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Nigeria, SA ‘betrayed Africa’ – Mugabe

Nigeria, SA ‘betrayed Africa’ – Mugabe

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Zimbabwean President Robert
Mugabe blasted Nigeria and South Africa at the
African Union summit this weekend, saying
Africa would never agree to them getting
permanent seats on the UN Security Council.
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe blasted
South Africa and Nigeria at the African Union
summit, saying Africa would never agree to
them getting permanent seats on the UN
Security Council. Picture: Elmond Jiyane,
Department of Communications.
(Credit: DoC)
This was because they had both voted for UN
Security Council Resolution 1973 in 2011,
which authorised military action against the
regime of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
They had betrayed the continent which could
never trust them, sources reported him as
saying.
Mugabe intervened in a meeting of the so-
called “Committee of 10” at the summit on
Saturday which was discussing possible
amendments to the “Ezulwini Consensus”
which stated Africa’s position on reform of the
UN Security Council.
The 2005 Ezulwini Consensus was that Africa
should demand at least two permanent and
five non-permanent seats on the council as
part of the protracted, wider reform to make it
more representative of the world.
The consensus also demanded that the two
permanent seats should come with the same
veto powers as were enjoyed by the five
current permanent members, the US, UK, China,
Russia and France.
This demand for vetoes had effectively stymied
Africa’s chances of reforming the council. And
so the South African government was calling
for Africa to adopt a more flexible approach by
dropping the veto demand.
This was what the so-called G4 group of
nations – Germany, Japan, India and Brazil –
who were also seeking permanent seats on the
council had done, as a tactical manoeuvre to
try to diminish resistance to their bid.
Last year South African President Jacob Zuma
said: “Africa needs to compromise – not
reiterate fixed positions as it has done for the
past nine years.”
And he organised a retreat of African Foreign
Ministers in February 2014 to review the
Ezulwini Consensus.
South Africa also intended to raise it in the
Committee of 10 meeting here on Saturday.
The Committee of 10 was appointed by the AU
many years ago to pursue the UN Security
Council reform.
But one regional official who was in the
meeting said he believed that Mugabe’s attack
on South Africa and Nigeria had seriously
damaged South Africa’s case for reviewing the
Ezulwini Consensus.
The official said Mugabe had not mentioned
the two countries by name.
But it was clear to all in the room who he was
referring to as he referred to African
governments who had been on the UN Security
Council when Resolution 1973 on Libya was
adopted in 2011.
South Africa and Nigeria were both on the
council at the time, occupying two of the ten,
non-permanent, two-year seats. South Africa’s
vote for Resolution 1973 was highly
controversial even within South Africa.
But the South African government justified it on
the grounds that a foreign military intervention
was necessary to prevent Gaddafi’s forces
slaughtering his opponents in their Benghazi
stronghold, as he threatened to do.
Pretoria later condemned the Nato-led military
coalition for going beyond the mandate which
was to protect civilians, by helping rebels
overthrow Gaddafi.
But South Africa suspects that countries like
Zimbabwe are avoiding review of the Ezulwini
Consensus and insisting on a hardline,
maximalist position on UN Security Council
reform because they don’t want bigger African
countries like South Africa and Nigeria to get
permanent seats on the council.

Newsweb Express

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