By Larry Eyong
The contradictions of the 265th meeting of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union, have again confirmed the opinion of detractors: That the African Union is a racket of dictators who meet periodically to congratulate themselves for successfully clinging to power. How else can one explain their conspiratorial silence, in the face of the genocide that one of their peers, Ghadaffi, has unleashed on his people only to cling to power? We are reminded of this same African Union- ineptitude in 1994, when Habiarimana of Rwanda distributed machetes to his majority Hutu tribe, to decapitate the minority Tutsis. The African Union has continued to shamelessly wring its hands, without an operational mechanism to avert another genocide that may occur in Cote d’Ivoire, Libya or any of the other dictatorial countries where elections will again be rigged this year.
As if to maintain consistency in their contradictions, the AU again recommended that Alassane Ouattara should go back to Abidjan and take the oath of president of Cote d’Ivoire, from the president of the very constitutional council who had already sworn in incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo. The question of whether a recount in the contested rebel held north would dispose of the dispute, and why such a recount is not mandatory; the question of the supremacy of national law is matters of national election disputes; the question of inquiring into the genesis of the rebel incursion from Burkina Faso which triggered the present division of the country into a Muslim north and a Christian south; the question of the garrisoning of the French army in a sovereign nation against the will of the sovereign; the question of the stranglehold of France over the resources of the country and the evisceration of the lives of the younger generation which swells the ranks of the army of the unemployed who have become armed bandits and rebels, have all been swept under the rug.
The African Union is mired in its own contradictions. It cannot eat its cake and have it. It is either a supranational organization with states ready to cede sovereignty to promote liberty, democracy and the rule of law, like the European Union or it clings to the puppetry of its empty sovereignty, with leaders who take orders from Paris, London or Washington as is now the case. The inordinate influence of France in influencing the course of events as regards the Ivorian crisis is unsettling. Blaise Compoare of Burkina Faso, and Idris Derby of Chad as vassals of France and there are mere Trojan horses of France in this matter. Sarkozy recently led a high powered delegation to address the AU in what capacity- one cannot tell- peddling a flurry of promises of cancelling the debts of pliant countries and ostensibly giving Nigeria or South Africa a seat at the UN security council. The state visit of Jacob Zuma to Paris coming as it did, on the heels of South Africa’s reticence to support Paris in the Ivorian crisis is bound to having a pervasive influence on the resolution of the crisis.
The deriding spectacle of Compoare, Derby and Mohamed Abdel Aziz –three Francophile leaders who came to power through coups d’etats called upon to adjudicate matters of democracy, taking their marching orders from France does not auger well for democracy in Africa.
While the AU farce is unfolding, the civil war that was triggered in 2002 when Ivorian rebels trained by France in Burkina Faso, crossed an international border to oust the democratically elected government of Laurent Gbagbo has continued to claim innocent lives. The international community is again confirming that politics, not law, influences the course of human events from start to finish.