Editorial Comment: President Mugabe spot on
Addressing the 19th Ordinary Session of the African Union General Assembly in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia this week, President Mugabe counselled fellow African leaders against trusting and relying on Western organisations.
‘‘What we all want to see is that whatever situations of concern arise, these situations are the concern for Africa, first and foremost. And if Africa says alone it is not adequate then Africa will make resort to the international area where we have the United Nations. We have seen other, perhaps, unwanted organisations coming into our area without real invitation and without our consent’’.
Examples abound of the destruction wrought by Westerners ill-advisedly invited into our internal affairs.
Recent cases in point are Libya and Cote d’Ivoire.
In the case of Libya some African countries naively voted with the Western bloc to impose a no-fly zone over Tripoli under UN Resolution 1973, only to have the Westerners abuse the resolution to rain death and destruction on innocent Libyans. Nato’s prime objectives being to effect regime change and assassinate Colonel Gaddafi and his children.
In the case of Cote d’Ivoire, the west African regional bloc, Ecowas, allowed the French to run riot against the Laurent Gbagbo government whose only crime was violating the French colonial pact that bid him to give Paris the right to first refusal on any government contracts. Thousands of innocent Ivorians perished in the French sponsored conflagration.
Contrast this with how Sadc kept western warmongers out by diplomatically handling the political situation in Zimbabwe at a time some western countries were itching to have Zimbabwe on the UN Security Council agenda pursuant to invoking Chapter VII as a prelude to launching a military invasion.
The decade-long economic down-turn was only halted after Zanu-PF, MDC-T and the MDC found each other on the table with Sadc and the African Union as guarantors of the inter-party political accord, the Global Political Agreement that paved way for the inclusive Government that presides over our affairs today.
We have no doubt that left to themselves Libyans would have similarly chosen the table rather than the battlefield.
To this end we urge the AU to go a step further and take the Nato alliance to the International Criminal Court for war crimes committed in Libya and Ivory Coast. Someone has to atone for the estimated 50 000 lives lost in Libya. Someone has to explain the use of banned weapons like cluster bombs and depleted uranium. We can’t just group at the table and forget the innocent victims of that needless war.
Libya marks the third time since the 2003 illegal invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, that the Anglo-Saxon alliance comprising of the United States, Britain and France by-passed the United Nations to launch air-strikes against another UN member state.
What made the West’s bombardment of Libya even more banal was the fact that it was launched on the back of wilful disregard of a UN resolution that provided for a no-fly zone over Libya, only a no-fly zone. The no-fly zone was meant to protect civilians in the wake of the West’s claims that Libyan security forces were using warplanes on civilians.
Ironically, under the guise of protecting the same civilians, Nato bombed them to smithereens. Those heavy civilian casualties cry for justice.
We hope valuable lessons were learnt in Libya and Cote d’Ivoire and President Mugabe’s advice would be heeded.
And as we deliberate on the peace and security challenges in Mali, Sudan, the DRC, Somalia and Guinea Bissau; lets do so as Africans fully capable of resolving their own differences.
The likes of Nato have brought nothing but death and destruction.