Monday, July 02, 2007

Civil war = unity

I notice that Libya's Muammar Gaddafi has recently engaged in his favorite activity: put himself in the spotlight. The Libyan "Guide" has repeatedly demanded Africa unite immediately under a single government.

"My vision is to wake up the African leaders to unify our continent," he told an audience in Ghana. He gave a similar message during visits to Mali, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Côte d'Ivoire, as well as the African Union summit in Accra.

Civil society groups have also criticised the summit's single-item agenda, saying leaders are discussing a utopian ideal while ignoring urgent problems like violence in Sudan's western Darfur region and repression in Zimbabwe.

The call by the Libyan "Guide" was mind-boggling. Is this not the same Gaddafi who, not long ago, backed Charles Taylor's and Foday Sankoh's unimaginably brutal rebellions that destabilized most of West Africa?

I guess he has a different concept of unity than sane people.

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1 Comments:

At 12:01 AM, Blogger bantara said...

While I didn't comment on it in my blog (I wanted to comment on an old idea given new life, rather than my personal opinions on Gaddafi), I agree that there is ample reason to suspect that the Libyan leader's motives are self-serving; by putting Libya at the forefront in any talk of African unity, he is assuring the country's place to best profit (or even exploit) whatever arrangement it would reach with its sub-Saharan unity partners.

In fact, the same suspicions were one of the major reasons why francophone countries, such as Senegal and Côte d'Ivoire, were extremely reluctant to partner with Touré's regime for a les Etats-Unis d'Afrique during the early sixties: They logically recognized that beneath Touré's pan-Africanism and revolutionary rhetoric was a veiled lust to remake the whole of the West African region in the image of his single-party state.

Similarly, we can see in Gaddafi's divisive history on the continent (and his single-party state), the suggestion that his modern-day reincarnation of "African Unity" would be cut from a similar cloth: self-serving delusions parading as a worthy ideal.

 

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