Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Libya: the cease-fire of the African Union in deadlock

It took almost three weeks. Twenty-three days after the start of the coalition air strikes in Libya, the African Union (AU) has emerged from his silence to attempt a diplomatic breakthrough. Monday, April 11, the AU delegation dispatched to Tripoli announced that Moammar Gadhafi had accepted the "roadmap" that could find a peaceful solution in Libya.

Hopes for a cease-fire has now been short-lived. A few hours later, the rebellion has rejected any mediation does not provide a departure from the Guide of the Libyan revolution. "The initiative was presented today is outdated. The people demanded the departure of Muammar Gaddafi and his son," said the leader of the insurgents, Moustapha Abdeljalil.

The departure of Gaddafi question The "roadmap" of the AU provides for a cease-fire immediately, the delivery of humanitarian aid, protection of foreign dialogue between all parties Libyan and development establishment of a transitional period, with the goal of adoption and implementation of necessary policy reforms.

But no mention was made at the beginning of the Guide, in power since 1969. And it is on this point that discussions stumble so far, says Said Haddad, associate researcher at the Institute for Research and Studies on the Arab and Muslim world and an expert on Libya. "The insurgents demanding the departure of Gaddafi and his son, and they never deviated from this line.

They also want the freedom of expression and protest throughout the country. But it is unclear the current regime lead the country towards a democratic transition. " NATO appears on the same line and has so far been cautious in front of the AU mediation, noting that "any cease-fire" should be "credible and verifiable".

The Atlantic Alliance also claims to stop raiding the cease-fire favors "a political process to implement reforms and policies needed to meet the legitimate desires of the Libyan people." In other words, it leads to the ouster of Colonel Gaddafi and the democratization of the country, a requirement which does not yet contained in resolution 1973 the Security Council of the United Nations authorizing the use of force.

Hopes for a cease-fire? Didier Billion, a researcher at the Institute of International and Strategic Relations and an expert in the Arab world, the proposal comes from the AU, however timely. Criticized for its slowness, its chronic inefficiency and his silence since the conflict began, this time the organization has demonstrated a true "sense of timing," said he.

"Everybody finds a risk of stagnation. It is now time to stop the bombing and entering the political phase. The coalition has saved Benghazi three weeks ago, and since then nothing. The bombing will not last another several weeks. The AU has a chance to accelerate the process of reflection leading to a political process, even if we can not exclude that some cherish the hope of saving Gaddafi.

"Another element of hope that the mediation is conducted by its African peers as part of an organization he himself founded, could allow Qadhafi to find "an honorable way out," said Haddad Said. "It is paradoxical that Gaddafi, who has always advocated for Africans to solve African problems, offering its first diplomatic success for the African Union, "he says.

The" union of heads of state "and the" king of kings "supporter of the United States of Africa, Gaddafi was one of the great architects of the transformation of the Organization of African Unity into the African Union in 2002. But the AU, paralyzed by the interests of heads of state who compose it, n ' is unable to get rid of the nickname which was decked out his ancestor - the "union of African heads of state" - and to seize the continent's problems.

champion of pan-Africanism, the Guide also inherited a nickname when he was elected to head the organization for a year in February 2009. He then passed to his peers a message asking to be officially called "king of kings traditional Africa." Visionary head of state for some of its neighbors, paternalistic cumbersome for others, the "king of kings" has therefore a certain aura to its neighbors.

Under his tent he received his guests of the day, the Presidents Jacob Zuma (South Africa), Amadou Toumani Toure (Mali), Mohamed Aziz OuldAbdel (Mauritania) and Denis Sassou Nguesso (Congo) and the Ugandan Minister of Foreign Affairs, Henry Okello Oryem. Gaddafi enjoys good relations with most members of the delegation of the AU.

Some for historical reasons (it was one of the most loyal supporters of the ANC during apartheid in South Africa), others because of their longevity in power (Denis Sassou Nguesso), their dependence à-vis the Libyan investments (Amadou Toumani Toure) or their common conception of democracy (Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz came to power in a coup).

Old friendships that have not failed to arouse the suspicion of the insurgents, the National Council of the AU transition suspecting of siding with the regime in Tripoli. "The composition of this delegation is perhaps not the most likely to understand current developments in Libya," said Said Haddad.

Why the AU has been slow to react to Dominique Bangoura, president of the Observatory and strategic policy in Africa and author of two books on the AU, the reaction of the organization is too late anyway. Paralyzed by its internal contradictions, the AU, which has fifty countries, never strongly condemned the actions of Gaddafi.

On 10 March the Security Council and peace of the organization had rejected any outside intervention, asked that the aspirations of the Libyan people are taken into account and offered his mediation. A proposal swept by the decision of Paris, London and Washington to favor the military option.

The AU, which had planned to send a mission in mid-March to Tripoli to negotiate a solution, was taken aback by the vote on March 17 of resolution 1973. Invited to the Paris Conference of 19 March and in London ten days later, Jean Ping, chairman of the AU Commission, had not made the trip, refusing to make up the numbers.

Alpha Conde, the first democratically elected president of Guinea, "Africa was despised" by the Western powers did not consult the AU before the outbreak of strikes. But Africans divided paralysis of the AU is primarily related to feelings for the less inspired Gaddafi shared with other African heads of state.

His attempts at the head of the AU to accelerate African integration have met with violent opposition, and the election itself at the head of the organization had been a source of considerable tension. If the committee of the African Union said Libya has officially hostile to military intervention, African leaders are actually divided on the subject.

Three states of the continent currently serving on the Security Council (South Africa, Nigeria and Gabon) were cast in favor of using force. Gaddafi is so admired that fear on the continent he has dreamed of directing. Taking advantage of the oil windfall, the colonel has spared many supporters.

Libya is investing over one billion euros per year (hotels, banks, estates, mines) in countries like Ghana, Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Madagascar, Cape Verde and Uganda. The New York Times, it would also contribute up to 15% the budget of the AU. But his neighbors Nigerian, Chadian and Sudanese fear the threatening shadow of the "king of kings" and were relieved to see him go.

They fear that the colonel reactive rebellion that has long supported in the region, or handle the Islamist Al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb. Le Monde. en

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