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August 28, 2011 | Feature Article

Is Africa Rushing To Recognize The Libyan Rebels?

A Pan-Africanist Brief, By Nana Akyea Mensah
Sat. 27 August 2011.
Wikipedia is doing a very good job in helping to see clearly what is going on in Africa, so far as the politics of the recognition of the Libyan rebels is concerned. Of the 54 African countries, 18 or one-third of them have extended recognition to the Libyan rebels. It is important to name and shame: Gambia, Senegal, Cape Verde, Botswana, Gabon, Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Sudan, Chad, Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Rwanda, Benin, Niger, and Togo.

Here are the details:
1. Gambia[52]: Recognised on 22 April 2011
The West African state of Gambia said it recognised the National Transitional Council as the only legitimate body representing Libyan interests. The Gambia also expelled Tripoli's diplomats.

2. Senegal[53][54] Recognised on 28 May 2011
Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade declared that his country officially recognises the NTC as the legitimate opposition of Libya on 20 May. He also declared that the NTC should lead the transition of power. Eight days later, after meeting with top NTC officials, he declared the body was recognised as the “legitimate representative of the Libyan people”.

3. Cape Verde[ Recognised on 26 June 2011
The Libyan ambassador to Cape Verde resigned in April. On 26 June, the Cape Verdean government called the NTC "the legitimate interlocutor" for Praia during the civil war. It reiterated its recognition on 26 August in a full press release and expressed its desire to see "peaceful political action to set up a transitional government to hold free and fair elections".[74]

4. Botswana[134] Recognised on 11 August 2011
Foreign Affairs Minister Phandu Skelemani said Botswana recognised the NTC as Libya's legitimate governing authority until elections were held, which he said he hoped the rebels won, or until a unity government was formed between the NTC and the Gaddafi regime. Botswana was among the first countries to break off relations with Gaddafi's government over his response to protests in February. [135][136]

5. Gabon[137] Recognised on 12 August 2011
After meeting with Mahmoud Jibril, President Ali Bongo Ondimba announced Gabonese recognition for the NTC as the Libyan people's legitimate representative.[138] Libya's ambassador to Gabon left the host country on 24 August after a formal request by the Gabonese government.[139]

6. Tunisia[140][141] Recognised on 20 August 2011[142]

Tunisia's cabinet spokesman, Taieb Baccouche, announced that Tunisia was ready to recognise the rebels as the sole legitimate government of Libya as soon as they came to negotiate for it. It gave three reasons for this action: that the shelling of its own people rendered Gaddhafi's government illegitimate, that it still resented Gaddhafi's support to Ben Ali during the Tunisian Revolution, and that Gaddhafi's shelling of its territory had rendered its previous strategy of neutrality ineffective.[140] Abdul Jalil visited Tunisia on 18 June to meet with Prime Minister Beji Caid el Sebsi and said that Tunisia had not recognised his government publicly, but he believed the meeting indicated de facto recognition.[143] On 20 August, the Tunis Afrique Presse (TAP) reported the Tunisian government recognised the NTC as the sole legitimate representative of the Libyan people, just after clashing with pro-Gaddafi Libyan troops in Tunisian territory the previous day.

7. Egypt[145][146] Recognised on 22 August 2011
Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Elaraby said on 25 May 2011 that his government would post former Deputy Foreign Minister Hany Khallaf in Benghazi to liaise with the council as Egypt's diplomatic envoy. On 22 August 2011 Egypt recognises the NTC as the sole legitimate government of Libya.[146]

8. Morocco[150] Recognised on 22 August 2011
Recognised on 22 August 2011 Morocco recognises the NTC as the only legitimate representative of the Libyan people. Libyan embassy in Rabat announced on the same day its rallying to the NTC.In a statement to Moroccan TV channels “Al Oula” and “2M”, aired on their evening news, Foreign Minister, Taib Fassi Fihri, stressed that “the Kingdom of Morocco confirms its recognition of the National Transitional Council as the sole and legitimate representative of the Libyan people and carrier of its aspirations for a better future based on equity, justice, democracy and the rule of law.[151] The same day Libyan embassy and community in Morocco considered the NTC as the only legitimate representative of the Libyan people.[152]

9. Nigeria[162] Recognised on 23 August 2011
On August 23 it was reported by the media that “Nigeria's government said it recognized Libya's National Transition Council as the legitimate representative of the people in the North Africa nation.”

