Yep! The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), is right that `Libya has been beset by chaos since the North American Treaty Organization or Alliance (NATO)-backed forces overthrew long-serving ruler Col Muammar Gaddafi in October 2011.’ To make the underlying message clear NATO members are Europe and North America
The BBC rightly drives its point home stating that: `The oil-rich country, a key departure points for some of the thousands of migrants travelling to Europe, once had one of the highest standards of living in Africa, with free healthcare and free education. But the stability that led to its prosperity has been shattered and the capital, Tripoli, is now the scene of fighting between rival forces as negotiations to build a post-Gaddafi Libya stall.’
To put it clearly without the mumbo jumbo, with the murder of Gaddafi, and the presence of oil, there are vultures hovering, with a vigorous scramble for Libya’s resources including arms suppliers falling over themselves to profit from supplying arms to fuel the conflict.
To find a solution to the mayhem and greed-fest, there have been series of conferences since December 2019 in Berlin attended by over 27 European countries to find a solution, yeah right, I call it `to divide the `spoils’ amicably.
According to the BBC `the logic of excluding the Libyans, stemmed from the reality that the external actors are the ones providing the sophisticated weaponry and drones, mercenaries, and troops that allow each Libyan side to believe it might just overwhelm the other side militarily, obviating the need for hard political compromise.’
To think NATO killed Gaddafi for this?
One of Obama’s decent act upon the end of his presidency in an interview published in April 2016, is his admission that the "worst mistake" of his presidency was the failure to prepare for the aftermath of Gaddafi's overthrow.
He partly blamed then-UK Prime Minister David Cameron for "the mess", saying he had not done enough to support the North African nation.’
We hear the argument that the Libya’s crisis involves the Arab, international and African world so transcends the AU mandate, but there was no confusion of where Libya belonged under Gaddafi while he was alive.
Meetings to resolve Libya’s crisis is taking place in Europe’s Berlin, but the AU should be hosting these processes and should not be one of the participants. Imagine the African Union participating in the EU process of the United Kingdom’s Brexit, because some countries had historical and present items with the UK. So where is the African Union?
For years Egypt controlled the River Nile, but now Ethiopia and Sudan want a piece of the action, and Egypt is having a problem with that.
According to Addisu Lashitew; in the article `Why Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan should ditch a rushed, Washington-brokered Nile Treaty’ published Tuesday, February 2020, “Until the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) has been a point of contention among Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan in recent years. The GERD is now 70 percent complete, and its reservoir expected to start being filled in the rainy season of 2020.”
But the three countries are yet to come to an agreement on the process of filling and operating it despite years of negotiations.
As Addisu Lashitew; notes further notes in Bloomberg, “These tensions are not new; The Nile has been a cause of antagonism between Ethiopia and Egypt for centuries. The Blue Nile, which flows from the Ethiopian highlands, contributes to more than half of the annual flow of the Nile (the remaining coming from the White Nile, which flows from Lake Victoria, and Atbara/Tekeze, which also flows from Ethiopia). The rich sedimentation that is carried by the seasonal flow of the Blue Nile has been the mainstay of Egyptian agriculture for millennia. Since the times of the pharaohs, therefore, Egyptians have been wary of an upstream dam that would strangle the flow of the Nile.”
In recognition of the Nile to the Egyptian economy, Lashitew concludes that modern Egypt has “used legal, political, and military means to protect its access to the flow of the Nile, the only source of fresh water for its almost 100 million inhabitants.”
Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan have held a series of meetings since December 2019 in Washington, D.C, the latest of which came to an end without an agreement on February 13. There are plans to hold further meetings in the quest for a resolution. But whatever the outcome, the resounding sound in the process is the absence of the African Union. Really, where is the African Union?
In 2020, 14 of the 21 countries appealing for humanitarian aid are from Africa. More African countries are resorting to humanitarian appeals to the Europe and North America to address protracted conflict, IDP and food security challenges.
Africans and friends of Africa are looking forward to the establishment of the African Union Humanitarian Agency which should present a more dignified way to address Africa’s humanitarian needs without the people of the continent being auctioned, paraded and humiliated in the West. We are waiting in anticipation and hoping it would be talk supported by action.
The African Union was founded “to defend the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of its Member States. To accelerate the political and social-economic integration of the continent. To promote and defend African common positions on issues of interest to the continent and its people.’’
As at September 2018, there were 55 African countries that are members of the AU. Amongst these are Libya, Ethiopia, Sudan, Egypt and the 14 African countries appealing for humanitarian aid in 2020. These countries are the African Union’s business we expect to see the AU leading in regional or global issues related to these countries and between these countries. And we expect these events to be hosted in the continent with the AU on the driving seat.
In 2020 the African Union launched a campaign to silence the guns in Africa. The AU's campaign on “Silencing the Guns in Africa by 2020” aims to achieve `a conflict-free Africa, prevent genocide, make peace a reality for all and rid the continent of wars, violent conflicts, human rights violations, and humanitarian disasters.’
Silencing the guns in Africa means stopping the flow of guns into the continent. The folks deciding the fate of Libya in Berlin represent some of the suppliers of arms to Libya. If the African Union is serious about silencing the guns, it needs to host and lead related ceasefire negotiations about Africa, for Africa, on Africa, in Africa.