News / Africa

Libya Crisis Prompts Call for Extraordinary AU Summit in May

African Union Commission Chairman Jean Ping arrives to address media before making a statement on Libya to students, in Paris, March 24, 2011
African Union Commission Chairman Jean Ping arrives to address media before making a statement on Libya to students, in Paris, March 24, 2011

The African Union will hold an extraordinary meeting of heads of state next month to examine more rapid and effective ways of responding to continental crises. Our correspondent at AU headquarters in Addis Ababa reports the summit call was prompted by concerns that the organization is being sidelined as big powers dictate solutions to African conflicts.  

Rwanda’s Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo opened a special session of the AU Peace and Security Council Tuesday with a warning. She said recent events in Libya have shown the African Union must move quickly to take the lead when crises break out or risk being left out of conflict resolution processes.

"You are all aware about the perception by different actors, media in particular, that Africa, especially the African Union, has been absent or irrelevant in the management of the crisis in Libya," said Louise Mushikiwabo.

Peace and Security Commissioner Ramtane Lamamra told the meeting non-Africans had hijacked the Libya peace process and sidelined an AU road map that calls for an immediate ceasefire.

"The pursuit of other agendas in Libya by non-African actors has had an impact on the implementation of the AU Road Map," said Ramtane Lamamra. "Attempts have been made to marginalize an African solution to the crisis."

Amid reports of renewed western pressure on Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and fighting on several fronts, Lamamra warned that the conflict appears to be sliding toward stalemate. He said it is time for the big powers to back the Road Map for peace.

"We expect others to move toward our position," he said. "This being an African problem, we believe there is a need for an African solution, and therefore we think that our partners should make the effort to understand the African solution and help us to implement it."

The meeting ended with a call for an extraodinary AU summit next month on security issues, with an emphasis on Libya.  Libya’s Foreign Minister Abdelati Obeidi, who traveled to Addis Ababa for the meeting, voiced support for the summit and for greater AU involvement to, in his words, "face the external forces that aggress against us".

Libyan rebel representatives earlier rejected the AU Road Map because it does not explicity call for the removal of Moammar Gadhafi. But rebel representative Abdallah Zubedi said Tuesday the anti-Gadhafi forces are moving toward  accepting  the idea of a greater African role in peace efforts.

Zubedi, a former Libyan ambassador to South Africa, told VOA he sees a growing acceptance by all sides that Colonel Gadhafi must go as part of any political settlement.

"Mr. Gadhafi must step down," said Zubedi. "That is I think also everybody agrees directly or indirectly, publicly or privately, that the regime must come to an end."

AU officials say planning for the extraordinary summit would start Wednesday. The exact date is not set, but Rwanda’s Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo said the meeting is  an urgent priority in what she called "making sure the Libyan people stop dying".

You May Like

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Ends Ebola Lockdown

Health ministry says it has reached 75 percent of its target of visiting 1.5 million homes to locate infected, educate population about virus More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As tumult in Middle East distracts Obama administration, efforts to shift American focus eastward appear threatened 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.
Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Towni
X
Deborah Block
September 21, 2014 2:12 PM
A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Alibaba Shares Soar in First Day of Trading

China's biggest online retailer hit the market Friday -- with its share price soaring on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares were priced at $68, but trading stalled at the opening, as sellers held onto their shares, waiting for buyers to bid up the price. More on the world's biggest initial public offering from VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid