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Mugabe attends AU Summit in Ethiopia

by Byo24NEWS
28 Jan 2011 at 04:28hrs | Views
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - President Mugabe arrived in Addis Ababa yesterday evening to attend the 16th Ordinary Session of the African Union General Assembly.

He was met at Bola International Airport by Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, Ambassador to Ethiopia Andrew Mtetwa, Ethiopian Minister of Industry Makanon Manyazmai and embassy staff.

The summit, being held under the theme "Towards Greater Unity and Integration through Shared Values" will be preceded by a special summit of the AU Peace and Security Council today that will be seized with finding solutions to peace and security challenges afflicting various parts of the continent.

 The disputed presidential election in Cote d'Ivoire, the imminent partition of Africa's largest country Sudan into north and south Sudan in the wake of the highly successful referendum, the crisis in Tunisia that has just had an unconstitutional change of government and the problems of piracy off the coast of Somalia are expected to top the agenda of the Peace and Security Council Summit.

Zimbabwe, which was elected into the powerful Peace and Security Council for a three-year term in January 2009, will join 15 other countries for the indaba which is expected to find ways of fostering stability in the continent's perennial trouble spots.

The Peace and Security Council; which has three representatives from Central Africa, three from East Africa, two from North Africa, three from Southern Africa and four from West Africa; is the only AU organ tasked with enforcing union decisions.

Attempts by some Zimbabwean non-state actors like the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition -which subsists on peddling the spectre of a perennial crisis in Zimbabwe - were shot down by the AU which described Zimbabwe as stable.

AU Commission Secretary Jean Mfasoni was quoted as telling the media here that Zimbabwe was not on the AU agenda because it is "now calm and these days there is no more fear that the situation will degenerate into a crisis."

Despite this AU stance, some sections of Zimbabwean civil society descended on Addis Ababa in a bid to lobby the AU to include Zimbabwe on its agenda, a development that analysts say is a blatant attempt to create self-fulfilling prophecies ahead of harmonised elections set for this year which the MDC formations and their allies want deferred to an as yet unknown date.

The AU Summit officially began on Monday with a mee-ting of the Permanent Representatives Committee at the AU headquarters.

The Ambassadors of AU Member States meeting at their 21st Ordinary Session, considered the Report of the PRC Sub-Committees including the Report of the Advisory Sub-Committee on Administrative, Budgetary and Financial Matters, including the Draft Budget for 2011; Report of the 27th Ordinary Session of the Policy Committee of the Special Emergency Assistance Fund for Drought and Famine in Africa as well as the Report of the Sub-Committee on Multilateral Co-operation during which the Report of the Commission and that of the NEPAD, among others, were discussed.

The 18th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council began yesterday and ends today at the same venue.

The Ministers of Foreign Affairs or other ministers or authorities designated by governments of member-states are expected to exchange views on the different reports of the ministerial meetings organised by the AU Commission during the last six months.

The Executive Council of the Union will also discuss items proposed by member-states among others.

During the meeting, two elections will take place.

The first being the election of the 11 members of the Advisory Board on Corruption; and the second being the election of one member of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child.

The summit of heads of state and government proper takes place from January 30 to 31 at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa Conference Centre.

The Heads of State and Government are expected to adopt the Decisions and Recommendations of the 18th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council as well as the Declarations of the summit. They are also expected to agree on the date and venue of the 17th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union set for the second half of the year.

Source - Byo24NEWS