Home | Comment & Analysis    Friday 4 September 2009

Libyan leader and Pan Arab agenda in Africa

By Izzadine Abdul Rasoul

September 3, 2009 — The African Union is intended to be a geo-political entity covering the entirety of the African continent. Its origins originated in the Union of African States, an early confederation that was established by Kwame Nkrumah in the 1960s, as well as subsequent attempts to unite Africa, including the Organization of African Unity (OAU), which was established on May 25, 1963, and the African Economic Community in 1981. Critics argued that the OAU in particular did little to protect the rights and liberties of African citizens from their own political leaders, often dubbing it the "Dictators’ Club".

The idea of creating the AU was revived in the mid-1990s under the leadership of Libyan head of state Muammar al-Gaddafi: the heads of state and government of the OAU issued the Sirte Declaration (named after Sirte, in Libya) on September 9, 1999, calling for the establishment of an African Union. The Declaration was followed by summits at Lomé in 2000, when the Constitutive Act of the African Union was adopted, and at Lusaka in 2001, when the plan for the implementation of the African Union was adopted.

The first attempts to create a politically unified state encompassing the whole of the African continent were made by European colonial powers in the nineteenth century, intent on harnessing the vast natural resources and huge amount of manpower the continent had to offer to their Empires. However the strong rivalry between European powers such as Great Britain, Belgium, France, Italy, Germany and Spain and Portugal, meant the reality soon dawned that no one nation was powerful enough to outdo all the others, and take complete control of the continent.

Instead, they carved the continent up between them, scrambling for control of as much territory as possible, and attempting to prevent their rivals from obtaining favorable regions. The European powers essentially maintained control of their territories as colonies until the second half of the twentieth century, when changes in European policy and thinking, led to releasing of control over their African colonies, and the creation of independent nations across the continent took place between the 1950s and 1970s.

The Union of African States, was a short lasting union of three West African states, in the 1960s - Mali, Ghana, and Guinea. This union was Marxist politically, and was lead by such African revolutionaries as Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana and Sékou Touré of Guinea, who was president of Guinea.

On 1958-11-23, a Ghana-Guinea Union was formed with a flag like that of Ghana but with two black stars. In May 1959 it was announced that the Union would be renamed Union of African States with a flag like that of Ghana "with as many black stars as there were members".[citation needed] In April, 1961 Mali joined this union, so the flag then had three stars. The Union fell apart in 1962, when Guinea started to reach out to the United States, against the acquaintance of their Socialist partner, the U.S.S.R..

GADHAFI AND ARAB SELF CENTRISM

Africa the richest continent after the independent from the European colonial power, fell short to develop its self. This I believe was due to the lack of sound and fair studies to diagnose the real factor behind the backwardness of the continent. However; unfortunately those leaders who struggled for the liberation of their people in a time became worst than the colonial power over their own people, by either being corrupt politicians, or instigate tribalism among their own people or being dictators ruling their people by the old style by creating fake enemy for their nation like imperialist, socialist or colonialist or Zionist….etc.

If we look at the world history we will find most of the global countries including the super power countries were colonized, although they did not sit to decry the past on the contrary they were motivated to get developed and be the best among other nations. If we take Sudan and its neighbor Kenya as examples of African countries and compare them with three tigers countries and Korea we will find that in early sixties seventies and eighties the economic development of Kenya and Sudan was ten times better than those above mentioned countries. Today let us look at Sudan and Kenya where are they in world economy? It looks very stupid to blame someone who left you thirty or forty years ago on your own mistakes. Yes as historical facts the colonialist built Europe with African resources, but at the end they left African water and soil as it’s and where is the agricultural development. Sudan sometimes was the second country after United State OF America in the world that exports cotton; and today Sudan imports clothes from Asia and Europe and the same with Kenya and so many of African countries who continue sleeping and throwing blames on Europeans. Most of African elders in all African countries due to the lack of health care, educational system collapse and other services remember the colonialists.

On Aug. 31 Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi told a special summit of the African Union (AU) that African countries should face regional challenges and resolve the conflicts plaguing the African continent by themselves.

The Libyan leader said Israel stands behind all of Africa’s conflicts, calling for expelling Israeli embassies out of African countries because Israel seeks to stir up sedition as a pretext to protect minorities.

Gadhafi held Israel responsible for fueling the conflict in Darfur, saying that Israel’s hosting to an office of Sudan Liberation movement of Abdel -Wahid Mohamed Nur is a proof.
He also expressed his regret that France hosts Abdel-Wahid Mohammed Nur while claiming its commitment to world peace and security. Touching on Sudan, Gadhafi, the current chairman of the 53-nation bloc, said the Darfur crisis can be solved by Sudanese hands, noting that international interference deepened Darfur crisis.

