Grudge over the killing of Muammar Gaddafi

Benin businessman and former minister in charge of the maritime economy, Issa Badarou Soule

Benin businessman and former minister in charge of the maritime economy, Issa Badarou Soule

BY LOU SIFA

People across Africa are disappointed—some outraged—by the Obama administration’s contribution to the killing of the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi on October 20, 2011 during the final battle of the Libyan Civil War when the legendary North African leader was retreating to his hometown of Sirte. To many Africans, Obama’s involvement in Gaddafi’s demise annuls whatever good the 44th president of the United States may have done for Africa.

Kwesiga Eshban, a Ugandan columnist, said to The African:

“While YALI [the Obama administration’s Young African Leaders Initiative] is a great platform to build the next generation of leaders, it’s watered down by the Obama administration’s actions in Libya in which he openly backed rebels to remove the legitimate president of a functional country.”

Issa Badarou Soulé, a former minister in charge of the maritime economy of Benin, now a businessman, couldn’t agree more:

“Obama isn’t just an African American. He’s a direct son of Africa. His election was like Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream coming true, a sign of black people being free at last.”

Badarou goes on to say that as a son of Africa, “Obama was supposed to support efforts to advance Africa, not the contrary.”

The Benin official adds, visibly with melancholy, that “No one expected Obama to kill a momentum towards Africa’s progress that Gaddafi embodied.” Badarou stresses that “Gaddafi has constituted all by himself the gold reserve necessary to create an African currency, not just one for any particular region, but for the entire continent,” adding that

“Foreign aid will never develop Africa. Only our own efforts will. Without our own currency, our economies will always be dependent on others.”

Whatever good Obama may have done for Africa, “his alliance with [former French president Nicolas] Sarkozy to have Gaddafi killed is like he has done nothing at all for Africa’s progress, Badarou concludes.

President Obama meets with then-Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in Italy in 2009 during the G8 Summit.

President Obama meets with then-Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in Italy in 2009 during the G8 Summit.

President Obama, who expressed no regret over U.S. intervention in Libya, saying it’s “the right thing to do,” did say that “failing to plan for the day after” was the worst mistake of his presidency.

Asked before November 8 what he would want the next administration to do for Africa, Badarou replied that

“it wouldn’t make any difference who gets elected. The United States will always pursue its own interests. Government, especially in the U.S., is a continuity.”

The Benin businessman reiterated his belief that “Only our own efforts will advance our countries, not foreign aid.”

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