PERSPECTIVE – Moussa Faki as a fifth columnist in  the AU

PERSPECTIVE – Moussa Faki as a fifth columnist in  the AU

By Owei Lakemfa.

The agenda of the 35th Ordinary Session of the African Union, AU Assembly  of Heads of State and Government  in Addis Ababa was long. It included a new epidemic of coups, a resurgent Covid-19 pandemic, climate change, food insecurity and the    plethora of wars ravaging the continent. But as usual, fifth columnists, sycophants and agents of imperialism were so hard at work that they were able to  divert attention from the main challenges of the continent.

The Trojan horse  in this case, was Mr Moussa Faki Mahamat, the former Chadian Prime Minister planted  by France in the  heart of the AU  as   the Chairperson of the African Union Commission.  I had my doubts when he was elected in 2017. In my February 3, 2017 column titled:  ‘The Choices Of Africa.’ I wrote that: “A cause for worry might be that Faki is  Foreign Minister of  a not too stable country that has been virtually on  war footing for four decades…The new AU Commission Chairperson  had served incumbent Chadian President Idris Derby in various capacities in the 27 years the latter has been in power … Despite his origins, Faki may well surprise Africa by providing the needed leadership for the African Union.” But there have been no surprises, rather, he  has reduced the AU to his very low standards.

Faki before this February  5-6, 2022  AU Summit  had already weakened Africa’s resolve against coups.  The AU has a subsisting charter of dealing with  coups titled the ‘Lomé Declaration of July 2000 on the framework for an OAU response to unconstitutional changes of government.’  In it, the African Heads of State declared that whenever an unconstitutional change takes place in a Member State, the AU: “should immediately and publicly condemn such a change” and that the new regime should   not be recognised. It also provides that: “A period of up to six months should be given to the perpetrators of the unconstitutional change to restore constitutional order. During the six-month period, the government concerned should be suspended from participating in the Policy Organs of the OAU (including) … meetings of the Central Organ and Sessions of the Council of Ministers and the Assembly of Heads of State and Government.”

On April 20, 2021, there  was a coup in Chad in which 37-year old General Mahat Deby overthrew the government following the death of his father. The Chadian constitution had provided  that upon the death of  the President, the President of the National Assembly shall provisionally assume his powers and duties.  To circumvent this, the coup plotters dissolved the Chadian parliament and suspended the constitution.

Faki as the AU Commission Chairperson did not implement the provisions of the AU Declaration against the Chadian  coup plotters. This may be partly due to the facts that he is an old time member of the Deby gang and the coup has the backing of his paymasters in Paris.

Despite the antics of Faki, the rejection of coups in any part of the continent was loud and clear.  For instance, the AU Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Bankole Adeoye of Nigeria who noted  an “intrinsic link between governance and weak security apparatus.” warned that: “The Sahel must not be turned into a hotbed of un-constitutionalism.” Also, New AU Chair, Senegalese President Macky Sall in demanding   stronger  sanctions against coups, called for: “Embargos on borders, embargos on aerial space (and)  commercial embargos.” against all countries occupied by coup plotters.

Faki further caused diversion and division amongst African countries at this summit by violating another core principle of the AU in unilaterally granting Israel an observer status at the AU including its Heads of  State Summit.  This is against the long standing resolve  of the AU  to bring Israel to book for practicing Apartheid against non-Jews and non-Whites, seizing Palestinian lands and  building illegal structures on them, and refusing to recognise the right of Palestinians to an homeland.

To further solidify this sacrosanct position, the African Heads of State at their January 27-28 2013  Summit, issued a ‘DECLARATION ON PALESTINE.’   In it, the AU condemned the “continuous illegal Israeli practices of collective punishment and settlements building in occupied Palestinian territories.”

They commended  African countries for “their solidarity with the struggle of the
Palestinian”  and support  for: “the full realization of Palestine’s legitimate right to be admitted as a full member of the United Nations”

The AU leaders also decided to: “URGE the International community to pressure Israel to comply with United Nations resolutions and previous agreements signed with Palestine as well as to halt the illegal policy of settlements building in the Palestinian and Arab
territories occupied since the 5th of June 1967.”

They stressed that: “ peace can never
be attained (in the Palestine) except by the creation of an independent sovereign viable
Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip with East Jerusalem as its capital on the borders of June 4, 1967, existing side by side in peace with the state of Israel.”

It was against this solid background that Faki, playing the role of a fifth columnist  in the AU and in order to cause a split in the  organisation, surreptitiously brought Israel into the  AU Chambers.

Ordinarily, Faki should have been removed or at best, suspended, but his French masters have sycophants and errand boys in the leadership of the continent.

In his defence, Faki told the Summit that the AU Sirte Criteria of 2005 empowered him to grant observer status to non-African countries. But paragraph 2 of the same section states that: “The Chairperson shall consider such requests on the basis of the principles and objectives of the Constitutive Act, relevant decisions of AU Organs and these criteria” If he had done so, Israel would not by any stretch of imagination, been  qualified  for such a status.

As expected, Faki’s antics led to divisions at the summit. Algeria which lost two million people in its fight against France for independence, Nigeria with a long history of defending the right of all peoples to self-determination, and South Africa which for 46 bloody years fought against the Apartheid monster, led the charge against Faki. They insisted that his unilateral imposition of Israel as an AU Observer be rescinded.  But some countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo,  Morocco and Rwanda, backed Faki.

In an effort to heal the split, the AU setup a committee of eight Heads of State  to consult  member states on the matter ahead of a vote at the next ordinary summit in 2023. Faki and his minders succeeded in diverting attention from pressing issues at the summit. This will need to be avoided at subsequent summits.  Meanwhile, the continent continues to bleed and be exploited.

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