Friday, September 16, 2011
African Union Dumps Gaddafi
President Jacob Zuma of South Africa, right, hosted a meeting of the African Union Ad Hoc High Level Committee on Libya. President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda is on the left.
Ousted Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is losing the support of the African Union. The AU Peace and Security Council is to meet later this month on recognizing the new transitional administration.
Ousted Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has finally lost the official support of the African Union which had stoutly stood by him throughout the seven months of armed conflict in his country.
Five African presidents sitting on the AU ad hoc committee on Libya, who were also known to be Col. Gaddafi's friends, resolved on Wednesday to recognise the Libyan National Transitional Council if it formed an all-inclusive government.
President Museveni, his South African counterpart Jacob Zuma, and Congo's Dennis Sassou Nguesso, recommended that the AU should help the NTC form a unity government.
Mauritania and Mali, the other members of the committee, were represented by their ambassadors to South Africa at the one-day meeting held in Pretoria even as the whereabouts of the former Libyan strongman, who has not been since Tripoli fell to the NTC in August, remain unknown.
The AU resolution to support the NTC is an indication that the continental body now recognises the futility of opposing the transitional council as the legitimate government in Libya.
Until Wednesday, the AU had swum against the tide of Western-led international opinion, taking a generally isolated and ambivalent view of events in Libya, with some member countries backing the new dispensation, while others remained undecided or openly regretful that Col. Gaddafi had been removed from power.
However, Uganda's Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary, Ambassador James Mugume, said yesterday the AU position remains the same on having an all-inclusive government.
"There is no change of position as African Union. The condition by African Union is still the same," he said.
Mr Museveni and Mr Zuma have been among the most vocal of African presidents against the Libyan war and tried to push for a negotiated settlement between Col. Gaddafi and the NTC throughout the period the Western military alliance, NATO, bombed Tripoli and provided air support to the rebels fighting to topple his 42-year tyranny.
The two leaders were mostly ignored by a Western coalition that was determined the world had seen enough of the authoritarian colonel, who at the beginning of the fighting declared an intention to commit widespread killings if that is what it would take to retain his grip on power.
The AU has so far been one of the few international organisations that have withheld recognition of the NTC - on the grounds that it was NATO which supported the overthrow of Col. Gaddafi, and in so doing interfered in Libya's internal affairs. As a result, sharp divisions have emerged among African governments as some like Nigeria and Botswana quickly recognised the NTC as the legitimate government while Uganda, South Africa and others have not.
Uganda's Foreign Affairs ministry had on August 24 issued a statement, saying they were not ready to deal with individuals within the NTC. The AU's change in position followed a promise by the NTC to create a unity government.
Fonte: All Africa News