Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi has publicly accused the United States of what many radicals in the third world were already saying: that the Reagan administration is behind the efforts to make this year's summit of the Organization of African Unity a flop.
The meeting was due to open in Tripoli, Libya, today. But on the eve of the gathering, everything pointed to Colonel Qaddafi's having to settle for an informal rather than a formal meeting. This was because not enough of the organization's members had turned up in Tripoli to provide a quorum.
Colonel Qaddafi claimed Aug. 3 that the US had lobbied OAU members to stay away because of American hostility to him. As host to the summit, Qaddafi was due to preside over it and to be appointed OAU chairman (in succession to President Daniel arap Moi of Kenya) for 1982-83.
If the meeting is informal, it remains to be seen how the chairmanship for the coming year will be handled - President Moi may even continue in that role for another year.
The official reason given by those absenting themselves from the summit is that they are opposed to the admission of Polisario guerrillas to the OAU. Polisario is fighting Morocco in Western Sahara. Colonel Qaddafi maintained that this was in fact a secondary issue.
In the lineup of OAU members for and against Polisario, those supporting it tend to be radical states often having closer ties to the Soviet Union. Those supporting Morocco against Polisario tend to be the more moderate or conservative African governments having closer US relations.