Home | News    Tuesday 7 July 2009

Botswana’s VP slams Libya, says AU summit failed Africa


July 6, 2009 (WASHINGTON) — The Vice President of Botswana Mompati Merafhe lashed out at the Libyan chairmanship of the recent African Union (AU) summit in Sirte saying that the pan-African body “failed Africa”.

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Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi (L) and Vice President of Botswana Mompati Merafhe (R)

Merafhe speaking at a press conference in the Namibian capital Gaborone said that Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi forced upon the members the resolutions relating to the African government proposal and the International Criminal Court (ICC) row with Sudan.

The Botswanaian Vice President avoided naming Gaddafi directly and referred to him as the “chair”.

“The chair has no respect for established procedures and processes of the African Union and this may be motivated by his burning desire to coerce everyone into the premature establishment of an African Union government,” Merafhe said according to the South African based ’The Times’.

He said that Gaddafi did not present the proposed makeup of the new African authority suggesting that the idea will likely stumble upon implementation.

“Given the way the meeting was presided over, Botswana found it fruitless to oppose the adoption of what is essentially the framework of the African Union government, the issue on which our position is well known,” Merafhe said.

“Whilst the summit was forced to adopt a document most countries did not agree with, the test will be in its implementation.” he added.

Libya intensely lobbied the AU members to agree to a central AU authority with powers over foreign affairs, economy and defense. The resolution was later watered down to accommodate objections from several heavyweight countries including South Africa and Nigeria.

The summit also announced that the 30 African countries that have ratified the Rome Statute will not honor their obligations under the convention relating to apprehension of Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir who is wanted in connection with war crimes in Darfur.

But Botswana distanced itself from resolution on the ICC cooperation and its foreign ministry issued a statement on Sunday affirming their commitment to the Rome Statute.

Darfur rebels and human rights organizations condemned the decision saying it grants impunity to a war indicted individual.

The Botswanaian Vice President said that Africa should not try to undermine the work of the ICC just because “one head of state called Bashir” had been indicted by it, he said.

“The chair did not permit much debate on this matter and therefore we did not get an opportunity to put our opinion across” he said.

African diplomats said that the Libyan backed text was agreed to at the foreign ministers level through a vote and at the leadership meeting with a consensus.

“Consensus usually means unanimity, but in this case there was some dissent," said Benin Foreign Minister Jean-Marie Ehouzou, who said objections by Chad or others would likely be added as caveats to the final summit declaration.

Sudan Tribune has not managed to obtain a copy of the final resolution from the Sirte summit.

The Sudanese foreign ministry spokesperson Ali Al-Sadiq dismissed Botswana’s stance saying they are obliged to adhere to the AU decision and added there are no diplomatic ties that exist between teh two countries anyways.

Merafhe expressed disappointment over the AU saying it needs “to get its priorities right if the hope of functional unity among African countries and peoples is to be kept alive”.

“Until we can all appreciate what democracy, rule of law, respect for fellow Africans and the dignity of others mean in practice, Africa has a very long way to go”


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  • 7 July 2009 08:19, by Gatbentiu

    The VP is right Gaddafi must be crazy to force Africa Union members to accept their withdrawal from ICC.
    If Gaddafi is doing right in Africa why are people in Darfur dying?
    Gaddafi is terrorist who knows nothing about PAN Africaism the world shuold take action for he gets crazy.


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    • 7 July 2009 09:17, by Leave Us Alone

      Just relax, Afican Union is just a Joke,trust me Bashir’s fate has been sealed. If they can bring Melosevic (Ex Leader of a European Country)to justice, Bashir .... you know what I’m talking about ...

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      • 8 July 2009 15:33, by Joseph Dut Gak

        That is the bad Dream!
        The Libya leader could have the dream outside where p’ple had regarded him as god of gods ,he should not dictates outside Libya.
        if the man is to be of united states of Africa and one man is killing more than 50 p’ple a week what does it means for him?.

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    • 7 July 2009 09:19, by Tony Alqaeda

      Hello Gatbentiu!

      You are right brother and there are some cockroach who are supporting Gaddafi even fellow southerners ,and how can we term such dogs?

      Gaddafi is an Arabs and all Arabs are terrorist and there is no single day he will tell African leaders the fact about democracy in Africa.he knew nothing about democracy .
      shame on African leaders.

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    • 7 July 2009 09:31, by Frak Cho

      Dear Africans,

      Gaddafi has got two mix feelings, that of Arabs feelings and the other one is, his fake idea of Pan-Africanism, that does not exist in Libya. Gaddafi is going over 40years in power without any opposition from Libyan people. But one may ask how did he (Gaddafi) come to power? Was he elected or appointed? you africans got to answer by yourselves.

