AFRICAN UNION COULD FACE DEMANDS FROM INDIAN OCEAN ISLAND MEMBERS TO EXPLAIN SANCTION THREAT AGAINST SEYCHELLES
(Posted 22nd May 2017)
Ahead of the elections for Secretary General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization had the Indian Ocean island member countries endorsed Alain St. Ange as their candidate of choice, as part of the Indian Ocean Commission to which they all belong and also as part of the Vanilla Islands organization.
Questions are now being posed by the respective tourism sectors to their own governments why St. Ange was decampaigned by the African Union at the behest of another candidate from Africa and sanctions threatened by an apparent underling at the AU head quarters in Addis Ababa through an unsigned letter bearing only the initials K.M.
The islands’ tourism sectors are also upset over racism allegations against St. Ange as are they over allegations that they are not ‘real Africans’ the way certain AU members on the mainland understand themselves.
This is starting to drive a wedge between the current AU administration and the island member states, in particular as South America too had two candidates in the race without the Organization of American States interfering in the democratic rights of their member countries – unlike the African Union did.
When the elections took place therefore did electors on the UNWTO executive committee punish Africa by casting their votes behind the Georgian candidate, who had not once even publicly campaigned for the office and for votes but who had left it to his government to strike non tourism related deals for votes, just to make a point that undemocratic practices by the African Union must not be rewarded.
Yet another fallout, this time for a media organization, is now also rising on the horizon as in particular the Seychelles’ tourism industry is beginning to ask questions why a web media company with a commercial arrangements between them and Seychelles tourism had blatantly tilted the playing field against St. Ange, who had notably brought them on board several years ago.
With a range of allegations flying around against the web media group have several of the top names of Seychelles’s tourism stakeholders made it clear to this correspondent that they will ask for the web media house to be dropped when the contract comes up for renewal for not supporting the archipelago’s quest to capture the UNWTO top job.
Wrote one well known stakeholder in particular: ‘We do not need wolves in sheepskins. You get paid to support Seychelles tourism with publicity, you are expected to go all the way. But we both know that St. Ange did not get that support and was in fact given a fairly hostile attitude and that must have consequences‘.
Links to related articles are available below but meanwhile, watch this space as the fallout continues to not just ruffle feathers but cause a storm of outrage among the islands’ tourism industries why they should be ‘lesser Africans’ and have their democratic rights trampled upon.