The 13th Summit of the African Union Heads of State opens Wednesday in Sirte, Libya. Led by Muammar Gaddafi, President of the organization, African leaders are expected to address some of the major problems affecting the continent including agricultural investments. The head the Libyan revolution and host of this three-day meeting hopes to advance his controversial agenda of a “United States of Africa”.
The head of the Libyan revolution and self proclaimed “king of kings” of traditional African rulers, Muammar Gaddafi, hosts his African peers this Wednesday for the 13th African Union summit.
Theoretically, the theme of this three-day meeting is: “Investing in agriculture for economic growth and food security.” But Jean Ping, chairman of the AU Commission, has expressed hopes that the summit would focus on a solution for the crises threatening the stability of many countries.
Jean Ping shared his views at the Council of Ministers of the African Union held ahead of the Sirte summit. In his address, Jean Ping cited the case of Niger where the political atmosphere has deteriorated due to President Mamadou Tandja’s determination to amend his country’s Constitution to enable him remain in power.
According to Jean Ping, a solution must also be found to salvage the situation in Madagascar, Mauritania, Guinea Bissau … and Somalia, where the government has to appealled to its neighbours to help them stop a group of advancing Islamist insurgents bent on overthrowing his government. “The overall situation on the continent remains a concern,” said Ping as he regretted “the persistence of the scourge of coups and unconstitutional changes”.
Those who disagree…
But Colonel Gaddafi’s priority lies elsewhere. The Libyan leader is exerting pressure on the various leaders to push his controversial “African Government” project into reality. After obtaining commitments from his counterparts, six months ago, to transform the AU Commission by increasing its powers, Muammar Qaddafi means business.
Sunday, in his welcoming speech to foreign ministers, he insisted it was necessary to create an authority with real executive powers, which would bring the different bodies of the existing AU together. Gadaffi believes that this body should have a secretary of defense for the entire African continent. “Those who disagree would have to explain why,” Muammar Gaddafi warned.
Heads of state outside Africa are also expected to participate in this summit. Tueday, the presence of the Iranian Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose recent re-election as president of his country sparked violent protests, was announced. His Brazilian counterpart, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, is also expected in Sirte. Mr. da Silva is expected to confirm Brazil’s position as a development partner of the African continent.