Isdore Guvamombe on Wednesday
The African Union (AU) Summit ended in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Monday, with leaders raising concern over increased outside military and political interference in the continent’s governance. The worry comes at a time calls to speed up the continent’s own military outfit, the AU Standby Brigade, are getting louder.
The brigade, that will be controlled and is answerable to the AU, is the answer to many conflicts playing out on the continent and will give AU the much-needed depth of character and military strength to deal with its hotspots.
The African leaders pointed at the crisis in Libya where a full-scale civil war has rolled out, supported and funded by outside forces.
They cited the need for the unconditional removal of the illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the United States (US) and its allies in the European Union (EU).
But what came out strongly from the summit is that until Africans unite and learn to solve their own problems, peace and development will only be an illusion.
Without unity of purpose, there will be no stability; only more situations like Libya.
Libya has become a playground since the killing of its long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi by foreign forces.
Each land has its autochthons — the original people with authoritative historical claim to it — and internationally, continents are reflective of this autochthonous mantra.
It is, therefore, foolhardy for another continent to deride the autochthons of another continent, because geopolitical issues can turn the world into a full-scale war.
The full import of this is that Africa, by far the continent that still has vast untapped natural resources, has been the target of subtle US and EU manoeuvres to remove leaders who protect their natural resources for the benefit of the indigenous people.
Vast oil resources have turned out to be the curse of Libya.
The US, in particular, and Western Europe in general, are losing sleep over Africa’s resources and would want to get rid of all African leaders that are deemed an impediment to their access to the natural resources.
This has given birth to a hodgepodge of conflicts in Africa.
Ironically, the same US and Europe that sponsored the conflicts want a claim to fame by pretending to solve the problems using military outfits such as NATO and Africom.
These are superior military outfits that refuse to leave any country once they are invited to solve a problem.
They only leave when their countries are sure that they have plundered enough resources.
All problems in Africa should be resolved by Africans and the continent has the means to solve her problems through the AU, using social, political and economic strategies.
The AU has, of late, come up with a standby brigade, a military outfit that is still in its infancy, but is certainly the future of the continent.
It will be folly for Africa to think she can progress while she still pins her survival on foreign security systems.
African leaders should coordinate through AU and must reject US, Europe, NATO or Africom and any other foreign body to settle in Africa.
It is unpalatable for NATO to want to have an office at the AU Headquarters or anywhere else because that should be viewed as outright intrusion.
Africans must view this move as Western Europe’s quest to strengthen military control and hegemony on the continent and promote its own interests.
In the final analysis, it is never about Africa, but about Western interests.
The establishment of a fully-fledged AU army or standby brigade should be fast-tracked.
The AU Standby Brigade should be functional and put into effect to take full charge and control of events on the continent.
AU Standby Brigade should be deployed in all hotspots and solve the problems.
If Africa fought colonialism and won, what then makes her fail to come up with a military force that can resolve her conflicts?
The earlier African leaders realise the need to speed up the functioning of the African brigade, the better for the continent.
Africa will never receive total independence unless she controls events that happen on her soil.
The AU can easily work with the United Nations in these troubled spots.
It should be an organisation-to-organisation agreement.
The world should not be run the way the US wants, but the way the world wants.
Nations should be respected and given equal status no matter how tiny.
Even when it comes to fighting international terrorism, the application of international law must not be selective, but universal.
It is unnecessary to have double standards as dictated by the US and its allies.
The current crop of leaders must have learnt from past mistakes on how NATO handled issues in Libya.
The Libyan people are now poorer in economics, sleep and peace than they were under the slain Muammar Gaddafi.
The Libyans regret ever allowing NATO to enter their territory. Bombs are dropping everywhere, guns blazing, freedom and peace are now a scarce commodity.
The war rages on, but the oil is being siphoned out in millions of barrels to Europe, while the Libyans slump into poverty. This is the price they are paying for allowing NATO to interfere in the internal politics of Libya.
Africa must have learnt from that.
Today, self-control and management of conflicts on the African soil should be the priority of African leaders.
Africa for Africans. African problems for African elders. African leaders should take charge of the continent in all aspects.