During a recent meeting the African Union’s Peace and Security Council decided to back Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in his efforts to keep the situation in the country under control in spite of the decisions by the Arab League and the UN on sanctions against Libyan government.
The African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC) stands by Gaddafi in his clampdown on armed rebels in his country, the Herald (Zimbabwe) reported on March 11. The PSC recognized that the situation in Libya was ripe for undue Western interference and hence there was a need to support Gaddafi.
“We wanted to hear the truth about the situation. We took exception to interference by Western powers… and we absolutely reject their intervention. Africa will send a high-level panel of five Heads of State supported by experts (to Libya) to recommend the African position and what steps should be taken,” Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe said.
However, the decision by the AU that aimed at stabilizing the situation in the region was under-reported by the Western media which immediately portrayed the organization as corrupt, insisting that the decision was taken under the influence of Gaddafi’s petrodollars.
“The African Union has condemned the potential use of foreign intervention in Libya. This decision contrasts starkly with the Arab League’s recent call for a no-fly zone. The AU’s decision implies some support for Qaddafi and highlights sub-Saharan Africa’s strong opposition to outside military intervention. This is not entirely surprising: Qaddafi has been an important financier of the AU in the past, and he has backing within the organization, notably from Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe. There is probably some implicit support as well among at least a few African strong men who have an interest in the failure of North Africa’s popular uprising,” John Campbell, Ralph Bunche Senior Fellow for Africa Policy Studies, wrote.
Nobody suspected the Arab League in taking a biased decision in the interests of the Western countries and the US who are now in a hurry to impose more sanctions on Libya as the blitzkrieg and “Twitter revolutions” plans, as well as the policy of “controlled chaos,” did not work out in the country. Although it is obvious that the action taken by the League could clear the way for the United States, Europe and NATO to press for a strong Security Council resolution and to counter the objections of China and Russia, which traditionally oppose foreign intervention in a country’s internal disputes.
But when an organization takes a move that looks very logical and reasonable in the existing circumstances, but which is contrary to the expectations of the West, it gets accused of corruption.
“Intrinsically, geographically, culturally, Libya is African… and African solutions are needed,” the Zimbabwean leader said. He noted that there was no excuse for the West to get involved without being asked to by the AU. After all, it is the African continent, not the Middle East, that will have to face a new military intervention, if the worst happen.
AU chair, President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea is understood to have said the matter was not about personal liking or disliking of Gaddafi. He said today it Libya, and who knows where next such anarchy would erupt,” a source said, according to the Herald.
Campbell’s accusations of bribery against the AU with regards to relations with Gaddafi look far-fetched as during the meeting the AU emphasized that this was the opportune time to induce the Libyan strongman to institute political and policy reforms to allow greater freedom of expression in that country. They still were somewhat critical of the regime and called for democratisation. President Mugabe himself said the Libyan political system had been described as “authoritarian” and the AU should use the present state of affairs to prod Gaddafi into reforming.
CNS News echoed Campbell’s article saying that the African Union, “Recipient of Gaddafi Funds, was Silent on Libya Bloodshed.”
The media keeps on spreading misinformation about the real situation in the country, creating the pictures of awful massacres and bloodsheds. However, according to the latest data received by Saint Petersburg Centre of Middle Eastern Studies (meast.ru) on March 10, 2011, the situation in the Western regions of Libya was stable. Nothing even reminded about the unrest that took place two – three weeks ago. The military was only involved in protecting strategic objects and places like sea ports without intervening in the situation in the cities.
The AU decision on supporting Libya’s government is one of the first pro-Libyan decisions on such a high level. The organization must hold its position as it could be the only one that could prevent foreign military intervention in Libya and the African continent.