Special to the NNPA from the Global Information Network –
The widely-held belief that Libyan leader Moammar Al Gaddafi was an ardent pan-Africanist, nurturing political movements and funding liberation groups with generous petro-dollars, obscures another side of the north African autocrat.
Some of that history was recounted by journalist Howard French in a recent copy of The Atlantic magazine. In his article, “How Qaddafi Reshaped Africa,” French cites Gaddafi's training and financing of such disgraced leaders as Charles Taylor, who invaded Liberia in 1989 and who largely introduced the first mass deployment of child soldiers.
Gaddafi made mischief in all parts of Africa using the money left over from dealings with Europeans to spread insecurity and violence in all parts of Africa, wrote Prof. Horace Campbell in “Gadhafi’s leadership – an obstacle to African Unity.”
“It must be clarified here,” Campbell said emphatically, “that, contrary to reports from many quarters, Gaddafi is not the original champion of the vision of a United States of Africa.
Neither did his brand of Pan-Africanism capture the essence of the kind of grassroots Pan-Africanism that had been envisioned for the unity of African peoples and for the uplifting of the dignity of African peoples.
“When visionaries like Kwame Nkrumah and Cheikh Anta Diop championed the idea of a federated African state in the 1960s and 1970s, they did not envision one which would be ruled by corrupt dictators and an arrogant king of kings.”
Campbell wrote: “With the fall of two core members of this club that dominated the AU - Egypt and Libya - the door is now more open for a people-oriented African unity that starts from the interest of the people.”
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