Since the beginning of the French military operation in Mali I couldn’t help noticing the complete silence of African countries on the war in Mali.
Could it be that the powers that be in Addis Ababa are sulking because a member state (Mali) of the AU opted to request the former ‘colonial master’ to come to its rescue or is it because the ‘talk shop’ in Addis Ababa had no solution to the crisis in Mali? I bet the latter. Article 13 of the protocol relating to the Establishment of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union talks about the creation of an ‘African standby force’ to deal with conflicts such as the Mali’s crisis.
This protocol was adopted by the AU assembly way back in 2002. A decade later it is still empty words on a piece of paper.
‘African solutions to African problems’, it is a slogan that is conveniently used whenever a western country tries to come up with a solution to a crisis somewhere on the black continent. This time around I didn’t hear much of the rhetoric because AU knew they had no ‘African solution’ to the crisis in Mali.
A week into the French intervention in Mali, ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) jumped in and offered to deploy troops. With this deployment, some pundits on everything African are claiming that Africans have demonstrated that they able to take responsibility for their own security and diplomacy. Nothing could be further from the truth.