Nothing much new! So SADC has had its meetings with no doubt numerous resolutions, promises and new investigations while ducking the main fact that its fundamental principle of separation of powers, the executive, legislative and judicial components, is lying in the trash can! Equally the rape and murder capitals of the world, South Africa and DRC, continue behind a wall of political denial demand more resources, blame the past and having the gall to imply that matters are getting better! Sorry, but SADC is little more than a joke as it stands today.
While reflecting this sad point I read that Ingo Waldschmidt had just survived and completed his third Dakar rally, a magnificent effort which should be recognised in our sport world. But my real thought was how the original Paris-Dakar rally was an African event. Even remembering an overnight camp in the pouring rain at Gobabis when it was, only once, the Paris-Cape Town rally. Even, the next day watching these huge, noisy but spectacular, machines drifting off the tar road onto the gravel on the way to Aminuis. Those were the days when the raw competitive spirit was not contaminated with political crime merchants. Not long after this Touareg bandits in central / east Sahara started kidnapping and killing forcing the race to South America! Africa was out.
The strange but remarkably French event kept the Dakar brand name in this relocation and I have to admit my interest waned. But the real message was that political instability, AQ thinking, religious rebellion and Africa’s governmental inability to control their own territories. This was all about the time when the last African state had achieved its independence from “white colonial” rule with South Africa overcoming apartheid. The continent was free and the OAU, under the visionary flag (and money) began to head towards the “United States of Africa”, with the arrival of the African Union (AU). Seemingly a turning point in African politics and managerial dynamics. A new page? Much publicised of “African solutions to African problems”
Years down the line where are we? And yes, all the private jets, limousines and 6-star hotels in Addis Ababa are currently full of African leaders seriously avoiding tumultuous decisions and holding out the begging bowls. Maybe a little unkind but Darfur (start 2003), the Sudanese split, CAR, the Lord’s Resistance Army, northern Nigeria and religion, southern Nigeria and oil / piracy, Ivory Coast, Mali, DRC and much more are all disasters in progress, unaddressed. Promises of “quick reaction” forces are lies, the obvious ongoing and accelerating split of Africa into Christian and Islamic states of various degrees of insanity is becoming really dangerous and the rising dissatisfaction factors of populations are gaining credibility and support.
Meanwhile the Malian tragedy is briefly constrained, with full UN support, by French action driving the rather pathetic army of Mali! The AU, seems to close its eyes to this apartheid reality. It asks why the US and Europe is not taking action and coughing up money to solve these African problems! So much for African solutions to African problems!
The problem is simple. While the AU has published values and basic policy standpoints it is unable to comply as the self-interest involved in the secular, tribal and other inherent divisions mean loss of financial benefits to the leaders if they act as they are mean to. Equally asking for help in both boots on the ground and cash in the pocket from the US and Europe is in direct opposition to “African solutions to African problems”, brave decisions are unlikely.
The AU has to realise and promote peaceful co-existence of differing parties by each nation contributing somehow to solutions. Namibia, being a desert country, could certainly help in Mali, Nahas must think of this. Or are we scared of future intimidation? Fighting Apartheid is difficult! Brave Warriors?