The fall of Col. Muammar Gaddafi’s long rule of Libya marks a very important chapter in the African political history. Looking at the heated debate in various fora, it can be said that Gaddafi was loathed
One school of thought has it that Gaddafi brought prosperity to Libya and Africa. This school points out that Gadaffi’s supposedly, very good anti-imperialist credentials as a pan Africanist by talking about his generosity, investments and support targeting various African causes fuelled largely by Libyan oil wealth, as reasons that he should have been retained instead.
However, an opposing view has it that Gaddafi’s main short coming was his perceived failure to give Libyans a credible and smooth transition mechanism for power.
The school of thought that is welcoming his departure point out allegations of Gaddafi masterminding acts of terror across the world as well as the general perception that Gaddafi sponsored various political destabilization programmes in a number of African countries.
The political crisis that marked Gaddafi’s fall, brings to the surface the ineptitude of the African Union(AU).
A case being the need for AU to adopt resolutions that will bring forth credible and peaceful political transition mechanisms in Africa. It is well known that peaceful transfer of power or lack of it in Africa has a direct bearing on the general development and prosperity of the continent.
The grim pictures of Libya generally and Tripoli in particular bleeding and burning to the ground brought sad reminder about our continent once more.
Just by looking at the TV footages leading to the fall of Gaddafi, one can say that, Africa still has a long way to go in its collective search to give its people a peaceful power transfer mechanism.
The AU is meeting once more to discuss the Libyan crisis. The last time the organisation met on Libya, its resolutions left many disappointed. Actually some even went to the extreme by saying that, like its predecessor OAU, the AU can be said to be protecting some of Africa’s long serving dictators who are seen to have brought shame generally to the continent and specifically contributed to the continent’s underdevelopment, poverty, civil wars, injustices and all the unspeakable horrors that cast Africa as a dark continent.
Rwanda’s bold position on the Libyan crisis was simply inspiring. The country’s position was that it is unacceptable for any leader in Africa to turn against his own people. Rwanda has clearly and rightly stated that, should a leader turn against his people by shamelessly killing them, as Col.Gaddafi did, then the whole world ought to come to the rescue of such people under siege.
Rwanda’s position on Libya was largely informed by the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi. Observers agree that if the world has collectively rallied to Rwanda’s rescue in those critical moments of 1994, by moving in quickly and firmly to stop Rwanda’s genocidal leaders from executing their heinous agenda, one million lives could have been saved.
The fall of Gaddafi brings to the fore the relevance of the AU in coming up with an answer to the dilemma known as political transition in Africa. If anything, Africa is still littered with a sizable number of rulers who are not in a hurry to vacate office in a peaceful manner.
The author is an editor with The New Times