Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has condemned the continent-wide Africa Union for recognising Libya’s National Transitional Council (NTC) at a recent summit, state radio reported on Wednesday.
Mugabe returned to Harare on Tuesday from the gathering of African nations in Ethiopia.
At the airport, he accused unnamed African countries of being “fronts” for Western powers whose “criminal” Nato bombardment of Libya helped lead to the killing of Muammar Gaddafi, a former Mugabe ally, state radio said.
The continental body didn’t even protest the Nato action, Mugabe said. He also said it was “unprocedural” for the AU’s Peace and Security Council to make the decision to recognise the NTC instead of the whole summit of leaders.
Zimbabwe itself has not officially recognised Libya’s NTC and expelled the Libyan ambassador when he defected to the rebel cause during the uprising against Gaddafi.
State media said on Wednesday that Mugabe complained the AU should have taken more action to protest Nato bombings: “We said absolutely nothing. Even if we could not raise a force, at least we could have protested. How did we fail to say even ‘no’ to killings that included civilians in the Nato bombings?”
Gaddafi became the first chairperson of the AU when it was founded in 1999 at a summit in Sirte to succeed the Organisation of African Unity that campaigned against colonialism for nearly four decades.
Mugabe said the continent had long fought oppression but the AU council appeared to have “felt intimidated” to recognise Libya’s transitional authority, the state broadcaster reported.
Other independent accounts from the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, said Mugabe told fellow African leaders there Western countries now saw their organisation as “a toothless bulldog”.
He said Gaddafi was killed “in broad daylight” and his children were hunted like animals, the independent NewZimbabwe media agency reported.
“Then we rush to recognise the NTC without demanding an investigation in Gaddafi’s murder,” Mugabe said.
He cautioned that Western powers suffering the effects of recession could target other African countries for their mineral wealth and resources.
“Who is next?” he said, repeating warnings he gave his to own party at its national convention in Zimbabwe in December, that Western powers were not to be trusted. — Sapa-AP