The leaders or representatives of the 53 African Nations are aloof but at ease among governments legitimized by blood or at the end of a Kalashnikov instead of the urns.
The 16th meeting of the AU in Addis Ababa is a nice well deserved trip to showcase misplaced power.
Shopping in Ethiopia is not so great as in Europe or in the US during the General Assemble but the wives of the entourage have good contacts.
The African leaders and delegates sleep at meetings, look at their gold watch and think at which night clubs they will relax in the evening. How much will it cost for the favors of a beautiful Ethiopian girl.
Maybe they can import a local sweet heart to stay with them at the Hilton Addis Ababa.
They compare each others latest fashion and diamonds jewelry while Africa quivers.
A few leaders are networking for havens in the event of a quick escape due to a coup d’état or a send off by the mass.
They murmur names of offshore banks, shadow companies and other tricks to stash the loot stolen from government coffers.
They wait the company of their friend from France, president Sarkozy, and maybe good words from the USA which support their dictatorship as long as they provided the ores and minerals. It is a bit simpler for them since China asks fewer questions and still provides the revenues but France has such nice real estate.
The question of South Sudan and Darfur are nice press releases attached to agendas. They palaver the Ivory Coast crisis and lament on how to save their brother and friend Laurent Gbagbo from the electoral impasse spoiled by Alassane Ouattara.
They censure comments on the jasmine revolution in Tunisia and the chaos in Egypt and Somalia. They vilify concerns of the mass on issues about life, poverty, hunger, bread, survival and blame the high price of food on the lack of rain.
Most of the regimes which they represent are undemocratic so the Kenya case with ICC concerns them a little. They questions: “will we be going down the same road if it happens to us?”, “have you ever see the inside of a jail at The Hague?” and “Charles Taylor seems to adapt well, he still eats Jollof rice and sweet potato pone.”
They complain about the snooping of the Western media into their fortune with “we are sovereign countries and it is none of their business what we have or not.”
They compare notes on how to change a constitution to stay longer in power, pilfer diamonds without being caught, launder money donated by the benevolent international organizations, cut off social networks in case of crisis, muzzle critical bloggers and the subtle ways to permanently gag human right advocates.
The African leaders look at the mass with contempt, up root their dignity and cut off they larynx.
No one knows what will be the final outcome of the crisis in Tunisia, Egypt and maybe, latter on, Yemen, Morocco and why not Iran. A solidarity movement is here and speaks in one voice.
The streets chant the word of Tunisian poet Abu al-Qasim al-Shabi: “When people decide to live, destiny shall obey, and one day … the slavery chains must be broken.”
- Ivorian rivals must meet face-to-face: AU mediator (reuters.com)
- Gbagbo’s camp welcomes AU decision – Xinhua (news.google.com)