. These two individuals that make up the total 54 members of the AU Assembly and the sole delegates in this election collective represent the view of the 986 million population of the Africa Union.
In just less than a month to the AU election, the Action Group of Africa (AGA) has been employing all means necessary to expose the anomalies plaguing our Africa Union while mobilizing the masses to stand against this injustice that misrepresent the interest of the majority. We have been mounting campaigns on radios, TV, social networks media, our website, leafleting, organization of seminars and lectures, all with the sole aim of empowering the masses on the continent of Africa to take their destiny into their own hands by participating in the AUC Chairmanship election. We believe that the only one to save us all from this calamity is none but ourselves and the only way to start doing this is by one man, one vote for every one of the voting age in the Africa Union 54 member states.
Kofi Ali Abdul Yekin
Action Group of Africa (AGA)
Skyp on kofialiabdul1, firstname.lastname@example.org