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

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

1855 Slave Brochure Starkly Details Sale of Black Americans

Document lists entire families that were up for sale in New Orleans, offering graphic insight into the slavery trade More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries 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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs