In the latest predicament facing Africans regarding Guinea Conakry, for instance, while the UN and other governments outside the continent are calling for real justice (U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton calling for Camara to ‘‘apologize and step down’’, the International Criminal Court signaling preliminary investigation into last month’s massacre of innocent civilians, and the United Nations looking into the possibility of establishing an international commission to look into the murderous act by Camara and his gang of murderers), African leaders are busy taking a line that will clearly only help prolong the junta’s stay in power.
“In view of the atrocities that have been committed, and the steps taken by the CNDD (Guinean government) authorities to acquire new weapons, the authority decides to impose an arms embargo on Guinea,” said Mohammed Ibn Chambas, president of the ECOWAS commission.
Is that all we expect from ECOWAS … arms embargo? What a mockery of justice and democracy!
As if all this was not enough of insult to the people of Guinea, President Chambers went on to say, ‘‘ECOWAS would direct its mediator, Burkina Faso’s President Blasé Compaore [another matchless character of contradiction] to ensure that “those who hold high offices in the transitional authority will not be candidates in the forthcoming presidential elections.”
How can the involvement of someone like Blasé Compaore in any serious matter like this make any serious appeal to anyone. No wonder the likes of Captain Dadis Camara and the megalomaniac ‘‘Professor’’ Yahya Jammeh will never take these regional bodies seriously. And for the latter, bragging about his lack of respect for these regional bodies is a commonplace. The case of the situation in Niger makes a sad addition to the continent’s mounting quandary. And all this plays well for these leaders to reduce these regional bodies into a state of disrepute. The truth is that if the conduct of Camara’s men is any reason to have him step down and be tried, very many of his colleagues who have presided over similar atrocities will be guilty of the same charges. President Yahya Jammeh’s government, for instance, still has to answer for the gunning down of over a dozen innocent young students in the year 2000, not to mention the many disappearances and torture of opponents. Therefore, it is no surprising that no African leader will make any comment that encourage talk of stepping down or possible trial. And for Dadis to apologize for his misdeeds! That is just not in the blood of a typical African dictator.
One thing our leaders have gained reputation for is their undue disregard for assuming responsibility for their actions. The best thing a person like Captain Camara could have done was to resign in the wake of the massacre of over 150 of his citizens by his own men. But no! Instead of this, he and his men set themselves to manufacture a death toll, with the aim of playing down the effect of their callous act, blatantly denying a reality the whole world witness on a broad day light. And as usual, the routine has been for African leaders to tap on taxpayers’ money and embark on unnecessary journeys in the name of sub-regional discussion, only to emerge with such comical communiqués.
Even as these futile discussions are being held at the regional level, rogue outsiders are ignoring no chance to keep the junta in power, in pursuits of their own selfish gains of course. And again, African leaders are showing signs of encouragement for this by their total silence on the outrageous move by the Chinese to pump billions of dollars on the junta leaders in the name of some frivolous mining investment - another form of the so-called ‘blood diamond’ saga.
By all indications, ordinary Africans no longer have hope on the bodies they were supposed to look onto as their last resort for solace. This leaves me wondering what else is there for us as a people at the mercy of our largely apathetic leaders.
Perhaps a new body run by some of Africa’s finest breeds (the likes of Wolley Sonyinka, Kofi Anan, Chine Achebe, Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu, Kenneth Kaunda, etc.), independent of African governments, and its disposal a special military powerful than the existing ones under the total control of unrepentant dictators, might be good. In case you are wondering where such a body will come up with funding, well, I suppose this will be something peace loving nations who want democracy, like the US, will want to support. And certainly there are so many African dissidents abroad outside the continents, enough to add up to the many disgruntled people on the continent itself to make the military core. The Niger Delta front in Nigeria, for instance, will be willing to join a course that is sure of righting the wrong they have been fighting for for ages. The marginalized Southern Sudanese are another eligible force to be reckoned with.
And for those remain frustrated pro-African unity institutions and individuals, this will serve as a sure way of gaining a dream that has continued to escape us for centuries. What we need to do now is to commence the lobbying work. Call this the next revolution.