For Jean Ping, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, the African Union role in the Lybian crisis was misinterpreted and understated:
In Libya, as in other countries affected by the ‘Arab Spring’, the AU based its action on the need to contribute to the achievement of the overall objectives sought by the union, namely peace, stability, democratic governance, respect for human rights, justice, prosperity and unity.
All the initiatives […] were driven by a genuine commitment to do whatever was possible to facilitate dialogue among Libyans, ensure that they owned any solution to the crisis, avoid further suffering and create conditions conducive to a smooth and peaceful transition. The AU was also aware of the risks that continued fighting in Libya posed to regional stability and security.
In spite of the challenges faced and the lack of support from important members of the international community, the AU never relented in its efforts. It acted within the framework of its own decisions and the relevant UN Security Council resolutions. It deliberately chose to address the Libyan crisis in a manner that took into account both the immediate and the long-term challenges. It had no, and still has no, other agenda than the interests of the Libyan people.
The issues raised by the AU from the onset of the crisis remain as valid today as they were yesterday. How best to promote an inclusive transition to avert the instability and chaos that would come with exclusion of key stakeholders? How to address the issue of reconciliation, heal the wounds of the past and deliver justice? How to ensure that the legitimate demands of the Libyan people to democracy, human rights, good governance are indeed fulfilled?
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