10. Sudan[177] Recognised on 24 August 2011
Recognised on 24 August 2011 In early July, the Sudan Tribune suggested that the Sudanese government may be working in support of the NTC, noting that President Omar al-Bashir has been a frequent critic of Gaddafi and asserting that “Sudan has unofficially given its blessings to the [council]“.[178] The Libyan community in Sudan took over the Libyan embassy in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum and appointed a new pro-NTC ambassador on 22 August.[179] Sudan officially recognised the NTC as the legal representative for the Libyan people two days later and said it was “working to enter into practical relations” with the council.[177]

11. Chad[182] Recognised on 24 August 2011
Although Chad was previously hostile to the no-fly zone and made statements supportive of Gaddafi, United States Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton met with high-level Chadian officials and announced afterward that “the Chadian government does not support Gaddafi”. She added, “We are very supportive of their efforts to reach out to the Transitional National Council, which they have been doing in a more sustained way in recent days.” However, Chad retains an ambassador in Tripoli, Daoussa Déby (half-brother of President Idriss Déby), who previously appeared to support Gaddafi's claims that the Libyan rebels are affiliated with Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.[183] Foreign Ministry Secretary General Moussa Dago said Chad recognised the NTC as “the only legitimate authority of the Libyan people” on 24 August.

12. Ethiopia[184]
Recognised on 24 August 2011
On 22 August, the Libyan embassy in Ethiopia recognised the NTC as “the country's legitimate representative”.[185] In a joint press conference with Nigerian Foreign Minister Olugbenga Ashiru and Ethiopian Foreign Affairs Minister Hailemariam Desalegn on 24 August, a spokesman for the Ethiopian government said, “The recent unfolding events in Libya have amply demonstrated that the National Transition Council is in the control of the greater part of Libya.” The spokesman announced that Ethiopia was joining Nigeria in recognising the NTC as “the interim legitimate authority in Libya”, and both Ashiru and Desalegn called on the African Union to do likewise

13. Burkina Faso
Recognised on 24 August 2011
BBC reports, “Burkina Faso and Chad, two nations which received large amounts of aid from Libya under Col Gaddafi, have now joined the list of more than 40 countries recognising the rebels' NTC as Libya's legitimate authority. Burkina Faso says it will offer Col Gaddafi exile if he requests it.”[186]

14. Côte d'Ivoire[195
Recognised on 25 August 2011
Ivorian Foreign Minister Daniel Kablan Duncan said Abidjan considers the NTC "the sole legitimate representative of the Libyan people". Duncan also called for the NTC to initiate a national dialogue and hold "free, open, and transparent elections" as soon as possible.

15. Rwanda
On 26 August, Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo called on the African Union to "support" the NTC and said, "We support the National Transitional Council. ... We think that Colonel Gaddafi has run out of time as a leader."[202] In Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Mushikiwabo said Rwanda recognised the NTC as “the sole and legitimate representative of the Libyan people” even though the AU Peace and Security Council opted not to do so.[203]

16. Benin[204]
Late on 26 August, the government of Benin issued a statement recognising the NTC. The next day, Beninese and Nigerien officials held a joint press conference to announce their recognition of the council.

17. Niger[205]
Recognised on 27 August 2011
An official statement read out on national radio said in part, “The Niger government acknowledges the regime change in Libya and formally recognises the NTC as the only authority representing the Libyan people.”

18. Togo
Recognised on 27 August 2011
In official statement Togolese Foreign Ministry announced that government recognized the NTC as “the sole legitimate representative of the people and interests in Libya”. [206] Reuters reported Togo had decided to echo neighbouring Benin's recognition a day after the larger country transferred recognition to the NTC.[204]

Nana Akyea Mensah
Nana Akyea Mensah

The author has authored 145 publications on Modern Ghana.
Author's column: NanaAkyeaMensah

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of Nana Akyea Mensah and do not neccessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana. Modern Ghana will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."

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