Looking Beyond Spring: An African Perspective on the Arab Revolt in World Order.

There is a great deal of misunderstanding today about the African Union’s decision not to endorse the military intervention in Libya undertaken by France, Great Britain, and the United States in conjunction with several Arab States. Speculations abound as to whether the uniform decision coming out of Africa indicates that the African Union is out of step with the spirit of freedom sweeping across North Africa and the Arab World; or whether the absence of Africa in the battlefield of Libya merely suggests military ineptitude and political bankruptcy. Underlying the African objection to military intervention is a longstanding tension between international organizations that represent Africa, on one hand, and self-identified representatives of the West, on the other.  It is not accurate to say that the African Union has been indifferent to the conflict in Libya.