Has African Union [AU] become a chess pawn in the hands of Khartoum’s regime?

By: John Bith Aliap

Adelaide, Australia, June 20, 2012 (SSNA) — We have been made to hope for nothing! The African Union which has been slaying our efforts is a substandard organization with no single record of achievement in its history. Is there anybody out there who dares to deny this fact? On the other side of the coin, our thoughts and perceptions have been that the African Union’s mediation between two Sudans would unquestionably be underpinned by apparent recognizable core ideological principles including; democracy, respects of human rights, transparency and accountability.

It should not be this way; things go anti-clockwise in our African continent unlike in the western world where democracy, respect of human rights, transparency and accountability underscore most the organizational works. As long as our celebrated favoritism within the African Union is concerns, many South Sudanese analysts have long ago voiced their concerns and discredited the so-called African Union due to its lack of vision, its partisan orientation and finally, its bankruptcy of clear strategies to harmoniously solve the African issues on its own without external helps. Down the track however, the African Union [AU] as a lame-duck organization already suffering from assortments of malpractices has last week appends a salt to a fresh wound plus its already labeling on its neck of being a partisan organization when it accepts Bashir’s call to move the known venue of summit from Malawi to Addis Ababa Ethiopia. This move is not helping at all. It tells the world that the continent of African does not respect humanity and that killing is a prerequisite for any African leader to remain in power as manifested in Bashir’s case which the African Union is now desperately trying to evade justice under the placard of Africanism. Those who are sailing the African Union’s boat should be reminded that Bashir is not an African, but simply an Arab with confused identity.

Do not give up yet of my questions. How long is the African Union going to shelter criminal Basher from the International Criminal Court? Does anyone know the time frame? The African Union must rethink its position in Bashir’s indictment case. Sheltering criminal Bashir from being arrested by the International Criminal Court is a hellhole gesture for the African Union. The importance of the African Union should have been known through its legitimacy and credibility, but for God’s sake, what credibility can the African Union hold in the eyes of local [Africans] and the international community at large? However, from now on, the African Union should instantly be approached with hesitancy and its work would always be surrounded with immense bank of clouds-I mean to put it ‘sky-scraping’ doubts by the people it represents-particularly South Sudanese and other marginalized communities in Sudan.

Bashir’s crimes in Darfur, South Kordufan, Blue Nile and South Sudan are well documented in world’s crimes records, but the African Union perceives these dreadful crimes as thin in the air and less condemnable; and that standing alongside internationally wanted fugitive Bashir is a good chance of showing the world that Africa is an independence continent, its people are in solidarity, its people are in unity and additionally, the continent has an ability to solve its own continental’s tribulations. It would be helpful for Africans who think to have undone themselves out from white colonization to reason far beyond their noses. For instance, if the African Union [I reckon a unity of good people rather than a unity of evils] tends out to be a unity that eggs on crimes with impunity, than am afraid to say that this unity carries scores of implications and it would even be far more worse than disunity which the African Union [AU] organization is sarcastically trying to unravel in Africa.

The African Union would have won South Sudanese trust as well as the international recognition if it encourages democracy, respect of human rights, discourages terrorism tendencies [i.e. Bashir’s acts of terrorism in Darfur, Blue Nile, South Kordufan and South Sudan] and encourages all the African countries to adhere to internationally acceptable norms. That’s not the case as we speak. The African Union in its current practices and policies is dragging the African continent into abyss; I dare to say that it’s luring the continent into a shame trap. Before the train goes off rail, it’s a duty of all Africans [not only South Sudanese] to start questioning the creditability of the African Union and its ability to solve the African issues.

It is neither a curse nor a sin for an African person like this author to ask if the so-called African Union is truly practicing its core ideological principles that define its existence. While other Africans might have mistakably ticked all the boxes with a delusional thinking that the African Union is a legitimate organization for all Africans, the people of South Sudan have differing views about the African Union. To waste no time, South Sudanese see the African Union [AU] as a typical organization hypothetically composed of bunch of hyenas. Jean Ping and Thambo Mbeki would rarely miss to qualify for this description.

South Sudanese together with their government have long accused the African Union [AU] of double standards and partisan when it ‘not long ago’ failed its social contract to holding Khartoum responsible for its repeated crimes on the Republic of South Sudan and other marginalized areas in Sudan. Although the drivers of the African Union [Thambo Mbeki and Jean Ping] have brushed aside South Sudanese’ repeated accusations of the African Union of being a partisan organization, these accusations have recently been validated when the regime calls on the African Union to move the venue of the up-coming summit from Malawi to Addis Ababa Ethiopia due to Malawi’s refusal to host criminal Bashir. Being a visionless organization with no clear ideological principles, the African Union’s acceptance of regime’s apprehension of its crimes to reschedule the venue of the up-coming July summit has clearly demonstrates its vulnerability and how it has become a chess pawn organization in the hands of Khartoum’s genocidal regime. 

Bashir being a new director of the African Union coupled with other self-centered individuals such; as Thambo Mbeki and Jean Ping etc, this question begs answers from everybody, whether from South Sudanese or other Africans. Are we seeing the end of the African Union era in African? Surprisingly, If the Criminal Bashir could determine where the summit could be held, there is no doubt that he could as well determine; how much fees can the Republic of South Sudan pays to transport its oil, where the demilitarized zone could drawn, whether or not humanitarian aids could be delivered to South Kordufan and Blue Nile, how many areas are disputed between South Sudan and Sudan, formation of Abyei’s administration, draws what it thinks is the acceptable map of South Sudan and finally decides the time frame within which the popular consultation in Blue Nile and South Kordufan could be conducted.

It’s a damn fact that the African Union has melted down the Africans’ hopes and dreams-especially South Sudanese’ dreams and hopes. During its formation in 2002, Africans thought that the African Union will act as their mouth-piece at local and the international political domains, but the organization has rather become a disgrace to the continent of Africa. However, instead of standing out there and condemns the crimes committed by Al-Bashir in different parts of Sudan, the African Union has shamelessly chosen to host Bashir-to the point where it changes the venue of summit  despite ‘Bashir’ being wanted by the International Criminal Court. South Sudanese cannot afford to remain silence on this matter, but would rather like to extend their voices to those self-imposed leaders of the African Union that maintaining a hard-line stance with criminal Bashir has nothing to do with establishing a free and democratic African society. Indeed, it is extremely sad that the Africans are seeing the African Union which would have acted as their voice in different pharipheries hijacked and redefined by some elites groups with vast financial interests.

Would it not be so offensive to ask Thambo Mbeki to go back to South Africa and babysit his grandchildren? I suggest this would be a good idea, but for Mbeki it goes on other side of the wall. Going back to South Africa and babysits grandchildren is not a good hobby he would chose to engage in. Rather keeping South Sudan-Sudan disputes in motion without finding end-solutions is the best game he would chose to play than babysitting in a retirement village where he would be faced with hell of boredoms. It has to be however made clear to Mbeki that South Sudan-Sudan conflicts are beyond his reach and relinquishing himself out from typical hide and seek game of mediation would be a best option a man of his age could make so fare. In reality, the likes of Mbeki have been exploiting South Sudan-Sudan conflicts to meet their unmet financial interests.

Dishonesty in the African Union’s mediation work has been clearly visible in many occasions. Therefore, the  people of South Sudan should not burry their heads in the sand with phony hopes that  the dead-wood African Union will bring the much needed resolution to the present conflicts in point. In regard to the up-coming round of talks in Addis Ababa Ethiopia, there are already indications that the up-coming round of talks will still follow its usual path of failure given the inability of the African Union to conduct fair-fashion negotiations and Bashir insistence of not giving any further concessions in negotiation deals with the Republic of South Sudan.

As a result of favoritism within the African Union’s mediation team, South Sudanese do not any more recognize the jurisdiction of the African Union currently on the ‘verge of collapse’ until it changes its accustomed double-dealing business and abandons its hard-line stance alongside Khartoum’s regime. South Sudanese would also need to see the African Union conducting an adequate study and analysis of the conflicts between the Republic of South Sudan and the Republic of Sudan; because it appears that the African union in its current form is ill-informed and lacks adequate knowledge to settle South Sudan-Sudan disputes. Panthou’s case is our contemporary example that shows that the African Union is incapable  to determine the precise border lines between the Republic of South Sudan and Sudan.

The African Union should also fairly diagnose ‘if it keeps overseeing South Sudan-Sudan post-referendum issues’ the causes of South Sudan-Sudan conflicts [i.e. border disputes, Abyei issue etc] to avoid premature judgments. This approach lends the African Union an opportunity to arrive at a meaningful conclusion that could hit the final nail to disputed issues between the Republic of South Sudan and Sudan. Urgent implementation of these strategies only would we as South Sudanese recognize legitimacy and jurisdiction of the African Union.  I ought to repeat that doing so will bring the widely acceptable resolution to conflicts between the two countries, but standing with Khartoum’s regime will only bring shame to African continent and barrage of international criticisms. May God bless the Republic of South Sudan!

The author of this work is a concerned South Sudanese citizen and can be corresponded at [email protected]

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