Only AU Summit Can Produce An Authoritative Continental Position

*January Posts dedicated to Ivory Coast

Ivory Coast is not helped by puzzling voices, puzzling decisions, attributed to the African Union. In all fairness, how does the AU appoint Raila Odinga point-man on Ivory Coast, a man whose own country and situation demands one such  point-man, indeed a man whose own role in the bloody episode of electoral Kenya is itself a subject of investigation? And with the care of a rogue bull in a small china shop, he has gone about this assumed appointment with fitting care and circumspection! Things are already breaking in the Ivorian China shop and the bull marches on! But is this an AU decision or is someone  flying the kite? The AU should not allow itself to be taken advantage of.(sic-AU Commission Chairman Jean Ping should be investigated)

Equally, how is Economic Community for West African States goaded into making fulsomely radical statements prematurely? The first AU Summit for 2011 is coming in Addis in mid-January. That is where an AU decision on Ivory Coast shall be taken, after a deliberate African debate. African debate, not Western wishes projected through tin-pot persons who purport to be African and leaders. As yet we have no AU position on Ivory Coast, only abundant AU worries, African worries which we all should have for one another as Africans. Not this cacophonous rash to be noticed by the West, to ingratiate one’s country with the West. Much of all we have heard is cheap saber rattling. I bet my last dollar, until after the January Summit of the AU in Addis, we will not have an AU-sanctioned way forward on Ivory Coast.

Which takes me to a myth-making falsehood which is being peddled with respect to Zimbabwe, Angola and other countries. An impression has been created that Zimbabwe, alongside Angola, has already recognized President Gbagbo. Well for the record, she has not and let that be noted by the lying press. Zimbabwe like other African nations stands to be guided by the January Summit : the Summit will produce an authoritative continental position on Ivory Coast; the AU has always proceeded on the basis of deferring to the affected sub-region for a cue, in this case ECOWAS.

Predictably, there will be a briefing from the Ivorian leadership and from ECOWAS, possibly led by the three Presidents tasked to mediate on its behalf. We may also hear from former President Mbeki. But ECOWAS will only lead the debate; it will not necessarily conclude it. Full Summit will. That is the AU way. It is highly unlikely that the AU will pick on an emissary outside of ECOWAS, let alone of lower than head of state or former head of state level. That discounts Raila, does it not? How would he relate to Gbagbo, from the stool of premiership? It simply does not make sense, which is why one cannot understand the media leaping at such planted folly.

Gbagbo ! The Whipping boy

A bit of background to what is prompting unreflective responses recorded to date. The Ivory Coast situation is being used to vindicate bilateral relations between given African countries anxious to please and impress, and their Western masters, principally France and the United States of America. The UN and its impulsive Secretary General has not yet come into the picture. It waits for a cue from the AU, never mind that much of the mess in Ivory Coast owes to its monumental operational failures. You read a destructive face-saving effort by Ban-ki Moon, an attempt to cover monumental UN ineptitude by turning Gbagbo into a whipping boy.

Fawning great tears, spittle.

Precious little that has been attributed to reacting African states is prompted by an African wish to solve a problem afflicting an African country. This is the real tragedy of the whole situation. And on this one, you see a major qualitative difference between Southern Africa and the West African sub-region. SADC does not yell to be heard, to impress, to play toughie. It solves problems quietly, effectively, well away from the West’s madding crowd. Additionally, the Ivorian situation has become a convenient dummy to many unresolved national questions in given African countries presently speaking the loudest, principally Nigeria, Kenya and Zimbabwe.

Raila Odinga and Tsvangirai’s stridency on the Ivorian situation project their lingering wish for what they could not get in their own home situations. Both are using the Ivorian situation to address their home situations long after the door has been closed. In both instances, it is a bit of vicarious action, real compensatory conduct by two men who feel deficient by hindsight, who still dream for some associational miracle in the future. Both are in a marriage they won’t wish for Gbagbo and Ouattara, well thriving in it.  It’s a bit of a triggered self-mourning, self-pitying, conveyed with great tears and spittle of fawned bitterness by two men who daily pray to their good lords in Europe for so wonderful a day that must never see sunset. The only trouble is when the world takes them too seriously

Excerpts from zimpapers.


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