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

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus 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.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid