Instead of "Aluta Continua" African Union Promotes "A Looter Continua"

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Former President Conde in Guinea changed the constitution to run again. The army threw him out. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

[My Free Thoughts]

AU is a club of despots concerned about looming threats on their thrones.

The Organization of African Unity, the forerunner to the AU, was established in 1963 in Ethiopia’s Addis Ababa to safeguard African interests most importantly in respect of lingering colonialism and to promote African unity. 

In 2002, it changed into the African Union (AU) with a number of vital new documents establishing norms at continental level, including the 2007 African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance. 

Two decades later, the continental body has struggled to act upon the noble vision for democratic change envisioned in this charter. All they know about is leading the African states into the frenzy of begging which has dumped the nations into the abyss of indebtedness without any independent plan on how to extricate Africa out of the dependency syndrome. 

About seven decades after African states started decolonizing, we do not have solutions to the simplest problems and all eyes are on the Western countries for everything including vaccines and arms Africans use for killing each other.

The well intentioned vision of championing democracy, rule of law, and democratic change of governments, peaceful elections and good governance has become tokenistic and non-actionable. Instead the AU is capitalizing on protecting the malignant dictatorships on the African continent.

Being a cartel of power hungry despots protecting each other’s thrones of abhorrent looting and despicable barbarism, the purposeless African Union has turned out to be a scarecrow that scares no crow. It is high time we admitted that a caricature of the European Union can’t possibly work for Africa because of the greed of autocrats. There is absolutely no common value that these leaders share apart from stifling democracy and abusing human rights and rule of law. 

A club of tyrants. 

It is against this befitting description that useless rhetoric should always be disregarded whenever the AU begins to poke its nose in the decisions of the oppressed African people should they rise up to eject the malignant despots.

Basing on its policy of noninterference in the internal affairs of member states, this Tea Party Club of Tyrants looked on as then Guinean president Alpha Conde imprisoned, tortured, killed and exiled his critics as though they were not citizens of the country and entitled to freedom of political association and freedom of speech. What the AU knows is issuing press releases. 

Yet the AU decided to condemn the coup when the military deposed President Conde, who last year altered the constitution and ran for a third term—much in the same way as Uganda’s dictator of 35 years, life president Gen. Yoweri Museveni. 

It would have been wise for the AU to keep its mouth shut the same way they feign reticence when Africans are being oppressed by the despots in their respective countries who masquerade as statesmen and the union looks on, folding arms in despair like spectators. 

The African revolutionists who fought white Supremacy in South Africa, what was then Rhodesia, Angola, Mozambique and Guinea Bissau used to declare “Aluta Continua”—meaning “the struggle continues.” Instead the AU promotes “a looter continua.” 

Even when the AU acts its always selective. It once suspended Sudan over violence against protesters—yet, no action as dictator Museveni’s National Resistance Movement (NRM) regime has rigged and violently stolen multiple elections. The Jan. 14, 2021 vote was so bloody and blatantly rigged that even the United States which bankrolls Gen. Museveni in order to rent Uganda’s army for police work in Somalia called the election “neither free, nor fair.” 

Imagine since most African countries won independence in the 1960s, none is a first world country. Most leaders only care about themselves as long as they have power and they are looting at the expense of the impoverished majority Africans.

As long as the Union keeps quiet on the issues concerning oppressed Africans, it doesn’t have the moral right to spew blame games when the same oppressed rise up to chase away the oppressors as happened in Guinea. 

Columnist Kakwenza is a survivor of torture under the Museveni dictatorship. He can be reached via kakwenzarukirabashaija@gmail.com 

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