One would think as chairman of the African Union Commission – the executive arm of the African Union – Moussa Mahamat Faki would be proactive in engaging African leaders to desist from conscious decisions they make that result in developments that lead to civil conflict. In the absence of such proactivity, one would think that he would at least confront those leaders and work with them to solve the flammable problems.
But I guess Faki is cut from a different cloth. He would rather issue a statement to pick on Zimbabwe for its handling of COVID-19 pandemic rather than paying attention to West Africa that is about to go up in flames.
Last week President Allasanne Outtara of Cote d’Ivoire announced that he will be seeking a third term in contravention of the country’s constitution. A week earlier, President Alpha Combe of Guinea had announced that he would also be seeking an illegal third term.
Protests have erupted across Cote d’Ivoire and the police has responded by shooting some of the protesters dead. Similar uprising is expected to erupt in Guenea to resist Combe’s bid to run for a third term. Mali is in Chaos, and terrorists are running wild in Burkina Faso.
In Niger, French president Emmanuel Macron has suggested bringing in French troops to protect French nationals in that country. All the above suggest a region in Africa that is witnessing chaos, and in desperate need for continental leadership.
So why would the official AU Commission website be devoid of any statement addressing any of these thorny issues in West Africa, but the AU Commission Chairman can take time to issue a statement criticizing Zimabwe for its handling of COVID-19?
In a statement the AU Commission Chair told Zimabwe to “uphold the rule of law allowing for freedom of the media, freedom of assembly, freedom of association and the right to information. Violations of these rights are a breach of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the 2007 African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance.”
Really? And what exactly are the leaders of Mali, Cote d’Ivoire, and Guinea doing that have precluded them from a phone call or a statement from the AU Chair?
Does Faki want to tell us that he has yet to know what is going on in West Africa? Does he have a plan to address these dictatorial practices? Is he aware that under his leadership, more leaders are being emboldened to walk down that dictatorial path? Does he care? Or is what’s going on in francophone West Africa a design by France who has historically dictated what Faki must and must not do?
As Africa and by extension all people of African descent rising up to stand up to imperial dominance; as young African professional groups such as ICAN AFRICA made up of young African millennials living across the globe gather together to organize and do for Africa what their parents and grand parents failed to do, is this the time to be derelict of duties at the continental level?
This is a call to the African Union Commission Chairman Mossa Mahamat Faki to lead. The children of Africa are depending on him to lead. After six decades of independence, Faki should learn from the likes of Ghana’s Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and adopt a truly independent approach to solving the continents problems.
The Ghanaian president is pursuing a Ghana Beyond Aid Agenda; what agenda is Faki pursuing for the continent? Lead or get out of the way.