      If you can look at the life of the Libyan leader, is full of selfpity and selfcentred. Just to say one thing and if you may not know, then learn it now, then reflect upon Gaddafi’s way of life. For instant, any African country that befriend Gaddafi, the president of that very country becomes a die heart leader for power and starts changing the consistuation of the country into his own amendement that favors him to remain in power as long as he wishes, e.g Uganda, Kenya is falling into the same track, just to mention a few. This clearly shows that Gaddafi, they Libyan leader is a perfect dictator, his idea for Pan-Africanism is just a smile of his grip of power and self exaltation.

      Please, Africans for how long will you begin to realise your destiny!!!

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    • 7 July 2009 09:46, by Ambago

      Fellow black Africans !

      Please open your eyes, see and read. Read it for yourselves and also read it for others to hear and learn. It is this statement by the Botswana Vice President.

      “Until we can all appreciate what democracy, rule of law, respect for fellow Africans and the dignity of others mean in practice, Africa has a very long way to go”.

      Botswana has said it all.

      For how long shall we continue to be under the mercy of these handful Arabs ? Let us think and act as the wise people of Botswana have done. Thank you.

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      • 7 July 2009 10:27, by jur_likang_a_ likan’g

        What a joy! At least one of true African nations has called a spade a spade. Double indentity Africans should not steal African right to existence on this planet.

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        • 7 July 2009 11:16, by Aparana

          Let us not take things immotionally,Botswana has not experieced civil war or rebellion, They are more or less like a European country, they depend entirely on the income brought by european tourists in addition to more than 3oo million euros they receive annually in form of grands and aids. Therefore, you can now understand if Botswana supports Bashir, they will be economically and political sunctioned, consequently there economy will surely collupse, unlike Sudan whose economy is constantly booming despite USA and EU sunctions.

          Bontwana is only trying to deffend their own interest, not this politicised doubled standard court. Africa will contiue to be dependent on the western world, if we are not couragious enough to reject this politicised aids and grands.


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          • 7 July 2009 15:29, by crackwood

            We Africa should learn from the people of Southern Sudan, how long they were surfer from Arab nation, beginning from Islamic Turkish,through they regimes in Khartoum? Do you know how many Africans dead under Arab regimes in Sudan? Zillion of Africa People were been kill by Arab an Africa Mafia leader clapping their hand to Kill more of their brothers.

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  • 7 July 2009 11:24, by Maruk

    I don,t know why this dictator was given the AU chairmanship. These Arabs are confusing Africans. They are Arab league members and want to contaminate us with their ideologies. Gadaffi forced this resolution on member states coz he knows soon, he is the next.

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    • 8 July 2009 02:32, by PopJ

      It’s truely a great joy particularly if you are an African man from Sudan to see a fellow east Africa brother standing up in defense of Africa. This vice president or the people of Bostwana in general are really the nationlist. I’m not so supprize to see a leader coming boldly from this region because at one point in time, it was Ali Sellahsi, the Empera of Ethiopia who stand up brilliantly and strongly against the Italian invation. There was no other African country that stood her ground against the other colonies including Sudan. Having said that, I’m just being proudt of Bostwana’s Vice President. I think he know a thing if not all about being born an African. For the rest of Africans leaders, I wonder whether these people know the orgins of African people. I wonder whether they really know the different between the Bantu speaking and the Nilotic speaking people of African. However if they don’t, then how can we expect them to know the different between being an AFrican or an Arab. What Gadafi is doing is just a support to a muslim brother. This is his duty as is required in their muslim brotherhood doctrine. For our African leaders to collaborate with him and believed in his nonsense, I thinks the leaders are just being naive about their duties. Tunisia,Morroco, Egyt, libya, and some other northern Africans countries are parts of Arab league; If they come to Africa’s meetings and claimed themselves to be Africans, then some of the European countires that have enslaved, killed, and looted the African with properties some centuries ago should also be considered parts of AU. There are many questions to be ask of our leaders. First, why can’t African leaders ask these nothern African countries where they belong? Why does Sudan considered herself an Arab league member even when it is 95% occupied by Africans ? why are Africans leader letting themselves be fooled all the times?. There are many questions one can aked about the behaviors of our leaders because they does not seem to understand the magnitudes of the problem. These leaders are just money hunters. They don’t seem to resemble or potray one bid, the images of those of Kwame Nakuruma, Juluis Nyerere and others. For northern African leaders like Gadafi, their evolvement in the AU affair is just a way forward to push further deep into the heart of Africa their idea of Islamization. These Central,west, and South African need to understand this.

