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Mugabe lands top AU post

by Staff reporter
30 Jan 2014 at 14:53hrs | Views
The President Robert Mugabe has been elected 1st Vice Chair of the African Union Bureau, which is the supreme organ of the African Union.

The bureau is charged with the task of stirring the agenda of the organisation with the assistance of the African Union Commission.

The bureau is chaired by the Chairman of the African Union who is assisted by three deputies and a rapporteur.

Each member of the bureau represents one of the five African regions, namely West Africa, North Africa, East, Central and Southern Africa.

Speaking to the ZBC News in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, after the announcement of the members of the bureau during the opening ceremony, Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi said the selection of Zimbabwe into the African Union Bureau is an expression of confidence in President Mugabe's leadership and a great honour to the country.

His appointment as first Vice Chair of the bureau makes him eligible for the chairmanship of the African Union in 2015.

Minister Mumbengegwi said President Mugabe's assumption of the 1st Vice Chair of the bureau ahead of the Africa-Europe Summit to be held in April this year has dealt a major blow to the European block which would have wanted to block him from attending the forum.

The block had decided that it would not invite Mugabe to the Africa -EU summit.

During the executive meeting of the African Union Ministers of Foreign Affairs, the continent had made a resolution that it will not attend the summit if President Mugabe is not invited, a development which brings back memories of the 2007 Africa - EU Summit held in Lisbon, Portugal where the European block capitulated after Africa had taken a similar stance.

Meanwhile, President Mugabe on Thursday chaired an extraordinary summit of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The extraordinary summit was dedicated to the issues of Madagascar and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

On Madagascar, the summit took the decision to scrap the sanctions that were imposed on the Indian Ocean Island following the unconstitutional removal of the leader of that country five years ago.

The Indian Ocean Island has since resolved its leadership wrangle and held successful elections which have seen the ascendency of Hery Rajaonarimampianina into the presidency.

On the DRC, SADC hailed the defeat of the M23 rebels by the DRC government forces, UN and SADC forces and warned the government to remain vigilant as the rebels might regroup and launch new attacks.

Mugabe, who is the Vice Chairman of SADC, chaired the extraordinary summit because the current chairperson, Mrs Joyce Banda, is not attending the summit.

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Source - zbc