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Has it ever occurred to our [African] Leaders, how much time the developed West spends to strategise on illegal harvesting of massive wealth in the African soil? Among others, this is one question which has been posed from time immemorial but has not received any proper answer. Events that draw attention like what is taking place in Libya right now should make us wonder what has happened to ‘African sanity?’ Will imposing no fly-zone in Libya’s wealthy regions be the solution? Is there any hidden agenda and who will benefit if Gaddafi stays or goes? Who is on the losing side with the current situation in Libya? I do not have the answer but will just try to share my views on the matter as this is the only thing we all can do.
There have been a number of discussions surrounding the current spell of unrest that has hit a number of countries in Africa’s North, West and Great Lakes. Varied opinions have been given but no better solution has been suggested.
The political unrest in Libya is one of the most discussed topic [if not the only buzz-word] in my neighbourhood and if not mistaken in the world today. Many are questioning the credibility of the US and European forces ‘encroachment’ in Libya while others are against Muammar Gaddafi and wants him to go and fully in support of the ‘uprising’ in Libya.
Different camps of argument claim that Carnal Gaddafi has the right to fight back and protect his people and the nation’s wealth, others say that the US and EU forces have come at the right time to save the situation and ensure that people are protected while others would claim that the people of Libya should be left to fight it alone. I am not sure whether the above arguments or suggested solutions really present a balanced picture that would eventually culminate in lasting solution.
The question about Gaddafi’s stay or exit his leadership in Libya will result in minimum assurance of the return of peace and tranquillity in Libya. While a number of people have suggested that Libyans should be left to fight their own fight, we are not sure whether this fight was borne out of the anguish felt by the ‘protesters’ or this is an arm of the Western greed to ensure that they have illegal share in the natural resources in Libya – Oil resource in particular.
Another perspective arguing that Gaddafi should fight and fight for the ‘rights’ of the Libyan mass is also misplaced in that Gaddafi has stayed in power for a long time, even if there has never been any considerable outcry from the people he has led for over 40 decades; what has just happened and is happening might just be a tip of the iceberg hidden for ages but now the time has come to show what has been happening.
The Lost Mark
In both scenarios I must say that both warring parties have lost a mark. In ideal situation, Gaddafi as a leader must have known that there is dissatisfaction among the people on his leadership and if he had the interest of his country and of the people of Libya at heart, it was in his prerogative to ensure that this was addressed before it blew out.
Even though we may be quick to point out that other civil uprisings that have taken place were non-violent; it is never-the-less assumed that what we see now did not just come from nowhere. Therefore, it was not right for the ‘protesting’ and the protested camps to opt for a battlefield other than a peaceful settlement of the dispute. But Gaddafi in my view takes the lion’s share of blame to continue with his military mind of ‘finishing the opposition before they get to you.’
The UN, US & EU Encroachers
As much as many people have aired both negative and positive opinions on the move made by forces from the US and some European Union countries; it is doubtful whether this was the right path to take. Doubtful because it is not clear what is the intention behind this move which has been contested by a number of countries apart from the fact that the US and the EU have insulted the dignity of the African Union.
They would tell us that they are in Libya to protect the interests of the Libyan mass but this carries with it a number if repercussions, including high rates of deaths among the innocent civilians. Devastating consequences come with imposing a no-fly zone in any country, which I am not sure whether these were taken into consideration on Mar.ch 17, when the UN Security Council approved a resolution implementing a no-fly zone over Libya, authorizing “all necessary measures” to stop attacks on civilians — including strikes by sea and air.
Impacts of the “No-Fly Zone” Area
The act of enforcing a no-fly zone is not a passive act, but is a military intervention. As such, it is quite likely to anger the regime in question and it has indeed angered the Muammar Gaddafi’s government. We can clearly see that this is the case and Muammar Gaddafi is now determined than ever to fight back and this has its toll on the civilians.
If there was the absence of air assaults, it would be assumed that Gaddafi would have relented and choose to go to the discussion table with the protesting camp in the presence of AU and or UN representatives and find the best solution for this matter.
Another Phase of “the Scramble for Africa”
While we can talk a lot of things on what is happening in Libya and other African countries today, I see a another picture of the greedy West trying to have their hands in the resources of Libya which for a long time have been protected for the use and benefit of the people of Libya.
The current action on Libya is not different from what happened in the Imperialism era. “Imperialism was generally the act of individual explorers as well as some adventurous merchantmen. The colonial powers were a long way from approving without any dissent the expensive adventures carried out abroad.”
In the same vein, whether or not for the people of Libya; the member countries of the UN Council who sat at the meeting and endorsed the “no-fly zone” in Libya and further let the US & EU assaults in Libya have some ulterior motives which if analysed quickly results in harvesting the Oil and other natural resources from Libya. There is no other reason why the sanctions can be in place without consents from all the members concerned to consent.
The picture presented with this action suggests that the UN has become a partisan body which listens only to the cravings of a few and approving the destruction of the mass and deepening pain among the people.
Gaddafi & African Leadership
Gaddafi has outrun his time in the office, the cries and tears of the Libyan people cannot be solved by more deaths from artillery bombardment. If the US and the EU partners have weapons of mass destruction which are almost at expiry dates and want to dispose of them, they can do that elsewhere but not by killing the innocent in the name of protecting the mass from deaths – which is ironical.
It is shameful of the way the African Union have passively handled the Libyan crisis letting the outsiders and looters come in the guise of ‘helping Libyans.’ Don’t we also think that the time has come for African Leaders to let go of their leadership roles when it is outgrown and people are calling for change?