Gadhafi stressed the need for Africa both current and future generations that there are no African conflicts and wars especially now that the continent is heading towards establishing the United States of Africa.

The message of Libyan Gadhafi is irrelevant because he himself is a problem that stance on the way of Africa towards the development. First the North African Arab beginning with former President of Egypt Gamal Abdul Nasir and Gadhafi exploited the weaknesses of the African Head of States and passed the Pan Arab agendas through them. Ghaddfi accused Israel as being source of troubles to Africa! I was wondering why the King of Kings of Africa did not mention the China and Russia in AU meetings, although all empty bullets and weapons scrap pieces of iron on African soil are either from China or Russia. But; it’s a historical blind believe of Gadhafi and his Arab brothers, that all Africa belongs to Arabs. Therefore; he did not hesitate to accuse those having troubles with Arab states in the opening of AU sessions. I would like to remind Libyan leader that Africans have never experienced killing by Israelis but the African men, women and children were bombed and killed by Arabs in Tanzania, Kenya, Somalia and today in Darfur.

In the past all African countries cut off ties with State of Israel due to Arab lobby in AU on favor of Palestinian cause. Not only that the late PLO leader Yasir Arafat on his first visit to Republic of South Africa after the end of Apartheid System , declared Jihad over Israelis which I think was the first time the Africans to know what Jihad is. Today Gadhafi who is blinded by Arab self centrism is also calling the Africans to declare new Jihad on State of Israel and people of Darfur who fled the war looking for save heaven in Israel.

Libyan leader is flip flopping with African causes because he found African heads of states as puppets. One of the funny stories I was told that Gaddafi always writes drafts of resolutions and passes it to the members of states to just sign it without comments. Here I would like to remind Libyan Arabs is that in Twenty First Century, we know that there are still voiceless Africans-tribes in Libya treated as the second class citizen in their own land Labia. Also the same case happens in Egypt where the blacks are assigned to work as guards on the doors of resident buildings to deliver services for the residents like old India caste system. Meanwhile; in Mauritania most blacks are still under the bondage of their masters Arabs. If any of the African leaders is skeptic about this information, they can dispatch informal delegation to investigate, however; they will come out with the worst I expect. So now who are the colonialist and imperialist?

Not only that Gadhafi even predicted that the independent South Sudan will be weak and be exploited by supper power countries like USA and others. Nevertheless; Gadhafi did not care that South Sudanese in twenty years war lost two million lives in the hands of North Arab Sudanese. Nevertheless; it seems as if he is telling the people of the South Sudan to stay under the mercy of North Arab until the rest are finished. I wish to hear Arab countries condemning North Arabs for the atrocities committed in South Sudan and Darfur The very sad part of the story is that the Arabs don’t care on human’s beings in Sudan, but on resources and the land. Likewise; the Egyptians are expressing their concerns on the water of the River Nile not the people of the South Sudan even their foreign minister when the Sudan President Advisor Nafie Ali Nafie visited Cairo, went so far by saying that they can fight to keep the country united which means they can keep the wolf and the cheap in one room to guarantee the free flow of water to the delta.

King Gadhafi whose country neighbors Darfur, down played the struggle of people of Darfur and said that the problem of Darfur began with the stealing of the camel. I don’t know up to now, who have stolen whose camel? But as far as I know is that the African tribes in Darfur do not breed camels, only the Arab tribes who do that. May be the Arab tribes invited their brother Arabs from other countries to retaliate on African tribes by committing genocide for their stolen camel.

Now coming back to African, I believe that the African leaders should be inspired by declaring war against poverty, diseases and ignorance not against any country in this world. Also, the African leaders should respect their own people by creating countries of institutions instead of countries of one man show. Africa needs respect for human rights, rules of law and good governance not inappropriate zealous speeches of King of Kings of Africa Gadhafi who knows nothing even of what is happening for his Darfuri neighbors, leave alone the Africans in jungles. Not only Gadhafi think in that manner on issues concerning Africa but also the all Arabs when they discuss about justice in Darfur they frequently link it with cases of Iraq and Palestine as if people of Darfur sometimes invaded Palestine or Iraq. What a petty ill attitudes of Arabs? Even feeling jealous for the suffering of Darfuris? Asking why not the world let them to suffer?

The freedom for Africa is not just expelling the colonialist out of the continent; to be free is to have your own opinions of right and wrong, and decide correctly on issues concerning the masses people of Africa. I think this is the real meaning of the freedom.

At the end this opinion has nothing to do with hate red to any of the ethnic group in Africa but it has to do with the priorities that are need at home here in Africa. I believe that Africa is for all, therefore; it should not be maneuvered to serve the cause of certain groups.

The author is the Managing Editor of Citizen Newspaper - Sudan. He can be reached at kargolu@yahoo.com