The fellowship of the Union

The African Union is well on its way to becoming an irrelevant institution like its predecessor the OAU. I say this simply because the name has changed but the leaders remain the same. Under the leadership of the founding fathers there was some measure of success. A number of countries got independence albeit it was also partly due to the help of the now fallen Brother leader Qaddafi. I am surprised to hear a prominent African leader like Thabo Mbeki appearing puzzled by events taking place in Libya and questioning why AU has been side-lined “Mbeki slams West’s gunboat diplomacy against Gaddafi . Again it is reported the the International Contact Group, which has been conducting military operations in support of the Transitional National Council (TNC) rebels fighting Gaddafi, met in Istanbul to discuss how to manage a post-Gaddafi Libya. The AU was not included in these talks.

There is a simple reason as to why the AU has been side lined; the AU simply lacks the political will to tackle the conflicts in Africa. When called upon to act African leaders chose indifference over decisive action. Quiet diplomacy as was Mbeki’s legacy would have meant Qaddafi would have continued slaughtering his kinsman into submission. AU does not even value its own principles, it is important to note African countries like South Africa voted in favour of the same UN resolution that the AU is now crying foul over. One wonders if they even knew what they were voting for?


The AU’s proposed solution to the crisis was to insist on a peace road map that would retain elements of Gadaffi in power. Now when called to make a decision on the release of funds to rebuild Libya South African now decides to wait to receive the go ahead from AU( “Libya conflict: Africa’s dilemma over seized assets” and “SA to wait for AU decision on Libya” ) . One wonders why in the first place they did not wait for an AU decision before voting for the UN resolution. My advice to the fellowship of the so called Union if they ever want to be relevant and determine the fate of their own nations they need to be decisive leaders. Have principles and be ready to die for those principles.