19.01.2012 Opinions

A Mockery Well Made

19.01.2012 LISTEN
By Salia Mildred Songsore

Being indispensable, as seen by the forerunners, Africacan boast of many organizations steered towards the liberation from colonization. After the colonization period, these bodies, driven by the powerful zeal to gain independence until at that time, altered their elemental objectives to suit the contemporary era which would help solve the varying stream of problems that would flow in subsequent times. Brilliant step!

The question formulated is: How then do these bodies execute their targets thereby living up to expectation? I have made some observations drawn from some key issues in the continent.

The formal Organization of African Unity ( now African Union ) was set up by some 'independence radicals' to fight colonialism in Africa and forge an outstanding unity to transform her into a third world bloc (power) after Europeand the United States of America. A noble intent that was indeed, it logically meant that all traces of foreign stage-managing in Africa after the formation of the O.A.U was even unthinkable. A metamorphosis of the OAU, the AU stands today as the mother of Africa as she is the foremost unifying body of the leaders.

The AU unarguably is the highest organization in Africa but as to whether it has the highest say in affairs or the upper hand in Africa is doubtful. Why is the UN expected to save the Ivory Coast when we have the AU? How did the USA manage to come to Libya to put Muammar Al-Qaddafi under threat? Does the AU see that as an aberration and will be corrected “next time”?

Agree with me not, the Union actually has some achievements. In 2004 Thabo Mbeki was able to umpire in the Ivorian war to accomplish a peaceful resolution by the directive of the organization. Again, the organization orchestrated peace talks which resulted in the comprehensive peace agreement between the Sudan government and the SPLA rebel movement in Southern Sudan.

The organization is unarguably democratic as their principles spell out clearly. Ghana has strongly propped up the body's position on democratic rule and has been commended duly but is that same with other countries? It is overly funny with the AU because the Union has a strong stand on democracy and good governance even to the extent that it will not recognize any leader brought into power by unlawful means just like it refused to recognize Faure Gnassingbe of Togo. This sets me thinking: if all these are so then it should mean that the union supports and accepts any leader who stays in power unlawfully which will be so much ridiculous and a big mockery of the union.

I say this because though Presidents Mubarak and Qaddafi (of Egypt and Libya respectively) might have come into power 'unlawfully', they were accepted alright into the union after converting their governments into civilian ones but sustained their tenures autocratically so that they are reputed to be dictators which was one of the reasons Egyptians revolted recently.

What does the union have to say? They have out rightly rejected their own 'strong' principles whether they agree with me or not. They have made a mockery of themselves. Qaddafi founded the AU, no doubt. But he contradicts the democratic principles put in place and it seems nothing was found wrong with that. African leaders went ahead to accept his ideals. I am not saying its formation has been the worst in Africa but if the leaders had stood by what is right they would not accept a dictator in the organization. If even the leaders can compromise issues of such importance why won't foreigners manipulate them?

Unrest is probably not new to the AU so why has the organization been so unable in these times? The USA and NATO have had to step in where Libya is concerned and the world watches today as a real war rages on. This has proved the AU weak. Irony heavily hangs here as the foremost achievement of the AU is peace-keeping. Libya would not have suffered had the union rejected Gaddafi's reign and all that it represents- autocracy and monotony – which are the exact opposites of democracy.

The point I'm trying to make is that leaders do not contradict their own laid policies or principles but inadvertently, what they do is mocked by what they literally purpose which has transformed the dignified AU into an organization which stands today as a mockery well made.

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