By Dorcas Sarkozy
The silence of the African Union, European Union and the United Nations in reaction to the recently exposed subhuman treatment and sale of young African men from sub-Saharan Africa should not surprise anyone.
I certainly am not surprised!
In fact, if I was the project manager tasked with deciding how to allocate the “scarce resources” the various organizations (AU, EU, UN and the many other organizations out there) have to spend towards alleviation of “human suffering”, I’d be hard-pressed to justify spending said monies towards a problem that is certainly wide-spread, in varying degree, across the entire continent but more importantly, is created and exacerbated by the continent’s very own leadership!
Since before and after independence, black African leaders have played roles not unlike the ones played by the white colonial masters of the 40s, 50s and 60s.
Similarly, for as long as I can remember, Africans have treated fellow Africans with the same disdain, lack of empathy and compassion as the slave traders in Libya circa 2017.
I therefore do not buy the outrage, faux outrage if you ask me, being expressed, especially by a body (AU) whose current memberships includes the likes of Uhuru Kenyatta, Omar al-Bashir, Robert Mugabe, Yoweri Museveni, Teodoro Obiang Nguema and a host of murderous despots and dictators the continent has produced over the years.
The African Union is a toothless dog.
The organization’s predecessor, the Organization of African Unity (OAU), appointed, as its chairman, Ugandan dictator Idi Amin Dada when the man’s reign of murder and terror was at its height. For those not familiar with Uganda’s history, Idi Amin was responsible for thousands of deaths and disappearances of political opponents and anyone related to them after he overthrew Milton Obote.
Founded by Malcolm X, Haile Selassie and Kwame Nkurumah in 1963, the OAU’s stated primary mission was to (a) co-ordinate co-operation between African states, ostensibly to achieve better life for Africans, (b) defend the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of African states, (c) eradicate all forms of colonialism and white minority rule (d) ensure that all Africans enjoyed human rights, (e) raise the living standards of Africans and (f) settle arguments and disputes between member states.
To say that the OAU was ineffective towards its stated mission would be an understatement.
The 1994 genocide in Rwanda happened during its watch as did the 1967-1970 Biafran War in Nigeria.
The 1984-85 famine in Ethiopia that spawned the “We are the World” collabo between the mega-stars of the 80s also happened during the organization’s second decade of existence.
The colonialism of the 50s and 60s morphed into neo-colonialism and collusion pitting the likes of Mobutu Seso Sekou and Jomo Kenyatta and their former European colonial masters on one side and perceived “enemies” such as Patrice Lumumba and Pio G. Pinto on the other; this even as their African subjects suffered due to an assortment of man-made disasters such as famine, civil war, ethnic cleansing and disease thanks to marginalization of some communities.
Mercifully, the OAU was disbanded in 2002 only to be replaced by equally ineffectual and incompetent African Union (AU) – founded by Libya’s late president Muammar al-Gaddafi.
Like its predecessor OAU, the African Union had a list of lofty sounding objectives about African unity and independence not to mention respect for the democratic and human rights of the continent’s billion-plus inhabitants.
Needless to say, not many of the body’s objectives have been met since its formation and the issue of slavery and slave trade in all places, Libya, is a prima facie case that the AU has failed Africans.
The organization’s 9th chairperson was Equatorial Guinea’s Teodoro Obiang Nguema who has been in power for thirty-eight years AFTER ousting his uncle Francisco Macías Nguema, in an August 1979 military coup!
The 13th chairperson was Robert Mugabe who just got forced out by Zimbabwe’s armed forces – this after 37 years in office!
The two foregoing items, juxtaposed alongside Objective #4 of the union’s charter – “To accelerate the political and social-economic integration of the continent” and its 7th and 8th objectives – “To promote democratic principles and institutions, popular participation and good governance” and “To promote and protect human and peoples’ rights in accordance with the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and other relevant human rights instruments” only serve to underscore the body’s incompetence.
And with China fast-replacing the western financial institutions as Africa’s lender of choice, the objective of an independent and self-reliant Africa ready to “play its rightful role in the global economy and in international negotiations” is absolutely farcical – Objective #9!
Simply put, the African Union will not address the slavery/slave trading of Africans in Libya because its membership is directly responsible for creating the conditions that compel their subjects to flee their respective countries and end up in the hands of unscrupulous humans who have no compunction taking the supposedly “rising” Africa back to its “dark” period.
The white colonialist/slave traders have been replaced by colonialist/slave traders albeit in black and brown skin!