Tuesday, January 31, 2012

'Some African States Used As Fronts by Europe'

‘Some African states used as fronts by Europe'

Wednesday, 01 February 2012 00:00
Munyaradzi Huni recently in ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia
Zimbabwe Herald

PRESIDENT Mugabe has said some African countries have become "just bodies" used by Europe as fronts.

He said this yesterday following what transpired at the just-ended 18th African Union summit in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia.

He said even if Africa had no means to establish a force to stop NATO from bombarding Libya, at least the continent should have protested and said "no" to the wanton killing of people and destruction of infrastructure in that country.

Speaking to journalists on arrival at the Harare International Airport yesterday, the President said the Peace and Security Commission should not have rushed to recognise Libya's National Transition Council as this was the responsibility of the AU Summit.

He described the NATO actions in Libya as criminal, adding that: "we said absolutely nothing. Even if we could not raise a force, at least we should have protested. How did we fail to say even no?"

The Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces said the continent's founding fathers had fought to regain lost territory in Africa.

He said they fought for self-determination and non-interference, the founding principles of the Organisation of African Unity, the predecessor of the AU.

The President said the Peace and Security Commission was established to facilitate dialogue between the fighters in Libya, but it seemed "they felt intimidated into recognising the NTC".

Asked whether there was any foreign hand that could have influenced the deadlock in voting for the chairperson of the African Union Commission pitting incumbent Jean Ping of Gabon and South African Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, President Mugabe said: "Yes, there is always a foreign hand. Some African countries have become just bodies; they are fronts of Europe, fronts of France and so on."

He said Southern Africa felt Mr Ping did not handle the Libyan issue properly.

He said the summit did not have time to discuss its theme on boosting intra-trade in Africa as they focused on the political situation on the continent.

President Mugabe, however, said there was not much trade between African countries due to the products they produced and the different economic structures.

The summit ended in the early hours of yesterday as the majority of Franco-phone states continued to frustrate progress amid reports that they were taking instructions from Europe, especially France.

Instead of issuing a communiqué as is the tradition, the summit only held a poorly attended Press conference where the election of the AU Commission chairperson took centre stage.

No comments: