RealNews

New Activism by African Nations: Joining Forces to Solve Disputes

There was a time when Africa might have condemned what happened in Liberia today as inappropriate outside meddling. After all, the president of Ghana, John Kufuor, was on hand in the Liberian capital to announce the terms for Charles Taylor’s successor. What business was it of his? Troops from Nigeria and South Africa were there as well to ensure that the civil war had really come to an end. Shouldn’t they be back home where they belong? Africa has a troubled history when it comes to sorting out its own affairs. Tyrants have long been protected by an unwritten rule of noninterference. The typical way of persuading an unpopular leader to leave has been to secretly support rebels. But the departure of Mr. Taylor is being heralded as a sign that Africa has adopted a new activist approach toward its trouble spots and its troublemakers. “Africa is coming of age in handling its own affairs,” said Maria Nzomo, director of the Institute of Diplomacy and International Studies at the University of Nairobi. “There’s a new sense that Africa ought to be refereeing its own disputes.” Full Story

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