AU right on universal jurisdictions

The just concluded African Union Summit has laid a few eggs. The urge on Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe to form a government of national unity purposely to accommodate Morgan Tsivangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change is one of them.

The just concluded African Union Summit has laid a few eggs. The urge on Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe to form a government of national unity purposely to accommodate Morgan Tsivangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change is one of them.

In light of the fact that Mugabe won the June 27 presidential election run-off by the pulling out of the race by MDC, this is the least that ought to have been asked of the formerly respected African statesman.

It makes all the more sense to honour and share power with the political force which finished ahead of ZANU PF in the first round.

After all MDC only threw in the towel at the eleventh hour not only to protest against a ground that was embarrassingly tilted in favour of the incumbent, but to save its supporters from blatant abuse of their human rights, the climax of which was a wave of violence targeting the opposition.

The heads of state should be commended for finally kick-starting a scrutiny campaign that is likely to exert peer pressure on politicians who seem to relish excesses, thereby holding them accountable to their nationals and to Africa as a whole.

Perhaps the stern condemnation by the AU of the shameful indictments issued by two (one French and the other Spanish) European judges against Rwandan nationals was the Summit’s golden egg.

They hid behind the Universal Jurisdictions laws in their books to mete vendetta onto the government of Rwanda. Put mildly, the unanimous decision by the AU member countries to never execute the warrants, and the resolution to cause a meeting between Europe and Africa purposely to seek a lasting remedy to the wayward behaviour of some judicial systems of our former colonisers, are simply heartening.

Africa seems to be waking up to the formidable political potential it can wield if it always acted collectively. It has found the unanimity and resolute spirit it needed yesterday.

Individual nations are coming together like never before to team up and reduce their political and economic vulnerability.

Africa is finding its feet rather late, but this should matter less if the continent is determined never to look back.        

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