Protect African territorial integrity: President
Caesar Zvayi recently in ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia – The Herald – Zimbabwe
PRESIDENT Mugabe has urged African countries to pursue African solutions to African problems and, where they fall short, to resort to the UN system so that they do not open the continent to self-serving, destructive organisations like Nato.
Though it was convened under the theme, “Consolidation of intra-African trade”, the mid-term summit was seized with deliberating solutions to the peace and security challenges in Mali, Guinea Bissau, Sudan and the DRC as well as bringing finality to the impasse that had gripped the leadership of the AU Commission.
President Mugabe, who was addressing the plenary of the 19th Ordinary Session of the African Union in Addis Ababa, underscored the importance of protecting the continent’s territorial integrity.
‘‘When all is said and done in regard to the peace and security situation of Africa whether we look at Somalia, or we look at Mali, Libya, Egypt, et cetera, 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 resort to the international area where we have the United Nations,’’ he said
The President cited the case of Libya where Nato abused a UN resolution to invade Libya, depose the government and kill Colonel Muammar Gaddafi and his children.
‘‘Instead of operating within the scope of the agreement, it (Nato) extended its activities beyond that scope. And we saw it damage the Libyan situation much beyond our expectations. They did lots of harm to the lives of people. Many people were killed. And they pursued the lives of persons, the lives Gaddafi, his children.’’
He congratulated Libyans on their elections, saying he hoped they would end with a government of their own making and not one imposed from outside.
Nato launched a six-month bombardment of Libya after abusing UN Resolution 1973 that mandated it to impose a no-fly zone over Libya in the wake of reports that the Libyan government was killing civilians when Western-backed rebels took up arms to topple the Gaddafi government.
Turning to Mali where Ecowas had sought and apparently got the greenlight to intervene militarily, President Mugabe advised the West African bloc to ensure that it mobilises a strong force that will be victorious as anything less would only serve to worsen instability in the West African nation.
‘‘So it is necessary that Ecowas sends a force there, which is strong enough. A force that is definitely going to overcome the terrorism that is in the area.’’
The President decried the destruction of treasures in Timbuktu, saying such historical sites should be protected from the marauding rebels.
Mali, which recently suffered a coup, has been taken over by Al-Qaeda-linked Islamist militants, raising fears of increasing instability in the Sahel region. The jihadists fought alongside, but then chased off, separatist Tuareg rebels, and have since enforced strict Islamic law and destroyed ancient World Heritage sites they consider idolatrous in the fabled city of Timbuktu.
He urged the leaders of Sudan and South Sudan — Presidents Omar al-Bashir and Salva Kiir — to honour the pledges they made to the Peace and Security Council by moving their countries from a state of war to peace and viable co-operation.
‘‘I trust that President Bashir and President Kiir are both men of honour that they will abide by their word and the promises they made. We look forward, of course, to giving them any assistance they might require from us, in the process that they are; first and foremost they are the players, they are the people who must ensure that there is peace in their area, that there is co-operation.’’
Sudan and its southern neighbour, which declared independence last year, are embroiled in disputes over oil revenue and border demarcations, among other issues.
The President urged the AU chairman to bring finality to the long-running conflict between Morocco and the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic. ‘‘Can Morocco still continue standing in the way of the right to self-determination that the people of Saharawi have? What do we have as an effective programme for that country or are we going to be, year in and year out, purely going to be hearing Saharawi representatives coming before us here to tell us nothing has happened?
‘‘Saharawi is an African territory, it has representatives here, it is a member of the AU. Let us ensure that it is attended to as effectively as it can,’’ he said. Morocco unilaterally withdrew from the OAU on November 12 1984 following the continental bloc’s recognition and admission of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic in 1982. President Mugabe also paid tribute to the people of Egypt for holding successful elections, and expressed hope that the differences between the army and the new leadership will be resolved amicably.
President Mugabe and his delegation returned home early yesterday morning and was welcomed at Harare International Airport by Vice-President Joice Mujuru, Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, Public Works Deputy Minister Guy Georgias, service chiefs and senior Government officials.
nsnbc editors note: One must admire the diplomatic finesse of H.E. President Robert Mugabe when he is referring to NATO as self-serving organization, while appealing to solve conflict via the UN System. Mugabe is surely aware of the fact that the UN after the signing of the UN/NATO-Joint Declaration in 2008 has become a de-facto instrument of US/NATO foreign policy. Is his statement to be understood as being supportive of the Russian and Chinese work at the UNSC to limit the damage of US/NATO foreign policy abuse of the UN ? One can hardly imagine otherwise – or at least I can´t. Is Mugabe positioning himself for brokering an African solution for Libya ?
Christof Lehmann – nsnbc editor.