the African Union and its problems

The just concluded AU summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia had two key problems to address: the political crisis in Ivory Coast and the legal battles involving six Kenyans who face charges at the ICC. So far the continental body appears to have failed on its attempts to address both problems.

In the Ivory Coast, Mr. Gbagbo’s camp has already declared that the five person panel formed by the AU is dead on arrival unless Burkinabe president, Compraore is dropped. The Daily Nation reports:

The president of Burkina Faso, named on a high-level African Union panel tasked with settling Cote d’Ivoire’s leadership crisis, is “not welcome” in this country, a top ally of strongman Laurent Gbagbo said here yesterday.

And in Kenya, the political football involving the setting up of a credibly clean local judicial system to try perpetrators of the 2007-8 post election violence diminished the prospects of a deferral from the UN Security Council. Kenya must guarantee that it will try the suspects for the ICC to consider a deferral. It does not help that the appointment of high members of its judiciary, including the chief justice, the attorney general and the director of public prosecutions has already been soiled by political grandstanding.

gbagbo living on borrowed time

The Central Bank of West African States has signaled the beginning of the end of Laurent Gbagbo’s attempted auto-coup. The BBC reports that the regional reserve bank has denied access to Mr. Gbagbo and his cronies. It is only a matter of time before unpaid soldiers switch alliances and pledge their allegiance to the man that can deliver the paycheck, Mr. Ouattara. Or so I hope.

Mr. Gbagbo lost Cote d’Ivoire’s presidential election to opposition challenger Alassane Ouattara but refused to step down. The international community has thrown its weight behind Mr. Ouattara as the legitimate president. Both men have named their respective cabinets and remain holed up in the commercial capital Abidjan.