president 24-05-11 ed.jpgThe Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, President Robert Mugabe, has arrived in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for the African Union Extra-ordinary Summit, which is expected to discuss the situation in Libya as well as the peace and security situation on the continent.

 

He was met at the Addis Ababa International Airport by the Zimbabwean Ambassador to Ethiopia, Cde Andrew Mutetwa, his deputy, Cde Sam Mhango, Embassy officials and oficials from the Ethiopian government.

 

President Mugabe, who left the country this Tuesday morning, will join other African Heads of State and Government at the summit, where the relentless bombardment of Libya by American and NATO forces is expected to top the agenda.

 

The extraordinary summit marks the first major step by the pan-Africanist body towards resolving the crisis in the oil rich North African country.

 

It will provide an opportunity to review the situation in Libya on the basis of the work being carried out by the AU high level ad hoc committee on Libya.

The summit is expected to challenge the rationale behind the American and United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973, which has been blatantly abused to bombard Libya by the US and NATO forces.

Although the western-sponsored resolution had provided for a no-fly zone over Libya to protect civilians, it did not recognise the efforts that were being carried out by the African Union, which sought to tackle the upheaval in the North African country as an African problem.

Over the years, Libya has been an active member of the African Union.

In the early stages of the conflict, the AU Peace and Security Council had assessed the situation and resolved to back Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s clampdown on the insurgents who were threatening the stability of Libya.

As part of its ongoing efforts to find a lasting solution to the problem, the AU in April dispatched an ad hoc high level committee on Libya to meet the warring parties. The committee visited Tripoli where it met Libyan leader, Col Gaddafi and later held a meeting with rebel leaders in Benghazi.

The irony of the whole saga in Libya even saw the ad hoc committee being forced to seek permission from Nato to fly into Libya as Libyan airspace and sovereignty had been hijacked by the oil-thirsty American and western powers.

Analyst believe the summit will be able to send a clear message to the erstwhile colonial masters to stop meddling in African affairs and give regional and continental groupings an opportunity to find home-grown solutions to their problems.

The extraordinary summit is coinciding with the continental body’s 48th anniversary.

Cde Mugabe, who was accompanied by Foreign Affairs Minister, Simbarashe Mumbengegwi and other senior government officials, was seen off at the Harare International Airport by Vice President John Nkomo, Zanu PF National Chairman Ambassador Simon Khaya Moyo, cabinet ministers, service chiefs and senior government officials.