News / Africa

    African Union Refuses Appeals to Recognize Libya’s Rebels

    South Africa's President Jacob Zuma (L) talks with Ramtane Lamamra, the African Union (AU) Commissioner for Peace and Security, during an emergency summit of the AU Peace and Security Council in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, August 26, 2011
    South Africa's President Jacob Zuma (L) talks with Ramtane Lamamra, the African Union (AU) Commissioner for Peace and Security, during an emergency summit of the AU Peace and Security Council in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, August 26, 2011

    The African Union [AU] has rejected calls for recognition of Libya’s rebel Transitional National Council. The decision highlights Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi’s lingering influence at the continental organization he headed as recently as two years ago.

    United Nations Deputy Secretary General Asha Rose Migiro opened an African Union Peace and Security summit Friday by urging the continental body to recognize Libya’s new political reality.

    "We must help the country’s new leaders to establish an effective, legitimate government - a government that represents and speaks for all the country’s diverse people; a government that can deliver on its people’s hopes," said Migiro.

    Rebel leaders face pushback

    But in a setback for Libya’s rebel leaders, the 15-member Peace and Security Council rejected Migiro’s plea. A communiqué read by AU Peace and Security Commissioner Ramtane Lamamra called instead for a transitional government that would include Gadhafi loyalists.

    "[It] encourages the Libyan stakeholders to accelerate the process leading to formation of an all-inclusive transitional government," said Lamamra.

    The continental body’s refusal to accept what many consider the reality in Libya was met with consternation in many western capitals. The U.S. ambassador to the African Union, Michael Battle, noted that 20 of the 54 AU member states have joined the broader international community in recognizing the rebel TNC.

    "They’re at the very brink of sealing the deal in terms of a complete military victory, and with that comes the ushering in of a new government, a new day and a new order," said Battle. "And that’s what the international community was expecting to see, as the Arab league and so many international bodies have already recognized the reality of the TNC."

    Zuma asserts alternate scenario

    South African President Jacob Zuma, who presided over the security summit, rejected suggestions that TNC victory is certain. He told reporters many African leaders see another reality.

    "The reality on the ground is that there is fighting going on in Tripoli. Is that not a reality? People are still dying [in] very heavy fighting. That is the situation as we understand it, which is a reality in Libya," said Zuma. "And we are taking our position informed by that reality. We are looking at the reality from our point of view."

    Libya’s AU ambassador, Ali Abdallah Awidan, downplayed the significance of the Peace and Security Council’s inaction. Awidan, who this week switched his allegiance to the TNC, called the decision a temporary setback.

    "Very soon all Libya will be under control of the TNC, and TNC will be representing the whole Libya, and this is not a problem. It’s only for the time being," said Awidan.

    Gadhafi's continuing clout

    AU diplomats say the refusal to recognize Libya’s rebels reflects the respect and influence Gadhafi still commands within the continental organization. For years he used his vast oil wealth to support many African causes and liberation movements, including the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa.

    He also has been a driving force within the organization during his 42-year rule, and held the AU chairmanship in 2009.

    Until this year, Libya has been one of the AU’s chief financial backers, paying dues that amounted to nearly 15 percent of all member state contributions. In addition, Gadhafi paid the dues of several poorer countries, estimated by observers to total $40 million a year in all.

    You May Like

    Russian-speaking Muslim Exiles Fear Possible Russia-Turkey Thaw

    Exiled from Russia as Islamic radicals and extremists, thousands found asylum in Turkey

    US Presidential Election Ends at Conventions for Territorial Citizens

    Citizens of US territories like Guam or Puerto Rico enjoy participation in US political process but are denied right to vote for president

    UN Syria Envoy: 'Devil Is in the Details' of Russian Aleppo Proposal

    UN uncertain about the possible humanitarian impact of Russian proposal to establish escape corridors in Aleppo

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United Statesi
    X
    July 28, 2016 2:16 AM
    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United States

    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora