Two regional bodies with substantial stakes in the current situation in Libya have come to two very different conclusions about it.
The Arab League, composed of 22 predominately Arab states from the Middle East and North Africa, has voiced its support for a no-fly zone over Libya as it becomes increasingly clear that Gaddafi is not going to stop bombing rebel-held positions. They no doubt recognize that even if Gaddafi is to win this civil conflict, his legitimacy is shot and his sons, previously seen as a prospect for ‘Gaddafi lite’, are now tainted with the same pariah status.
The African Union, on the other hand, has decided that any military intervention would be bad, because it could lead to ‘Western Influence” . This anti-imperial suspicion is understandable, but counter productive. Gaddafi is calling in favors he has been earning for years now, and the fact that Libya has not had its membership suspended (the usual reaction to undeniably anti-Democratic developments) shows just how dedicated to Democracy the AU is. They will suspend countries whose rulers are replaced undemocratically, but not countries whose rulers hold on to power violently.
This extreme bias towards respecting the government of a state over the rights of its people makes the AU resemble the UN more than the EU or any other effective international body. And if it continues to be a club for the maintenance of borders and of ruling regimes, it cannot hope to succeed in bringing stability, higher standards of living and economic self sufficiency to the continent.