By Adenike Lucas, London
It can yet be justified that derogatory comments about Nigeria and South Africa are ordinarily made by Robert Mugabe when he warned that Nigeria might never be granted permanent seats on the UN Security Council.
The Zimbabwean President who at a meeting of the “Committee of 10” at the African Union 25th summit this weekend, said Nigeria along with South Africa had both ‘betrayed Africa’ when they had both voted for UN Security Council Resolution 1973 in 2011, which authorised military action against the regime of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
It was said that both countries can’t be trusted again, sources reported Mr Mugabe as saying.
South Africa and Nigeria were both on the council at the time, occupying two of the ten, non-permanent, two-year seats. South Africa’s vote for Resolution 1973 was highly controversial even within South Africa.
But the South African government justified it on the grounds that a foreign military intervention was necessary to prevent Gaddafi’s forces slaughtering his opponents in their Benghazi stronghold, as he threatened to do.
Pretoria later condemned the Nato-led military coalition for going beyond the mandate which was to protect civilians, by helping rebels overthrow Gaddafi.
But South Africa suspects that countries like Zimbabwe are avoiding review of the Ezulwini Consensus and insisting on a hardline, maximalist position on UN Security Council reform because they don’t want bigger African countries like South Africa and Nigeria to get permanent seats on the council. Adenike Lucas. writes from London