One of the frustrations with which Africa’s friends have had to repeatedly cope over the years has been the seemingly utter incapacity of the African leaders to deal with their more problematic peers: witness the annual African Union (AU) summit’s literal embrace of Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe last year on the very morrow of a farcical “re-election” criticised the pan-African organisation’s own monitors or, with a few honourable exceptions, its circling of the wagons around Sudanese despot Umar Hassan al-Bashir earlier this year after the International Criminal Court indicted him for crimes against humanity and war crimes for his role in the humanitarian disaster in Darfur.

One of the frustrations with which Africa’s friends have had to repeatedly cope over the years has been the seemingly utter incapacity of the African leaders to deal with their more problematic peers: witness the annual African Union (AU) summit’s literal embrace of Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe last year on the very morrow of a farcical “re-election” criticised the pan-African organisation’s own monitors or, with a few honourable exceptions, its circling of the wagons around Sudanese despot Umar Hassan al-Bashir earlier this year after the International Criminal Court indicted him for crimes against humanity and war crimes for his role in the humanitarian disaster in Darfur.