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

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid