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African Union: I'd like to explore it's role

 
 
littlek
 
Reply Sun 21 Aug, 2005 10:19 pm
I don't recall ever focusing on this African Union. A link follows. Is it a viable group? Usefull? Effective?

http://www.africa-union.org/
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 5,858 • Replies: 14
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Aug, 2005 10:22 pm
From Wikipedia:

Quote:
Goals for the African Union include an African parliament and a central development bank. As with its predecessor, the OAU, the African Union is based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Pan-African Parliament opened officially September 16, 2004, in Midrand, South Africa.

The current Chairman of the Commission, H.E. Alpha Oumar Konaré, leads the African Union.

Because of the membership of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (Western Sahara), Morocco is the only African nation that has chosen not to be a member.

The AU's first military intervention in a member state was the May 2003 deployment of a peacekeeping force of soldiers from South Africa, Ethiopia and Mozambique to Burundi to oversee the implementation of the various agreements. The mission was known as AMIB and has since been taken over by the United Nations, which has designated it ONUB.


The OAU started in 1963 and the AU in 2002
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Aug, 2005 10:35 pm
They have not been terribly effective, but that is more due to the lack of military and political force which they are able to deploy than any inherent fault in the concept. In that there is no one else doing anything about national strife or tragedy in African nations, having the African Union is a hell of a lot better than having nothing at all. The European nations carved Africa up to suit their political ambitions, and largely did so by drawing lines on maps, the interiors of which were mostly blank. When colonialism ended, this left a situation much as that which you would have seen in the former Yugoslav state--tribal rivalries of murderous intensity. The first significant such conflict was in the former Belgian Congo, when Katanga province (rich in mineral deposits and diamonds) seceded--the UN intervened, but not very effectively. That was the last great hurrah of white mercenaries, who signed up with the highest bidder, and made the fight much more vicious and bloody. This was followed by the war waged in Nigeria against the Biafrans in the late 1960's. In almost every case of war in Africa since 1960, there has been a tribal factor. Idi Amin in Uganda was promoting the interest of his tribe at the expense of all others, but was sufficiently powerful to repress the others and prevent a civil war. He became a by-word for brutality. In Rhodesia (which became Zimbabwe) the struggle was between a white supremicist government and the majority of the population--but not to understand that that was just as much a tribal war as any other is to be blind to the place of white Africans on the continent.

Although there have been many variations in the exact details of the wars in Africa, the basic theme has been built around the old colonial boundaries throwing together in individual nations tribes who would as soon slaughter one another as look at one another across the floor of a parliamentary chamber. The African Union offers a hope that would otherwise be lacking. It is a good idea, and i hope that it prospers.
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msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Aug, 2005 11:45 pm
bm
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Mon 22 Aug, 2005 05:19 pm
Not a great prognosis from Setanta.

So, we'd have no luck convincing people to reconsider country borders at this stage, I guess.

In my mind, before I knew about the AU, I thought an african union would be a great idea. Screw the interfering countries and the UN, none of whom know enough details, usually, on the ground before they step in.... or do they? If there could only be a way to have an effective continental congress or parlaiment......
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 22 Aug, 2005 05:23 pm
I don't know that you'd ever have a continental union. But given the typical neglect (if the West can't exploit them for their mineral wealth or cash crops, they've no interest in them at all), they certainly are more and more likely to work toward joint solutions of problems in the future. Tribalism will continue to haunt them; and no, petty governments aren't about to cede a square foot of territory, despite what the current boundaries mean for murderous tribal rivalries.
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littlek
 
  0  
Reply Mon 22 Aug, 2005 06:50 pm
mmmmm
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FreeDuck
 
  0  
Reply Mon 22 Aug, 2005 07:05 pm
bookmark
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FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Mon 22 Aug, 2005 07:10 pm
littlek wrote:
Not a great prognosis from Setanta.

So, we'd have no luck convincing people to reconsider country borders at this stage, I guess.

In my mind, before I knew about the AU, I thought an african union would be a great idea. Screw the interfering countries and the UN, none of whom know enough details, usually, on the ground before they step in.... or do they? If there could only be a way to have an effective continental congress or parlaiment......


That's what I was hoping too.
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Jan, 2006 12:27 pm
The Au and the UN have been talking about how to handle Darfur (STILL!). The Au isn't doing the job, the UN says. The Au says that they need more money and supplies from the UN. They may be working together to deal with the problem. Meanwhile, the horror continues.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/4611742.stm
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Jan, 2006 03:11 pm
BM.


You know, I once had a lot of links about the African Union...I think I even opened a thread, which I later deleted, because nobody responded.


It is a fascinating fledgeling......lord knows if it will ever fly.
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Jan, 2006 04:59 pm
Threads on africa get very little attention.....
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dagmaraka
 
  2  
Reply Mon 16 Jan, 2006 05:16 pm
Well, I'd like to chime in with a way more optimistic perspective. OAU surely didn't do much, but few years back, when it became AU, its structure, vision, organization got way more integrated and tightened. It's a young organization in the grand scheme of things, and that on a troubled continent.
AU has produced some good work in the past 2-3 years, especially NEPAD - the New Economic Program of African Development that names the key problem areas and lays out strategy of how to address them. Program gets reviewed by all-african experts ongoingly, the last that i was paying closer attention to NEPAD was during the G-8 summit in Glenneagles. While some of the rhetoric was copied by the summit, the strategy step were, however, not.

On Sudan...if I were the UN, I'd keep quiet. AU sent troops there very quickly, albeit awfully few, ill-equiped, without any funding. UN, due to its structural constraints (Security council and veto therein by China (oil) and Russia (trading arms - Migs- with Sudanese government, which are later used in terror raids in Darfur) )of the UN halted any UN mission and money to support the only troops -AU troops - in the area, trickled in pathetically and late as usual. Instead we keep playing the 'let's sign the peace agreement' game with the Sudanese government, in essence propping them up and giving them time to kill more people. Grrrrrrr.

I believe AU will have a chance to develop into something effective over the next decades. Africa itself might, but international trade will need to change first. Dumping, barriers in the western markets while insisting on wide -open free markets in African countries just does not lead to progress in Africa. Only more poverty and dependency. It's not likely going to be any time soon, but I believe one day, gradually, it will become more and more of a necessity for the west to trade fairly.

uhhh, gotta go to bed. glad the topics's here though - there are quite a few bones to pick.
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Jan, 2006 05:33 pm
yeah, dagmar! Good points, positive views and lots of background.....
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Jan, 2006 09:15 pm
Holy crap! Sudan has put in a bid to lead the AU! The 53 African nation presidents couldn't agree on a new leader.....

Quote:
The alliance that symbolises Africa's hopes for peace and democracy was in disarray yesterday after 53 presidents from across the continent failed to agree on its new leader.

At issue is whether Sudan's military dictator, President Omar al-Bashir, should be elevated to chairman of the African Union (AU).
The African Union summit opens in Sudan's capital Khartoum
The African Union summit opens in Khartoum, Sudan

If his bid to lead Africa succeeds, critics say this would scupper any hope of peace in Sudan's war-torn region of Darfur. They add that a regime guilty of "crimes against humanity" would be rewarded.
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