AU and the Politics of Recognition of the Libyan Rebels, A Roll Call
A Pan-Africanist Brief – Situational Awareness
Wikipedia is doing a very good job in helping to see clearly what is going on in Africa, so far as the politics of the recognition of the Libyan rebels is concerned. Of the 54 African countries, 18 or one-third of them have extended recognition to the Libyan rebels. It is important to name and shame: Gambia, Senegal, Cape Verde, Botswana, Gabon, Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Sudan, Chad, Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Rwanda, Benin, Niger, and Togo.
Here are the details:
The West African
state of Gambia said it recognised the National Transitional Council as the only legitimate body representing Libyan interests. The Gambia also expelled Tripoli
Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade
declared that his country officially recognises the NTC as the legitimate opposition of Libya on 20 May. He also declared that the NTC should lead the transition of power. Eight days later, after meeting with top NTC officials, he declared the body was recognised as the “legitimate representative of the Libyan people”.
The Libyan ambassador to Cape Verde resigned in April. On 26 June, the Cape Verdean government called the NTC "the legitimate interlocutor" for Praia
during the civil war. It reiterated its recognition on 26 August in a full press release and expressed its desire to see "peaceful political action to set up a transitional government to hold free and fair elections".
Foreign Affairs Minister Phandu Skelemani
said Botswana recognised the NTC as Libya’s legitimate governing authority until elections were held, which he said he hoped the rebels won, or until a unity government
was formed between the NTC and the Gaddafi regime. Botswana was among the first countries to break off relations with Gaddafi’s government over his response to protests in February. 
After meeting with Mahmoud Jibril
, President Ali Bongo Ondimba
announced Gabonese recognition for the NTC as the Libyan people’s legitimate representative.
Libya’s ambassador to Gabon left the host country on 24 August after a formal request by the Gabonese government.
Tunisia’s cabinet spokesman, Taieb Baccouche, announced that Tunisia was ready to recognise the rebels as the sole legitimate government of Libya as soon as they came to negotiate for it. It gave three reasons for this action: that the shelling of its own people rendered Gaddhafi’s government illegitimate, that it still resented Gaddhafi’s support to Ben Ali
during the Tunisian Revolution, and that Gaddhafi’s shelling of its territory had rendered its previous strategy of neutrality ineffective.
Abdul Jalil visited Tunisia on 18 June to meet with Prime Minister Beji Caid el Sebsi
and said that Tunisia had not recognised his government publicly, but he believed the meeting indicated de facto
On 20 August, the Tunis Afrique Presse
(TAP) reported the Tunisian government recognised the NTC as the sole legitimate representative of the Libyan people, just after clashing with pro-Gaddafi Libyan troops in Tunisian territory the previous day
Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Elaraby
said on 25 May 2011 that his government would post former Deputy Foreign Minister Hany Khallaf
in Benghazi to liaise with the council as Egypt’s diplomatic envoy. On 22 August 2011 Egypt recognises the NTC as the sole legitimate government of Libya.
Recognised on 22 August 2011 Morocco recognises the NTC as the only legitimate representative of the Libyan people. Libyan embassy in Rabat announced on the same day its rallying to the NTC.In a statement to Moroccan TV channels “Al Oula” and “2M”, aired on their evening news, Foreign Minister, Taib Fassi Fihri
, stressed that “the Kingdom of Morocco confirms its recognition of the National Transitional Council as the sole and legitimate representative of the Libyan people and carrier of its aspirations for a better future based on equity, justice, democracy and the rule of law.
The same day Libyan embassy and community in Morocco considered the NTC as the only legitimate representative of the Libyan people.
On August 23 it was reported by the media that “Nigeria’s government said it recognized Libya’s National Transition Council as the legitimate representative of the people in the North Africa nation.”
Recognised on 24 August 2011 In early July, the Sudan Tribune
suggested that the Sudanese government may be working in support of the NTC, noting that President Omar al-Bashir
has been a frequent critic of Gaddafi and asserting that “Sudan has unofficially given its blessings to the [council]“.
The Libyan community in Sudan took over the Libyan embassy in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum
and appointed a new pro-NTC ambassador on 22 August. Sudan
officially recognised the NTC as the legal representative for the Libyan people two days later and said it was “working to enter into practical relations” with the council.
Although Chad was previously hostile to the no-fly zone and made statements supportive of Gaddafi, United States
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton
met with high-level Chadian officials and announced afterward that “the Chadian government does not support Gaddafi”. She added, “We are very supportive of their efforts to reach out to the Transitional National Council, which they have been doing in a more sustained way in recent days.” However, Chad retains an ambassador in Tripoli, Daoussa Déby (half-brother of President Idriss Déby
), who previously appeared to support Gaddafi’s claims that the Libyan rebels are affiliated with Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb
Foreign Ministry Secretary General Moussa Dago said Chad recognised the NTC as “the only legitimate authority of the Libyan people” on 24 August.
Recognised on 24 August 2011
On 22 August, the Libyan embassy in Ethiopia recognised the NTC as “the country’s legitimate representative”.
In a joint press conference with Nigerian
Foreign Minister Olugbenga Ashiru
and Ethiopian Foreign Affairs Minister Hailemariam Desalegn
on 24 August, a spokesman for the Ethiopian government said, “The recent unfolding events in Libya have amply demonstrated that the National Transition Council is in the control of the greater part of Libya.” The spokesman announced that Ethiopia was joining Nigeria in recognising the NTC as “the interim legitimate authority in Libya”, and both Ashiru and Desalegn called on the African Union
to do likewise
Recognised on 24 August 2011
BBC reports, “Burkina Faso and Chad, two nations which received large amounts of aid from Libya under Col Gaddafi, have now joined the list of more than 40 countries recognising the rebels’ NTC as Libya’s legitimate authority. Burkina Faso says it will offer Col Gaddafi exile if he requests it.”
Recognised on 25 August 2011
Ivorian Foreign Minister Daniel Kablan Duncan
considers the NTC "the sole legitimate representative of the Libyan people". Duncan also called for the NTC to initiate a national dialogue and hold "free, open, and transparent elections" as soon as possible.
On 26 August, Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo
called on the African Union
to "support" the NTC and said, "We support the National Transitional Council. ... We think that Colonel Gaddafi has run out of time as a leader."
In Addis Ababa
, Mushikiwabo said Rwanda recognised the NTC as “the sole and legitimate representative of the Libyan people” even though the AU Peace and Security Council
opted not to do so.
Late on 26 August, the government of Benin issued a statement recognising the NTC. The next day, Beninese and Nigerien officials held a joint press conference to announce their recognition of the council.
Recognised on 27 August 2011
An official statement read out on national radio said in part, “The Niger government acknowledges the regime change in Libya and formally recognises the NTC as the only authority representing the Libyan people.”
Recognised on 27 August 2011
In official statement Togolese Foreign Ministry announced that government recognized the NTC as “the sole legitimate representative of the people and interests in Libya”.  Reuters
reported Togo had decided to echo neighbouring Benin’s recognition a day after the larger country transferred recognition to the NTC.