Monday, December 06, 2010

*Monday Analysis*: Ivory Coast crisis Should be Wake-up Call for SADC and ECOWAS

The centrality of former South African Thabo Mbeki to the resolution of the crisis of Cote d'Ivoire resonates with my oft-repeated theme of relying on putative imperatives ( assigned expressly or otherwise onto the regional economic communities(RECs) of the African Economic Community(AEC).

I specifically use "imperative", because in 2009, both Zimbabwe and Madagascar--as SADC countries--were confronted with the problem of having "two" [disputed] presidents, but were eventually able to resolve the permafrost with power-sharing. Imperfections notwithstanding, it is clear in my view that SADC should use the Ivory Coast crisis as an opportunity to build experience on governance issues.

Although Mbeki's appointment as African Union envoy has less to do with my thesis and a great deal to do with his prior involvement in Ivory Coast, I believe strongly that history is on SADC's side in the fashioning of an imperative, which will put it at par with a REC like ECOWAS on peace and security.

Let me leave you with how I put the case of "imperatives" in an interview by Ghana's Radio Gold in June 2007, when I was asked about the possibility of a Union government of Africa:

First, there needs to be identification of imperatives of each region. Simply put, what is unique ab7out[sic] a particular region that that region can capitalise on to bring to bear in the conception of an AU government? So, we can say, for example, that ECOWAS's sub-regional imperative is that of conflict prevention/resolution /management, given its experience with Liberia/Sierra Leone/and the instrumentality of ECOMOG. SADC's might be a different one; the EAC's might be on, say, regional infrastructure. For example, § A paper from UNU-CRIS cites that: "the AU has been the first regional organization to establish a clear relationship with the UN as it is consciously aspiring to closely coordinate, if not integrate, its mission planning and execution of peace and security action with the prevailing structures/plans of the UN".


labels:, imperatives, ivory coast, SADC, ECOWAS, Mbeki, madagascar, zimbabwe, african economic community