News / Africa

AU's Slow Recognition of NTC Prompts Calls for Reform

The pre-Gadhafi Libyan flag flies in front of the United Nations headquarters during the 66th session of the General Assembly at United Nations headquarters in New York, Sept. 20, 2011.
The pre-Gadhafi Libyan flag flies in front of the United Nations headquarters during the 66th session of the General Assembly at United Nations headquarters in New York, Sept. 20, 2011.

Multimedia

Audio

The African Union has finally recognized Libya's National Transitional Council, dealing another blow to ousted leader Moammar Gadhafi.   Some African leaders say the delay in acting on Libya shows the African Union is out of touch.

The African Union says it is ready to support the transitional council as it works to form an inclusive government in Libya.  In a statement Tuesday, the alliance called on the interim council to protect all foreign workers in Libya amid reports that some militia have targeted African migrants who they suspect of being pro-Gadhafi mercenaries.

The African Union has been slow to act on Libya. One month ago, the interim council was recognized by most European nations and the United States along with several prominent African governments including Nigeria, Ethiopia, Senegal, and Ivory Coast.

Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara says the African Union delay on Libya shows how little influence the alliance has.

"I must confess I am very disappointed with the African Union - the lack of efficiency, the lagging decisions, the fact that the different sub-regions are not well-connected into the decision-making process.  And I don't think the [AU] Commission really has any power or responsibility," said Ouattara.

On Libya, Ouattara says it has been as if the African Union does not know what is going on in the world when all you have to do is watch television to see that the National Transitional Council is in power.  The Ivorian president says it is up to regional alliances such as the Economic Community of West African States to improve the larger 54-member group.

"Getting the African Union to work better should be a priority," Ouattara added.  "And we at ECOWAS certainly have an ambition in that.  We comprise 15 countries.  I think we are better coordinated.  We are in touch with each other."

President Ouattara spoke at a session of the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations in New York, where he shared the stage with Sierra Leone's leader Ernest Bai Koroma.  President Koroma says the response to the Libyan crisis shows the need to rework the African Union.

"The groupings within the Union are visible, and they may be responsible for a sluggishness of the Union," said Koroma.  "The position of some of us is that we have to transform the whole concept of the African Union, make it into an institution that will have a completeness in terms of mandate and decision-making.  It is not only the promptness of taking a decision but also having the authority of implementing decisions that are taken."

Gadhafi has long been the African Union's chief financier.  Taking the place of the Organization of African Unity, the African Union was founded at a summit in Gadhafi's hometown in 1999.

Human rights activist Shehu Sani is the author of the book "Civilian Dictators of Africa".  He says the African Union is embarrassed over Libya.

"The rebel government in Libya is being seen to be a pro-European and pro-Western establishment," said Sani.  "And the AU feel embarrassed and disappointed for the very fact that they have been ignored by the rebels and even by NATO.  There can't be any peace in Libya without such issues being tackled."

Given Gadhafi's financial generosity with governments and rebel movements across Africa, Sani says Libya's interim council must move quickly to isolate him.

"It must incorporate states that are around Libya," added Sani.  "It must also win the hearts of Gadhafi's friends in order to ostracize him.  If not, there can't be peace in Tripoli."

South Africa led the block of African Union members resisting recognition of Libya's interim council. But Jacob Zuma's government Tuesday followed the African Union announcement with South African recognition of Tripoli's new leaders.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact More

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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs