Zimbabwe News: Mugabe slams African Union

BOSTON — Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe condemned fellow Africa leaders for recognizing Libya’s National Transitional Council.

Mugabe accused the African leaders who backed Libya's former rebels of being “fronts” for Western powers whose “criminal” NATO bombardment of Libya helped lead to the killing of Gaddafi, a longtime Mugabe ally, according to AP.

The African Union didn’t even protest the NATO action, complained Mugabe. He also said it was “unprocedural” for the AU’s Peace and Security Council to make the decision to recognize the NTC instead of the whole summit of leaders.

Mugabe was speaking upon returning from the African Union summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Mugabe's criticism of fellow African leaders may expose the Zimbabwean leader's worries that he is losing support from the AU. Mugabe reportedly lobbied hard to prevent the AU from investigating Mugabe's plans to hold early elections in 2012, without making significant reforms that had been stipulated in an agreement endorsed by South Africa and other regional bodies.

Mugabe and Zimbabwe have not yet officially recognized Libya’s NTC. Zimbabwe expelled the Libyan ambassador when he defected to the rebel cause during the uprising against Gaddafi.

Mugabe complained the African Union should have taken more action to protest NATO bombings: “We said absolutely nothing. Even if we could not raise a force, at least we could have protested. How did we fail to say even no” to killings that included civilians in the NATO bombings?"

Gaddafi became the first chairman of the African Union when it was founded in 1999 at a summit in the Libyan city of Sirte to succeed the Organization of African Unity that campaigned against colonialism for nearly four decades.

Mugabe said the continent had long fought oppression but the AU council appeared to have “felt intimidated” to recognize Libya’s transitional authority, the state broadcaster reported.

Independent accounts from the Ethiopian capital said Mugabe told fellow African leaders that Western countries now saw their organization as “a toothless bulldog.”

Gadhafi was killed “in broad daylight” and his children were hunted like animals, charged Mugabe, according to the independent NewZimbabwe media agency.

“Then we rush to recognize the NTC” without demanding an investigation in Gaddafi’s murder, Mugabe said

He cautioned that Western powers suffering the effects of recession could target other African countries for their mineral wealth and resources.

“Who is next?” he said, repeating warnings he gave his to own party at its national convention in Zimbabwe in December that Western powers were not to be trusted.

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