Libya calls on AU to join fight against 'Western colonisers'
Libya is calling on the African Union to hold an emergency summit to invoke a mutual defence pact to deal with Western air strikes that seek to “punish Africa”.
Foreign Minister Abdelati Obeidi accused the west of aiming “to punish Africa through Libya” and to “steal its wealth and colonise it again”.
He told the Peace and Security Council of the 53-nation AU in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa the organisation should invoke a mutual defence pact in response to western air strikes.
“My delegation proposes the holding as soon as possible of an extraordinary session of the Assembly of the Union,” he said.
“This would identify the ways that enable our continent to mobilise capabilities to face the external forces which aggress against us.”
The AU, in which Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is one of the most influential members, wielding both financial and political clout, has been trying to broker a peaceful solution to the Libyan conflict.
Obeidi and rebels have been meeting separately with AU officials in Addis Ababa to discuss an end to the war.
The AU has proposed a solution that calls for an immediate cessation of hostilities followed by a transitional period and political dialogue.
The rebels rejected the plan earlier this month, saying any settlement must include the departure of Gaddafi and his sons.
Earlier on Tuesday an AU official accused Western nations of undermining its efforts to find a solution with its air strikes.
“I would like to point out that the pursuit of other agendas in Libya, by non-African actors, has had an impact on the implementation of the AU roadmap,” Ramtane Lamamra, AU’s Commissioner for Peace and Security, told AU foreign ministers.
“Attempts have been made to marginalise an African solution to the crisis, specifically the timely implementation of the AU roadmap in a way that is fully consistent with and complementary to United Nations Security Council resolutions.”
Lamamra said the intervention by the coalition and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) had failed to provide resolution of the crisis.
“The imposition of a no-fly zone over Libya and aerial bombardment by the coalition, and now by Nato, have not brought a solution to the crisis,” Lamamra said.
“In fact, the military situation on the ground seems to be sliding into a stalemate.”
Critics have noted that the AU’s bids to end conflicts or disputes in Somalia, Madagascar and Ivory Coast have not borne fruit.—Reuters.