African Union Summit Seeks Greater Role in Libyan Crisis

  • South Africa called for a review of the philosophy of African-international partnerships at the outset of its presidency of the African Union.
  • A paper presented by Nigeria at the meeting sees that the process of "silencing the guns" needs development, which in turn requires funds.
  • Seven years ago, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the African Union, African leaders pledged to "end all wars in Africa by 2020."

The 33rd African Union Summit will be launched Sunday in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, under the slogan “Silencing the guns to create conditions for Africa’s development.” The presidency of the summit will move from Egypt to South Africa, and to President Cyril Ramaphosa from President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi. Today, Ramaphosa presides over a closed session to present the challenges that stand in the way of Africa’s progress.

The African Union (AU) is a continental union consisting of 55 member states located on the continent of Africa. The bloc was founded on 26 May 2001 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and launched on 9 July 2002 in Durban, South Africa.

Meanwhile, South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor called for a review of the philosophy of African-International Partnerships during a strong intervention Saturday evening, the second day of the meeting of the Executive Council of the African Union Foreign Ministers. Pandor’s intervention received great applause from the attendees at the closed meeting, which journalists were not allowed to attend.

However, African diplomatic sources in Addis Ababa promised that the South African foreign minister, through her intervention, worked on the content of its words as giving color to the country’s presidency of the African Union in 2020, to succeed Egypt. South Africa’s presidency of the African Union will coincide with a temporary seat on the United Nations Security Council, giving it the ability to bring the continent’s voice to the global stage.

Moussa Faki Mohamed, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, said that “if money is the backbone of war, then it is also the backbone of peace,” noting that the AU’s agenda in this field is ambitious. However, he explained that the problem that hinders the realization of this ambition “lies in the problem of financing the peace and mediation process, because the continent is passing through a period of serious conflicts, and the spread of the scourges of terrorism in Nigeria, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Somalia, and it is no longer limited to (Boko Haram) only.”

Faki believes that these issues, along with the problems of migration, asylum, displacement and poverty, the lack of a culture of deliberation on governance, and the absence of governance in managing public affairs, are all factors that cause conflicts and disputes. Therefore, the Union finds itself facing many problems regarding financing the mediation process and establishing peace.

The Second Libyan Civil War is an ongoing conflict among rival factions seeking control of Libya. The conflict is mostly between the House of Representatives, elected in 2014 with a low turnout, relocated to Tobruk, which appointed Marshal Khalifa Haftar as commander-in-chief of the Libyan National Army with the mission of restoring its sovereignty over the whole of Libyan territory, and the Government of National Accord, led by Fayez al-Sarraj, based in the capital Tripoli and established after failed military coups and the relocation of the House of Representatives to Tobruk.

A paper presented by Nigeria at the meeting sees that the process of “silencing the guns” needs development, which in turn requires funds, and therefore it remains necessary to approach a unified African position to recover the stolen African riches. However, the reality of the situation, the Nigerian paper, shows that the African position is not unified, given that countries have a special agenda that does not correspond to the agenda of other countries.

It is widely believed in the African Union that more time is still needed to arrive at a unified policy approach in the political, diplomatic and economic spheres and that the fate of the Union remains linked to the reforms being prepared, especially institutional reforms, and the change of the prevailing culture in Africa.

Seven years ago, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the African Union, African leaders pledged to “end all wars in Africa by 2020.” This goal remains elusive. This was evident in the speech of the Chairperson of the African Commission, who in his speech on Thursday in front of African foreign ministers painted a negative picture of the continent’s situation, from the Sahelian coast to Somalia.

In the context of security problems, a meeting was held yesterday at the headquarters of the African Union in Addis Ababa to discuss the Libyan crisis. The 33rd African Summit, which is held after the Berlin and Brazzaville meetings, represents an opportunity for African leaders to hear the continent’s voice on the explosive Libyan file. Since the overthrow of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi nine years ago, Africa was just a bystander in the Libyan crisis, while Westerners made great efforts to keep it away from delving into this thorny issue.

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George Mtimba

George clarifies how the news is changing the world, how world news trends affect you. Also, George is a professional journalist, a freelance news reporter and writer who is passionate with current world news.

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