The Mockery That is the African Union
It then boggles the mind and puts under the spotlight the sanity of African people, as these are the very people we have entrusted with our future. Their actions have shown that when it comes to progression they are only concerned with their own and each others. It is this attitude that led to the “quiet diplomacy” that Thabo Mbeki exercised with Robert Mugabe, giving him leave to continue persecuting his own people. And it is the same modus operandi they hoped to take with Libya.
If anyone is in any doubt of the reluctance and inability of the African Union to actually implement and achieve their objectives one just has to take a glance at their résumé. Africa is a mess! Darfur became an international crisis with AU peacekeepers unable to contain the situation until the UN arrived. The fact that Kenya did not descend into a civil war was no thanks to the efforts of the AU but the intervention of Kofi Annan. Zimbabwe has been a failed state for nearly 15 years and has a made a mockery of democracy with the Government of National Unity. Libya and Ivory Coast have been turned into battlegrounds. Dare we mention Somalia?
And that’s not all the AU has failed at. With the promotion of good health on the continent as one of the AU objectives, it is totally unacceptable that in 2011 preventable diseases, such as cholera, infant diarrhea, measles and malnutrition are major causes of death in Africa. In the decades and more that the AU has been in existence it would seem the leaders are too busy grasping for power to care that a large percentage of the continent’s population lives without proper sanitation and safe drinking water, or that millions of children are dying from hunger. With the money and resources that Africa has not enough has been done to prevent these epidemics.
While civilians are being killed by government armed forces, they meet and discuss. As children die from cholera the AU forms committees and deliberates. As members loot their countries and line their coffers, their people go to bed hungry. It is no surprise then that whenever there is a crisis in Africa, Africans look to the West for assistance. For while the West only provides assistance in order to protect their own interests, at least they take cohesive action. The majority of Africans have lost the respect for the AU, for they are the very people that are the cause of our distress. How can the people of Libya, Egypt, Tunisia and potentially Zimbabwe trust the intentions of the AU when it comes to dealing with one of their own when they’ve allowed him to hold onto power for so long?
It is nearly impossible to fix a problem in dialogue with the very people that you are trying to escape from, or seek refuge with the one shooting at and dropping bombs on you. Logic dictates you look elsewhere. Until the old guard is gone and has made way for younger, legitimate rulers, rulers who can rally all Africans to the idea of a United Africa, rid it of corruption and not make a mockery of it, the AU will forever be ignored. Sometimes they’ll be humored, sure, but on the whole they’ll be disregarded, not only by the international community, but by the people they were formed to serve.