Solidarity with Dictators? Is change ever possible in Africa?

By Oromsis Adula

Just a little over a decade ago, the world had witnessed what was then hailed as the worst humanitarian catastrophe in human history, which is today known around the world as the Rwandan Genocide. Books were written about it, movies were made out of it and pundits discussed the tragedy on major international media outlets.


Over the last couple of years, the world has once again watched poor Darfurians helplessly die as the world debate what to call the situation – Genocide or ethnic cleansing. In what was considered a bold move by the then Bush Administration, America led the way by calling the situation what it is-genocide.

Incidents like these happen in many parts of Africa, although it doesn’t make its way to international headlines. For instance, it is enough to mention the violent conflicts in Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea, Kenya, Zimbabwe and DRC. In these often cruel acts of Africans towards their fellow Africans, millions of people died struggling against despotic regimes. It seems as though the rest of the world is changing and Africa is gearing up to remain the dark continent with few exceptions like Ghana.

At this optimistic time, with the historic election of Barack Hussein Obama to the highest office on earth, it is simply a shame for African Union leaders to;
1 – Appoint Gaddafi, the longest-serving head of state as its chairman and,

2 – To anonymously show solidarity with the most brutal of African leaders – Omar al-Bashir

I understand that the election of President Obama was a manifestation of true democracy and a healing for American society. But just like millions of jubilant supporters of Obama and the change he represents, I had hoped that someone on the continent of Africa took note. Furthermore, I was of the opinion that if a once racist nation as America built by slave labor can make such a big leap in the right direction, there are reasons to hope that someday change can also happen in Africa. But these new developments from AU signify that African dictators are neither ready nor willing to work for such a change.

This is nothing but the height of irresponsibility for African leaders. The AU leaders are expected to finalize the formation of Union Government of Africa an idea championed by Pan African leaders that led the decolonization efforts. The recent move by African leaders to appoint a dictator as its chairman and urge the international body to delay the indictment against terrorist regime in Khartoum is a clear departure from that vision. Simply put this is nothing but a business as usual gathering of tyrants.

Finally, it would be a practical goal and a shift in direction for African Union to address the continent’s long running humanitarian crisis by sanctioning human rights abusers, dictators who steal elections to stay on power and work to integrate the continent with the rest of the world.



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OPride Staff

Collaborative stories written or reported by OPride staff and contributors.

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