Race for the AU Chair: Africa’s Soul Searching Moment, Unique In History!

By P-AI Social Media Campaigns | February 4, 2012 at 8:49 am | No comments | Africa, International Solidarity, Networking, News, Self-Mobilisation, Situational Awareness, The Pan-Africanist Imperatives

A rejoinder to African Union Considers Future Leaders After Election Failure | Africa | English
by Peter Heinlein | Addis Ababa, VOA,  February 02, 2012. http://bit.ly/zXMoKL

In the first place, we completely part companies right from the beginning, the slant Mr.Peter Heinlein of the Voice of America is trying to put on a straight-forward matter. it is not our position that the “African Union is looking for fresh leadership after this week’s contest for the AU Commission chairmanship ended without a winner.” Furthermore, we strongly disagree with that assertion. So far as we are concerned, what happened in Addis Ababa last week was a referendum on the monumental failure of the Jean Ping-led AU and his rejection by the AU as a body to renew his mandate for another term.

We of the Pan-Africanist International welcome the news that the South African Home Affairs Minister, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma will run again for the position of African Union Commission chair at the next AU Summit in June, according to the international relations minister, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.

A reason why we rightly marked the defeat of Ping as an important victory, following the result of the conference, was clear. Ping was no longer eligible for re-election and this could only pave a way for Dlamini-Zuma to give it another shot and lobby even harder ahead of the next summit. And by the way, there is no ambiguity about procedure here:

“The message that is very clear, if you check the rule book, is that the incumbent shall vacate and the deputy chair will act until the next election. So nothing stops us from fielding the same candidate because she has shown or proven to be a formidable candidate that the incumbent could not defeat,” said Nkoana-Mashabane, in a statement.

“It was a vote of no-confidence in his [Ping] leadership. African countries were clearly unhappy with an AU that was ran from Paris. This provides us an opportunity to elect someone from a country which does not have neo-colonial hang-ups,” according to the diplomat who attended AU Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

So it comes to us as “a little surprise” that we read from the Voice of American account of the same event, completely in contradiction with the fact that we have known from day one! Not only is it news to us that “The summit leaders then decided Ping and the entire commission should stay on until June, when another election would be held.” Is this really what prevailed? We want to know!

Even more mischievous is the suggestion that both Ping and Dlamini-Zuma have been disqualified from the next context. What exactly is the meaning o this? Is Peter Heinleinf trying to add unto the already eliminated candidacy of Jean Ping, that of the obvious front-runner and the most credible candidate of the moment, the South African Home Affairs Minister, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma?

Where is the VOA getting their information from that has escaped some of us? Pan-Africanists all over the world have carefully been following these events with maximum vigilance, and we cannot be fooled. This VOA report includes the assertion that: “The unprecedented failure has raised speculation about the future AU leadership.  The names of several prominent African personalities have been mentioned as possible successors to Ping. But the question remains whether the two failed candidates should be allowed to run again.”

For us, that is not the question at all. The question is not “whether the two failed candidates should be allowed to run again.” The question is not the fact that Ping has been booted out, and the door is closed permanently for him. And it will certainly take more than such ridiculous shenanigans to bring him back! The question is will Africa rise to the occasion and rally behind Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in her bid for Africa’s soul? So far as we are concerned, nothing stops Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma from presenting her candidature as tweeted by »Julius_S_Malema Julius Sello Malema: on the same day the results came out: “Min Dlamini-Zuma’s AU bid has failed. I think she should run again in July.”

So this whole idea of Ping having any chance of even being legally considered a candidate is out of the question. However, as it was made clear right from the beginning, the case of Min Dlamini-Zuma’s AU bid is completely different. Contrary to what Peter Heinlein would have us believe, an overwhelming majority of Africans see her here in Africa as a front-runner, and a very important and crucial one at that. These distortions can be nothing other than mischievous. We clearly see this type of speculation as an unfriendly interference in African affairs by a major news outlet such as the Voice of America.

We think that it is a shame for the VOA to cite the opinion of Desiree Assogbavi, head of the AU liaison office of the non-governmental organization Oxfam, that “a fresh face is needed who can heal the deep divisions revealed by the last election.” Oxfam does not speak for Africa! And this level of propaganda can only reveal a desperation to meddle again, and again in what the US government officially calls “an issue that is entirely for African states to decide,” with false propaganda.

The VOA claims, “AU diplomatic sources with close ties to South Africa suggest Dlamini-Zuma may not be interested in running again, and that other candidates may be fielded. Sources close to Ping, however, say he is intent on winning re-election, and is writing a letter to member states arguing that he still enjoys the confidence of the majority.” Is this some kind of ironic reversal of events?

Meanwhile, the United States had already found it fit to deny a report that Washington, along with Paris, were actively opposing Dlamini-Zuma’s candidacy against Gabonese Ping’s bid for a second term.

“The United States considers the selection of leadership for the Commission of the African Union to be an issue that is entirely for African states to decide,” the US embassy said in response to Friday’s report in the Mail & Guardian.

“Contrary to speculation, the United States has no preferred candidate, and we have consistently maintained neutrality on possible candidates for the chair.”

We hope that this bizarre account by the VOA is not an indication of a change of policy. This is yet another sign that the rise of Africa on her own is not going to be an easy struggle. Fortunately, we know what we want, and we are not children. We want Dr. Dlamini-Zuma as the AU chair to help clear the mess of what the AU has become, a toothless bull-dog in international diplomacy. No amount of propaganda can alter the determination of Africans to take their own destinies into their hands. The elections for the position of new AU Commission chair will now be held at Malawi’s capital Lilongwe in June.  And we hope that she will stand and win. This is where we need all hands on deck to make this a resounding success!

