President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe has reportedly lambasted the African Union as a “toothless bulldog” for failing to stop NATO from bombing Libya and contributing massively to the downfall of the late strongman Moammar Gadhafi.
Speaking during an AU session on peace and security on Monday, Mugabe asked: "Well, well that was Libya. Who will be next?"
Mr. Mugabe urged the AU not to rush to recognize Libya’s national transitional council, but examine Gadhafi’s post-capture killing.
The president said Western nations have run out of resources and are now scrambling to Africa as the continent discovers more natural resources.
The state-controlled Herald newspaper said a Libyan National Transitional Council official who took the floor shortly after Mr. Mugabe was clearly livid.
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition Regional Coordinator Dewa Mavhinga said the AU should have intervened in Libya long before the NATO allies took action.
“So if the AU fails again to deal, for example with Zimbabwe, then it means we are left with the same scenario where the west would have to intervene on humanitarian grounds in a case where the AU should have long sorted it out,” Mavhinga said.
He said Mugabe’s question asking which African country will be targeted next after Libya was significant, saying it shows the “state of panic ... prevalent amongst dictators.”
Political analyst Livingston Dzikira praised Mr. Mugabe’s comments as the first strong criticism of the AU to come from an African head of state.
Dzikira added that the AU's role for the continent remains mostly symbolic. “The AU is just a political get-together where resolutions are made but there is no mechanism to implement conflict resolution,” Dzikira added.