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UNa lección a aprender mientras caen las bombas PDF Imprimir E-mail
Miércoles, 29 de Junio de 2011 18:11

Lessons to be learned as bombs fall on Libya

 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

by Stephen Ogongo Ongong’a

 

 

What’s happening in Libya should be a wakeup call for all Africans, the African governments and the African Union (AU).

There is so much to learn from the Libyan conflict. What is probably the most important lesson to learn is that foreign powers will always do whatever is possible to protect their interests, whether that means supporting and imposing a democratic government or a dictatorial regime.

The NATO intervention in Libya has absolutely nothing to do with promoting democracy and protecting civilians. You don’t promote democracy by using bombs and killing civilians, intentionally or not. You don’t promote democracy by fuelling a civil war and arming rebels to fight against the very government you’ve been friendly to until recently. Some wise man once said that in politics, there are no permanent friends and no permanent enemies.

If you want to know how true this is, do an online research on how Western leaders used to praise Muammar Gaddafi up to just a few weeks before they turned against him.

And you don’t promote democracy by supporting the very people who were key ministers and military leaders in what you now consider a dictatorial regime. What makes them clean now? It defeats logic to hear the way these people are now shouting against the very regime they were part of.

Are Western powers blind not to see that they are dealing with the same people? No, they aren’t blind. They know that these are the ideal people to impose as leaders because it will be easier to control them. When someone helps you to get what you know you don’t deserve, your loyalty goes to that person. Nobody helps you for nothing, at least in politics.

Now, let’s take a step backwards and see how the AU and African leaders have been treated since the Libyan conflict emerged.

The AU didn’t play any significant role in the drafting of the UN Resolution 1973. It was reported that the Resolution was drafted by the UK, France and Lebanon.

The AU was invited to the 19th March Paris meeting that preceded the NATO military intervention in Libya. But the fact that the AU didn’t attend the meeting and called for a mediation role in the crisis, didn’t stop the world powers from launching immediate attack on Libya.

That was a slap on the face of the AU and African leaders. The AU is the legitimate umbrella body of all African countries. A decision by foreign powers to attack any African country without approval and key involvement of the AU amounts to invasion of African land and in normal circumstances, should be faced with the AU military resistance.

Try to imagine what would happen if the AU drafted a resolution to intervene in a European country (choose any of the least democratic ones), without consulting the EU, then arm twisted the UN to make it a UN resolution, then the AU dispatched its military planes to bomb the European country in the name of protecting civilians from being massacred by their so-called dictator.

NATO’s decision to launch military intervention in Libya at a meeting without the AU delegation shows how little regard they have for African leaders and the AU. They basically proved that the voice of African leaders and the AU doesn’t count even on crucial issues within the continent.

It is a further proof that if you are no longer a darling of these powerful forces, you can’t be a leader in your own country even if that’s the wish of your people.

The AU should learn from this intervention to be quick to react to problems in the continent. The AU should not be invited to meetings to discuss African issues, it is the AU that should be inviting others to such meetings. Africans must not let others take a leading role in solving African problems. Africans must learn to defend their own interests.

It has been said so many times that nobody from outside will come to solve African problems because he is a Good Samaritan. Foreigners will only come to intervene to defend their own interests, whether those interests go against the interests of the local people or not.

It is disappointing to see the way the Western powers are undermining the efforts by the AU and African leaders to negotiate for a peaceful solution to the Libyan conflict. One wonders why they continue to ignore Gaddafi’s offer for a peacefully negotiated resolution to this conflict, and why whatever the AU says is continually ignored.

One also wonders why foreign powers have created a parallel government in Libya, and illegitimately created another centre of power in a different city from the country’s official capital.

This article doesn’t justify what Gaddafi is alleged to have done. The International Criminal Court (ICC) is investigating those allegations and will take proper action.

The crucial question at this stage is this: is destroying Libya the most effective way of addressing the Libyan crisis? The military intervention is not only killing civilians and creating hundreds of thousands of refugees, but it’s also destroying the country’s infrastructure. At the end of this military intervention Libya will need to be rebuilt a fresh.

It should not be forgotten that ethnic hatred that has been fuelled during this conflict will seriously affect any attempts to unite and reconcile Libyans in the future.

And what about the trauma of living under bombs, the pain of losing loved ones, injuries sustained, families separated, refugees who drown and die in the Mediterranean Sea, jobs lost, schools and hospitals demolished, etc.

What was one of the most developed and rich countries in Africa is now completely destroyed and will have to start from scratch. And of course it will need the help of foreign powers to help it re-emerge, a process that will take several decades, and give those foreign powers unfettered control of Libya’s resources.

At this time when it appears that only bombs can solve the Libyan crisis, those isolated voices calling for a peaceful solution to this crisis should be listened to. This conflict can be solved peacefully according to the will of the Libyan people. Word is the most powerful weapon. There is no one in the world who cannot be negotiated with if you choose the right approach and involve the right people.

Several Libyan lives will continue to be lost each time a NATO bomb lands on Libyan soil. And more lives will be lost each time Gaddafi’s loyalists fight back. It is not too late to stop these bombs and save human lives in Libya.

Stephen Ogongo Ongong’a is Mr Ongong’a is the editor of Africa News.

http://www.energypublisher.com/article.asp?id=56234

Última actualización el Viernes, 15 de Julio de 2011 11:09
 

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