Home | News    Thursday 26 February 2004

African foreign ministers discuss Gadhafi proposal to form united African army, amid doubts of feasibility in the short term

separation
increase
decrease
separation
separation

By MAGGIE MICHAEL Associated Press Writer

SIRTE, Libya, Feb 26, 2004 (AP) — Foreign ministers and delegates from more than 50 African states showed more skepticism than enthusiasm Thursday for Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi’s idea of creating a single African army to defend the continent.

Convening on the eve of a pan-African summit, Libyan officials touted the proposal as "a progressive idea," but delegates from other nations cautioned that it needed a lot of research. They questioned how the continent could unite militarily if it cannot unite politically.

The idea of forming a single African army was broached in July 2002 during the first summit of the African Union, which replaced the 39-year-old Organization of African Unity. The OAU was widely criticized for doing little to prevent African despots from plundering their countries and oppressing their people.

The young African Union aspires to be more effective, but it labors under financial constraints, including a US$40 million debt inherited from the OAU.

Gadhafi first proposed the single continental army at the 2002 summit in Durban, South Africa. He renewed his proposal three days ago at a meeting of African defense ministers.

The Libyan foreign minister, Abdel Rahman Shalqam, took up the cause Thursday on the sidelines of preparatory meetings for the two-day summit that opens Friday.

"This is a progressive idea," Shalqam said. "If we had said in the past that we are going to connect the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea (by digging) the Suez Canal, nobody would have believed us. But big ideas start like that."

He added: "Africa needs US$15 million every year for its military forces. To do what? To fight each other."

Africa is one of the most troubled regions in the world. Devastating local wars, including those in Sudan, Congo, the Ivory Coast and Liberia, fueled the idea of having some kind of regional security force that could stay aloof from internal wars and help bring peace.

A senior African diplomat, speaking on condition neither he nor his country were identified, said the formation of a united army is a long-term project and requires more cooperation than currently exists on the continent.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher told an Associated Press reporter that a united African army was "a worthy cause." But he cautioned it would "take a lot of research and time and we shouldn’t rush things."

After the African Union summit opens Friday under the chairmanship of Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano, members are expected to finalize a "peace and security protocol" that would allow for an exchange of information and strategies to combat criminal activity and political instability on the continent.

Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

Comment on this article



The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.



Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis


Sudan’s Independence: 19th of December should not go into Oblivion 2018-11-19 09:27:07 By Mahmoud A. Suleiman These important Reflections came to me against the backdrop of what was said about the date of the return of the Head of the Umma National Party (UNP), and the Imam of the (...)

Sudan’s removal from terror list taints U.S. values 2018-11-10 08:34:32 November, 9th, 2018 The Honorable Michael Richard Pompeo Secretary of State U.S. Department of State 2201 C St NW, Washington DC 20520 USA RESPONSE BY SUDAN LIBERATION MOVEMENT (SLM/A-AW) TO (...)

R-ARCISS: A Peace that divides the signatories and non-signatories 2018-11-10 07:58:28 By Tito Awen, Juba-South Sudan I keep wondering if peace can divide or unite the partners. I am not so young nor unmindful not to have known what happened after signing of the Comprehensive (...)


MORE






Latest Press Releases


Progress observed at end of second month of R-ARCSS implementation 2018-10-22 06:44:02 Press Release 21 October 2018 South Sudanese government released 24 detainees in the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement said the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) (...)

4th Annual Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Forum Announced for 25th October 2018 2018-10-15 12:38:14 PRESS RELEASE OCTOBER 14, 2018 Africa’s leading entrepreneurship-focused philanthropic organisation, the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), has announced October 25, 2018, as the date for its (...)

Unity State community in Kenya supports Khartoum peace agreement 2018-08-17 08:33:21 PRESS STATMENT 14th Aug, 2018 Re: We shall Rally behind Khartoum Peace Agreement The Unity State Community Association in Kenya was established in 2010 to organize and mobilize the people of (...)


MORE

Copyright © 2003-2018 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.