Gaddafi eager for US of Africa

2009-04-15 16:03

Tripoli - Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi on Wednesday called for the speeding up of his controversial plan for the formation of an African government.

"We cannot create the United States of Africa without a mechanism which works every day to reach this goal," he said at an opening of a two-day meeting of the African Union executive committee in Tripoli.

"We should end the existing chaos and disorder, create a single union authority and get rid of all the rest," he said.

"There is no problem facing us... We can easily launch a historic project," Gaddafi told the meeting, which, according to its agenda, will discuss how to transform the AU commission into a union authority.

The Libyan leader, who is the current AU head, said "three pillars of this authority are already in place."

He said the EU executive committee, consisting of the foreign ministers of the 53 member countries, will be in charge of foreign policy, while the AU's Peace and Security Council will be transformed into the African ministry of "defence and security".

Report on deepening of reforms

Foreign economic relations and international co-operation will be handled by the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), he said.

Plans for an African government were at the heart of disputes at the 12th summit of African heads of state and government held in Addis Ababa in February.

Gaddafi provoked a heated debate with his call for the formation of "a union government" and a "United States of Africa".

The summit struck a minimum compromise by deciding to change the name of the AU commission to "Authority of the Union".

South African President Kgalema Motlanthe said afterwards that premature establishment of a continental government "would be contrary to the interests of our country".

The Addis Ababa summit instructed the executive committee to draw up a report on deepening of reforms. This study is to be presented to the next summit in July, commission president Jean Ping said on Wednesday.

The Tripoli meeting will look at the proposed authority's "functions and size" and the "financial consequences of establishing this authority," Ping said.