The Big Picture: War on Libya is War on Entire Africa
Here is a selection of the initiatives Libya has already put in place in Africa, as well as some of the projects it is planning, explaining why the West's illegal war against Libya also is a war against Entire Africa.
Libya is one of the biggest contributors to the budget of the African Union. A Libyan diplomat told Reuters Libya is one of five countries -- the others are Algeria, Egypt, Nigeria and South Africa -- which cover 75 percent of the Union's budget. "Libya makes its full required contribution to AU funds. Not all countries do and that buys it influence," a senior African Union official said.
For several years Mali has been confronted with the activities of the radical Islamist militia Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb in its northern deserts. Gaddafi’s money and diplomacy have helped to resolve conflicts in northern Mali between rebels and the government. In 2010 Libya has given Mali two security planes to combat insecurity in the north of the country. These conflicts could flare up again if Gaddafi exits the stage.
Nowadays Gaddafi has many supporters in Mali who regularly march to protest against the Western-led military intervention in Libya.
Libya has put $65 billion into sovereign wealth funds, including one which is specifically designed to make investments in Africa. The Libyan Arab African Investment Company, a vehicle of Libya's Africa sovereign wealth fund, owns Le Meridien, one of the biggest hotels in Congo. The hotel is undergoing refurbishment paid for by Libyan investment. In 2010, Libya planned to fund the building of a highway north of Congo's capital Brazzaville, where also the building of a mosque is planned.
Libya has provided millions in investment projects, helping to strengthen the rule of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in one of Africa’s most impoverished nations. Gaddafi's help includes the funding of a rubber processing factory built in Gbarnga, Bong County, a technical and vocational school for the handicapped, as well as Libyan assistance in helping Liberia tackle the food crisis and renovation for the Ducor Intercontinental Hotel.
Also in Niger Gaddafi has helped to prop up the government and the authorities would become more fragile without his financial help. Libyan Prime Minister Al-Baghdadi Ali al-Mahmoudi visited Niger in August 2010 and announced the creation of a $100 million investment fund for Niger as part of a strengthening of bilateral ties. Under earlier agreements, Libya is contributing 100 million euros for the construction of a Trans-Sahara highway in the north of Niger, according to sources close to Niger's foreign ministry. The local subsidiary of Libya Oil, along with Total, are the major players in Niger's fuel retailing business.
Gaddafi has been a key supporter of the government, which would weaken if it lost his aid revenue. Chad has been plagued by civil wars and invasions after its independence from France in 1960. After years of unrest, Gaddafi seals a peace agreement for Chad between four Chadian rebel groups and the Chadian government in 2007, which agreement was signed in Sirte.
In 2010 Libya made a huge investment in Chad's National Telecom, which meant a boost of the number of the Chadian mobile phone users from 100,000 to two million.
Central African Republic:
Libya has helped to prop up the fragile government, sending paratroopers into the capital in 2001 to defeat a rebel assault. In 2008 Gaddafi played a role in the formation of a peace agreement between the government and rebel groups.
Gaddafi was the first head of state to visit after a 2008 coup which brought President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz to power. Aziz, who subsequently won a presidential election, has visited Gaddafi several times since then. Even Mauritanian opposition politicians have gone to Tripoli to pledge allegiance to the Libyan leader. Mauritania has debts to Libya of about $200 million. During discussions on debt relief in May 2010, the Libyan Central Bank announced Libya would provide $50 in grants to build a hospital and a university. The university is to be named after Gaddafi.
The 20,000-troop peacekeeping mission in Dafur, jointly supported by the African Union and the United Nations, could be hampered if the African Union (AU) loses funding from Gaddafi and destabilize the country. Gaddafi, who blamed the crisis in Darfur on Israel, made a number of attempts to broker peace talks between Darfur rebels and the Sudanese government.
In October 2010, Gaddafi warned ahead of a vote on possible independence for South Sudan that a partition of the country would be a “contagious disease” that could spread to other African states.
The African Union, based in Ethiopia's capital, could find itself in financial trouble if it loses the massive support that Gaddafi gives it. Under his rule, Libya supplied 15% of the AU’s membership dues, and it also paid the dues of many smaller and poorer African nations.
To seek for a solution of the Eritrea-Ethiopia conflict, Gaddafi has sent a special envoy to Ethiopia in 2000. In 2008, Libya's OiLibya bought Shell Ethiopia. This agreement also included retaining all Shell employees, who were hoping to work in a better environment since a long time.
The African Union peace keeping mission, whose 8,000 soldiers are crucial to the battle against Islamic radicals in Somalia's capital Mogadishu, could be severely weakened if the AU lost the financial support of Gaddafi.
In 2008 Libya decided to grant an investment fund to Somalia through the Sahel-Saharan Investment and Trade Bank to fund infrastructures such as roads and bridges within Somalia.
Libyan firms own two hotels and the "Dream Park" entertainment centre in Gambia. Gambian agriculture has received support from Libya, including a donation of seven new tractors. In 2009 Gaddafi gave two camels to Gambian President Yahya Jammeh as a gift. The Libyan and Gambian presidents have exchanged visits and senior Gambian officials attended ceremonies in September to mark the anniversary of Gaddafi coming to power.
On September 7, 2009, Gambia celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Al Fateh Revolution: "In Libya everyone enjoys Freedom!".
[Source: Mathaba Latina, Reuters, 20Jul11]
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