The commissioner for Peace and Security
has been commenting on a number of issues confronting the continent ahead of
this week’s African Union summit in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. Ramtane
Lamamra said it would be tantamount to pouring fuel on fire if the
International Criminal Court goes ahead to issue arrest warrants against
Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir.
On democracy, Lamamra told VOA that Africans and their leaders are acquiring what he called a democracy
culture. But he said when it comes to deepening the roots of democracy,
particularly during elections, Africa is confronted with democracy technicality
which he notes often leads to violence.
Lamamra noted that the current political
violence in Madagascar sparked by confrontation between the mayor of the
capital Antananarivo and President Marc Ravalomanana is an example of democracy
think the leaders as well as the people at large in Africa are certainly
acquiring democracy culture which cause them to interact with each other in the
respect of certain number of norms and principles without resorting violence to
solve differences of views. But we have in many cases throughout Africa really
democracy technicality which involves elections and at least theoretically
separation of powers. Then when it comes to the daily operation of these
institutions, sometimes a very small misunderstanding which can be overcome
through abiding by the rule of law and the constitution, sometimes the
situation generates into trouble,” he said.
expressed regrets over the loss of life in the Madagascar confrontation. But he
said the crisis appeared to be calming Wednesday perhaps in preparation for the
dialogue between Antananarivo mayor and opposition leader Andry Rajoelina.
happening only a few days before the opening of the African Union summit, I’m
sure that the leaders would wish to exchange views not only on the situation as
such in Madagascar, but also on the overall democracy process in Africa,
including the resurgence of the phenomena of military coups or unconstitutional
change of all governments in general,” Lamamra said.
the political impasse in Zimbabwe over the formation of a unity government,
Tamamra said he was hopeful the success of last weekend’s Southern African
Development Community (SADC) summit would lead to a quick resolution of the
is definitely determined to find African solutions to the African problems. But
those African solutions would definitely be consistent with the values that we
share with the rest of the world, including democracy, human rights and good
governance,” he said.
said from the peace and security point of view the overall landscape of Africa
has been encouraging, including post-conflict situations in Sierra Leone,
Liberia, Comoros Islands and others which he said are moving toward positive
resolution such as relations between the Democratic Republic of Congo and
he expressed concern over the situation in Somalia and recent military
takeovers in Guinea and Mauritania.
the International Criminal Court’s decision to bring charges against Sudan’s
President Omar al-Bashir for genocide in Darfur, Lamamra said enhancing peace in
Sudan should take precedence over justice.
in the African Union have stated very openly that encouraging now the
International Criminal Court to issue arrest warrants against the President of
Sudan or even against the key players in Sudan, including the leaders of the
rebel movement would be tantamount to pouring fuel on fire. And that’s not what
we need under the present circumstances,” he said.
said the African Union has asked the United Nations Security Council to activate
Article 16 of the Rome Statute under which the ICC was established.
16 provides for the U.N. Security Council to postpone the proceedings of the
International Criminal Court for 12 months, and that means clearly that justice
would not be jeopardized. It would just give the opportunity for the peace
process to proceed and for the democratization process in Sudan to proceed,” Lamamra