The Americans may have their own reasons for favouring Ping and not favouring Dr. Dlamini-Zuma, they are as entitled to their opinion as we are to ours. Nkosazana C. Dlamini-Zuma is definately a million times better than Ping! No wonder the spin doctors of the Voice of America are already busy trying to undermine her! See: South African AU Chair Nomination Raises Eyebrows | Southern Africa | English http://bit.ly/xrIQIC.

As usual, most of the French-speaking countries that voted could have been on the phone with Nicholas Sarkozy up to the last moment, shepherding his French puppets to vote en bloc for Ping! As Crossed Crocodiles shows in his work, Total Victory In Libya, “The Jewel In The Crown” Is Libyan Oil: http://bit.ly/yluOlh, we see clearly the impudence of the needlessly violent and aggressive predators we have on our hands:

“The entire intervention against Libya was driven by potential profits. Pierre Lévy quotes a 2007 speech by Sarkozy:

“‘Europe is today the only force capable of carrying forward a project of civilization. … America and China have already begun the conquest of Africa. How long will Europe wait to build the Africa of tomorrow? While Europe hesitates, others advance.”

Not wanting to be left behind, Dominique Strauss-Kahn around the same time expressed his desire for a Europe stretching “from the cold ice of the Arctic in the North to the hot sands of the Sahara in the South (. . .) and that Europe, I believe, if it continues to exist, will have reconstituted the Mediterranean as an internal sea, and will have reconquered the space that the Romans, or Napoleon more recently, attempted to consolidate.”

Africa must wake up! Everyone must show some interest in what is going on this week-end in Addis Ababa! It could be a matter of life or death for some people afterwards as the imperialists continue with the militarization of diplomacy to secure our vast African resources, whilst we continue to wallow in poverty!

Kwame Nkrumah wrote in his book, “Africa Must Unite!”, as far back as 1960:

“We in Africa who are pressing now for unity are deeply conscious of the validity of our purpose. We need the strength of our combined numbers and resources to protect ourselves from the very positive dangers of returning to colonialism in disguised forms. We need it to combat the entrenched forces dividing our continent and still holding back millions of our brothers. We need it to secure total African liberation. We need it to carry forward our construction of a socio-economic system that will support the great mass of our steadily rising population at levels of life which will compare with those in the most advanced countries.”

Just a year after that, he published another book, I Speak of Freedom, 1961, in which he laboured the point:

“Divided we are weak; united, Africa could become one of the greatest forces for good in the world. I believe strongly and sincerely that with the deep-rooted wisdom and dignity, the innate respect for human lives, the intense humanity that is our heritage, the African race, united under one federal government, will emerge not as just another world bloc to flaunt its wealth and strength, but as a Great Power whose greatness is indestructible because it is built not on fear, envy and suspicion, nor won at the expense of others, but founded on hope, trust, friendship and directed to the good of all mankind.”

For many a doubting Thomas, all they need to do to understand what has been going on with our African leaders, is to read from “Declassified National Security Council and Central Intelligence Agency documents”, which “provide compelling, new evidence of United States government involvement in the 1966 overthrow of Ghanaian President Kwame Nkrumah.” In one of these declassified documents, March 12, 1966 (Document 260), Robert W. Komer, according to Paul Lee, “first joined the White House as a member of President Kennedy’s NSC staff,” “had worked as a CIA analyst for 15 years”, and “now acting special assistant for national security affairs, wrote a congratulatory assessment to the President on March 12, 1966 (Document 260). His assessment of Nkrumah and his successors was telling:

‘The coup in Ghana,’ he crowed, ‘is another example of a fortuitous windfall. Nkrumah was doing more to undermine our interests than any other black African. In reaction to his strongly pro-Communist leanings, the new military regime is almost pathetically pro-Western.’”

“Where the more subtle methods of economic pressure and political subversion have failed to achieve the desired result,” Nkrumah wrote from exile in Guinea three years later, “there has been resort to violence in order to promote a change of regime and prepare the way for the establishment of a puppet government.”

Today, what is as stake, is not just a matter of systematically replacing a revolutionary anti-imperialist regime with a puppet government, they want to swallow up the entire continent with one full sweep. Once more, another undeclared war between China and Africa seems to top the priorities of those who pretend to be our friends and stab us in the back, as quickly as they can, in order to perpetuate and maintain what they call “Full Spectrum Dominance”.

We live in a very exciting moment of history in the struggle for the continental emancipation of Africa in which we can all play our parts. As Hamid Dabashi puts it, “I think the ability of the people, the democratic will of the people to generate and sustain information and globalize it is far more important than secret wheelings and dealings between the powers that be.” All we need to do is to be careful and work even harder because they are desperate!

Reports just coming in indicate annual growth in China 9%, India 8%, Africa 5.5%, Europe 0%. With Portugal running to Angola to ask for loans to bail it out of the current economic crisis, Africa might very soon be in a position to provide aid to the US and Europe, if they leave us alone now and allow us to set our house in order in peace!

Please, Join In The Campaign! Say No To Jean Ping! Help support Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma!

For Life, the Environment, and Social Justice!

Ali-Masmadi Jehu-Appiah
Social Media Outreach
Pan-Africanist International – a grammar of Pan-Africanism and its manners of articulation.

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