"WAR AGAINST TERRORISM" DERAILING REFORMS IN AFRICAN UNION
The prospect of world recession that has hardened in the aftermath of September 11 had African Finance Ministers meeting in Amsterdam, Wednesday 17 October 2001, worrying out loud at the prospect of falling prices for African export goods, as well as the derailing of democratic reforms in the name of national security.
At a symposium of African ambassadors, Wednesday, fighting terror was consistently linked to fighting poverty, underdevelopment and continuing the trend toward democracy and transparency in government.
But how much importance the United States and other Western powers place on these longer term projects is not clear. The fear is that some sort of anti-terrorist 'quick fix' will prove more attractive than expensive commitments to broad and vital social change.
There are some "root causes" to be faced, said Mali Ambassador, Cheick Oumar Diarrah, citing absence of democracy in many nations and Africa's great poverty, and "[fighting] terrorism should not hide the real agenda of Africa. We cannot use terrorism as an excuse.
AFRICAN UNION CONDEMNS TERRORIST ATTACKS ON THE USA
The seventy-sixth ordinary session of the Central Organ of the OAU Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution condemned unequivocally the horrific terrorist attacks that have caused enormous loss of human life and destruction in New York, Washington DC and Pennsylvania.
“The central organ expresses to the government and people of the United States of America the full solidarity and deepest condolences of the OAU and the entire people of Africa over this tragedy which affected not only the USA, but humanity as a whole," a communique issued at the end of the session said.
"The central organ stresses the urgent need to bring to justice the perpetrators and sponsors of these terrorist attacks and calls on the international community to work in a more coordinated and determined manner to prevent and combat terrorism,” the communiqué said.
Meanwhile the Central Organ expressed satisfaction at the positive and encouraging outcome of the preparatory meeting for the Inter-Congolese Dialogue held in Gaborone, Botswana last month. The Central Organ reiterated the importance of the Inter-Congolese dialogue for the successful conclusion of the peace process in the DRC.
The Central Organ also welcomed the encouraging developments in the peace process in Sierra Leone, particularly the progress in the implementation of the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Programme (DDR), as well as the efforts to promote peace and reconciliation among the countries of the Manor River Union.
In another development a five day meeting of the 4th Ordinary Session of the OAU/AEC Ministers of Trade opened at the Experts Level, Wednesday, September 19, 2001 at the International Conference Center, Abuja, Nigeria.
The Meeting jointly organized by the OAU and the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is meant to ensure that the pre-eminence of trade issues in Global Development Efforts is adequately addressed, particularly the objectives of transition to African Union. It will be recalled that the Constitutive Act of the African Union enjoins the OAU Member States to expedite the establishment of the African Common Market.
URGENT CALL FOR AN EXTRAORDINARY OAU/AU MEETING
From: Pascal Makkeda
CC: firstname.lastname@example.org;, email@example.com;, firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Urgent call for an extraordinary OAU/AU meeting
Date: Tue, 25 Sep 2001 09:47:16 -0700 (PDT)
I am an African person of Gabonese nationality, but presently residing and working in Cameroon. I am sending this message in order for you to contact the OUA/AU Secretary General or any other Senior person in the OAU/AU organization and ask him to organise as quickly as possible an extraordinary meeting of the OAU/AU State counties, either at the Head of States level or at the Ministry level. Such a meeting, under the present situation of the USA trying to build a global coalition to fight "Terrorism", is very important for the African Continent and for all the African countries. The main objective of this meeting will be for all the African countries, members of the OAU/AU organization, to come together and build-up (after negotiations and debates) a COMMON AND UNIQUE POSITION regarding the USA initiative of fighting "Global Terrorism".
Africa needs to build up very urgently a common position regarding this problem, in order to show to the World that it has his own opinion (which can be a wise opinion based on our African culture and Traditions) about this big problem facing the World. By doing so, Africa will show to the World that his leaders and people are NOT a GROUP of SHEEP or PUPPETS which anybody can manipulate and make them act BLINDLY (without thinking) against HYPOTHETICAL enemies which are not clearly identified. Also before acting or agreeing to do anything to help the Western Powers, Africa (through OAU/AU) should ask and obtain clear and concrete economical, cultural and STRATEGICAL COMPENSATIONS (NOT MERE PROMISES) from these Western Powers. Africa should also avoid to act foolishly and should STRONGLY preserve its own LONG TERM STRATEGIC INTERESTS which, most of the time are in contradiction with the Strategic interests of the Western World (mainly USA and Europe).
If Africa, through the OAU/AU organization, does not act quickly and build quickly a common position, the USA and Europe will use this unique opportunity or in fact "EXCUSE", of fighting "Global Terrorism", to divide and weaken more the African Continent by manipulating some African countries against the others, by calling some of the "Friendly" African country to join the Global coalition(without any real compensations) and leave the other African countries out, as potential targets of the American strikes and destructions at the expense of innoncent African people. THIS IS a TRAP WHICH SHOULD BE AVOIDED by all the African countries. Hence the necessity of organizing an urgent extraordinary meeting of the OAU/UA Head of States or Ministers.
If Africa fails to get a common position now, it can deeply harm the struggle for the African Unity, as it will be more difficult to unite more divided African countries, in future. That will just simply kill (or delay for a very long time, which African cannot afford) the OAU/AU project and dangerously delay the development of the African continent. Therefore The African Contirent could end up being the biggest loser of the present difficult situation of fight against “Global Terrorism”.
Thank you for your attention.