AU Summit shuns “Brother Leader” in death

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA) - In his lifetime, he was widely regarded, rightly or otherwise, as a pillar of the African Union (AU), but 'Brother Leader' Mouammar Kadhafi was largely ignored by African leaders who gathered in Addis Ababa at the weekend for the 18th AU Summit.

The Summit is the first to be held since Kadhafi met a gruesome death in the culmination of the uprising that swept him out of office.

Beyond the traditional one-minute silence for all African leaders who passed on in the last six months, nothing else was done in memory of a man whose mere appearance at past Summits
was the stuff of legends.

It was a cruel irony that while the Ouagadougou Centre - which Kadhafi had erected to host African leaders in his home town of Sirte - lay in ruins from the 'war' that swept him out of office and snuffed life out of him, the 18th Summit was held in the sparkling complex donated
to Africa by China.

But while there was no overt act of remembrance for Kadhafi at the Summit, late environmentalist Wangari Maathai, the 2004 Nobel Peace Laureate, had a tree planted in her honour, in front of the brand new complex.

Also, a statue of another late African leader, former Ghanaian President Kwame Nkrumah, stands conspicuously in front of the new building

Interestingly, while many African countries had been slow to warm up to the new authorities in Libya, there was no sign of their past links to the Kadhafi regime, as none of the speeches at the Summit’s opening made reference to him, or even sought to inquire into his tragic death.

Not even his dream of a United States of Africa or his common defence plan got any mention in the speeches.

As a sign that the AU is fast warming up to the new authorities in Libya, the country's new leader, Abdurrahim al Keib, addressed the Summit for the first time.

Though he avoided any direct mention of the late leader, al Keib called for international assistance to trace and return to Libya all assets still being held by his close allies and family.

But al Keib somehow managed to remind his African peers of an embarrassing fallout of the Kadhafi years, when the new administration pledged to pay up all of Libya’s arrears to the continental body - a shocking revelation considering the widely-held notion that Libya under Kadhafi was the force behind the AU's finances.
-0- PANA AO/SEG 30Jan2012

30 january 2012 07:37:12




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