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  • 7 July 2009 11:42, by raanaguachraan

    hi African leaders, when are you going to standing up for innocence people of Darfur and African people?
    is it so sweet to enjoy the news in Darfur,and Somalia? how foolish are our African leaders who are fooled by Dictatorship Muamar Gaddafi of Libya by withdrawal from ICC membership because Bashir.

    I congratulations to the vice president of Botswana Mompati for is supported for ICC Issue arrest warrant to Bashir crimes. Mr Mompati, continues with that spirits of leadership for knew the right of your people in Africa in whole.

    by RED ARMY.

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    • 7 July 2009 13:04, by Ajuscommando

      Please Bashir must to face justices like JEM POWS whom he sentences them to death in Khartoum with wrong accusation. Peace will not come to Sudan without justices and human right since current government is a terrorist in the country according his act. Libya president behalf like a man under the influence of drugs or alcohol because he doesn’t think twice before his action since situation Dafur is great challenge to African leaders and African continent. Let justice face whoever committed crime in Sudan so that people should live in good atmosphere.


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  • 7 July 2009 13:05, by Hillary B.M.L,M

    Now to my understanding, Bashier will not move as he wish, Botswana proved that, other Africa Countries who hide their braveness in front of Terrorist Gaddafi will rather implement the Arrest warrant secretly including Eritrea, Ethiopia, Djibouti and the like who are afraid of Omer Albashier in face to face confrontation. Botswana is exemplary Country in Africa.

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  • 7 July 2009 13:34, by jualian daniel

    Bravo Mompato Merafhe,

    You have proved to the African Leaders that you are a true Nationalist. We should speak out for the rights of those who are marginalised. stand firm, other African Leaders will no doubt learn from you.You can lead Africa to a new direction. Please Keep the spirit and in so doing you will make Africa shine.

    Thank you for the courage.

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  • 7 July 2009 19:08, by Moses Kuocgoor

    The saying goes when the cat is away the mice will play" the Lybian dictator is free to force his dump African leaders in the light of Darfur crisis. A man rules Lybia for decades without change, a son of a bitch who does not believe in democracy in Africa.

    He felt that he is the only dictator in Africa and wishes to protect Omar Bushier who is also a dictator, a man who took power in coup in Sudan from ICC. I personally say hell no to big dictator. If you blind to see the reality in Sudan, then you must shot up. Omar Bushier has been convicted and he will never escape the ICC’s warrant arrest in Africa.

    This man has been doing very ugly staff than Charles Taylor of Liberia, but he had been arrested. Believe it or not, Omar Bushier will face a very nasty punishment under the ICC. The true is not destroyed and I thank Botswana’s VP for his position and to those who do not see in their hearts.

    The Arabs are attempting to neocolonize African Countries since they have seen that nobody is awake in light of education

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  • 7 July 2009 19:15, by Samson Shawel Ambaye

    God be with the ICC and Prosecutor Luis Moreno- Ocampo. ICC is God’s court established to protect victims of cruel leaders like Bashir. While people of Darfur are victims of crimes by Bashir AU is not supposed to protect Bashir from arrest by the ICC. AU can think and cooperate with ICC to arrest Bashir and his arrest may change the historical mistake made by AU.

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    • 8 July 2009 01:47, by Mohammad100

      Here comes one African Administration with unflinching convictions and unwavering integrity. I hope other African chameleon who calls themselves leaders of their respective nations will learn from Botswana. Bravo Botswana. That is a real leadership. A Leadership which will not change it’s stance neither for material gains, nor for a political shenanigan, but one who remains loyal to the truth no matter what. Maybe, just maybe, we need more Botswanazation of the whole Africa, as opposed to changing OAU to AU because Europeans called their organization "European Union" EU. What an ugly configuration!!!! When shall we stop from following the blind as an Organization of African Unity?????

      Asalaam Aleikum,


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  • 9 July 2009 08:04, by Northsudanes

    My suggestion is all african leader care for themself not the people of africa and if muammar gaddafi is on charge of au then why is he wasteing his time and people of africa to bring the criminal al bashier to justice it will bring alot of happines to the people of africa to see this criminal face is own trial in hage because we absoutley don’t have any freedom to speak against even on the disgreement about what the goverment doing and if you speak they will kill that’s all doing just killing innocent of life everyday.

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