Tag Archives: African Union

Buhari suggests ‘what must be done’ to African Union for relevancy.

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Buhari commended President Paul Kagame of Rwanda for presenting a special report on the need to reform the AU.

President Muhammadu Buhari has called for a comprehensive reform of the structures and operations of the African Union to make it more functional in meeting targets.

Buhari, in a statement issued by Malam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, in Abuja on Sunday warned that the organisation would become stale, except it becomes more result-oriented.

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Buhari made the call in an intervention at the ongoing two-day 34th Summit of the AU, held virtually.

“As your excellences are no doubt aware, global realities demand that the AU be overhauled, if it must remain relevant in intergovernmental processes.

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“We must work concertedly to ensure a productive, self-sufficient and purpose-driven organisation that will fully serve the interests of the people.

“As we commence the operationalisation of this new structure and system, Nigeria demands a truly reformed, efficient and effective AU Commission, one that is fully committed to the discharge of its duties and responsibilities,’’ the President said.

Buhari commended President Paul Kagame of Rwanda for presenting a special report on the need to reform the AU.

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He also appreciated the support of Heads of State and Government of the African Union in the election of Amb. Bankole Adeoye as Commissioner, Political Affairs, Peace and Security.

He noted with gratitude the overwhelming and historic endorsement of the ambassador with 55 votes, an indication that all the members voted.

He congratulated the career diplomat, who also serves as Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the AU and UNECA.

The president urged Adeoye to deploy his knowledge and experience in foreign policy and diplomacy, particularly on bilateral and multilateral issues, to bring value to the new position.

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Buhari assured Adeoye of the country’s support.

The Nigerian leader congratulated all elected members of the African Union Commission, 2021 which include the Chairman, Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chad and Deputy Chairman, Dr Monique Nsanzabaganwa, Rwanda.

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#Newsworthy

Tigray Conflict: Ethiopian PM, Abiy meet with AU envoys

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It was unclear Friday whether the attack on Mekele had begun, or how close federal forces were to the city

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Friday met with African Union envoys to discuss the conflict in Tigray, where the army is poised for what he has called the final offensive against regional forces.

Abiy, the winner of last year’s Nobel Peace Prize, on Thursday announced a “third and final phase” in his campaign against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), whose forces have been battling federal troops in the defiant northern region for three weeks.

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The violence has killed many hundreds and displaced tens of thousands more, but there are grave fears for half a million civilians in Mekele, the regional capital, which the army says it has encircled ahead of a threatened attack.

The international community has warned such a strike could violate rules of war and has called for urgent mediation.

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Addis Ababa has refused to negotiate with the TPLF and Abiy has rebuffed calls for dialogue as “interference” in Ethiopia’s internal affairs.

(FILES) In this file photo taken on November 17, 2018 Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed delivers a speech during the 11th Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. – Ethiopia’s army chief of staff has been shot, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced on television on June 23, 2019 as the government said it had thwarted an attempted coup in a regional state of this Horn of Africa nation. (Photo by Monirul BHUIYAN / AFP)

But the prime minister received at his office in Addis Ababa on Friday three African ex-leaders — Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia and Kgalema Motlanthe of South Africa — dispatched this week by the AU as mediators.

In a statement issued after their meeting, Abiy said he appreciated “this gesture and… the steadfast commitment this demonstrates to the principle of African solutions to African problems.”

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Even so, the government has a “constitutionally mandated responsibility to enforce rule of law in the region and across the country,” he said.

Many attempts, he added, had been made to negotiate with the TPLF before military action was ordered on November 4.

The conflict has erupted in a year when the 55-member AU — which is headquartered in Addis Ababa — resolved to play a more prominent role in resolving conflicts across the continent under the slogan “Silencing the Guns”.

The AU called for an immediate halt to hostilities on November 10 but the conflict only spiralled further, with warplanes bombing the mountainous region and both sides claiming the upper hand.

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Humanitarian crisis
Tigray has been under a communications blackout since fighting began, making it difficult to weigh competing claims about casualties, and who holds what territory.

The state-affiliated Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation said late Thursday the army — which in recent days said it was advancing on Mekele with tanks — had identified key TPLF hideouts across the city, including an auditorium and a museum.

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Abiy, who ordered the strike on TPLF forces in Mekele after the lapsing of a deadline for their surrender, said “great care” would be taken to protect innocents and spare the city from severe damage.

The prospect of a full-scale attack accelerated diplomatic efforts this week to resolve the conflict, with the UN Security Council holding its first meeting on Tigray and US and European officials urging restraint.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, who met his Ethiopian counterpart Demeke Mekonnen in Paris on Thursday, called for urgent measures to protect civilians as the humanitarian fallout from the crisis worsens across the region.

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The UNHCR said Friday that nearly 100,000 Eritrean refugees in Tigray could run out of food as early as Monday if supplies cannot reach them.

In eastern Sudan, meanwhile, where more than 40,000 refugees have escaped the fighting in Tigray, local authorities are struggling to meet the sudden surge in demand for food, shelter and other life-saving essentials.

The UNHCR said Friday that a plane carrying 32 tonnes of emergency aid had arrived in Sudan, and another airlift with 100 tonnes was expected Monday.

Refugees crossing the border said those still trying to reach Sudan were cutting across fields to avoid detection by Ethiopian troops, who they said were blocking the main exit route from Tigray.

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Abiy ordered the military into Tigray after alleged attacks by TPLF forces on federal army camps in the region.

The TPLF dominated Ethiopian politics and controlled its security for the better part of three decades until Abiy rose to power in 2018, beginning a power struggle between the former rulers and the new leader.

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#Newsworthy

AU frowns at Malian President, PM’s arrest.

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The African Union on Tuesday condemned the arrest of Mali’s political leaders by mutineering troops and demanded they be freed immediately.

“I forcefully condemn the arrest of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, Prime Minister (Boubou Cisse) and other members of the Malian government, and call for their immediate release,” the chairman of the AU Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, said in a tweet in French.

He also condemned “any attempt at unconstitutional change” while urging the mutineers to “cease all use of violence”.

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Faki called on the 15-nation West African ECOWAS bloc, the United Nations and the entire international community to “combine their efforts to oppose any use of force to end the political crisis in Mali”.

One of the leaders of the mutineering soldiers told Media (known to Noble Reporters Media) that “the president and the prime minister are under our control” after being “arrested” at Keita’s residence in the capital Bamako.

In this file photo taken on June 30, 2020 Mali President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita poses for a photo during the G5 Sahel summit in Nouakchott. Ludovic MARIN / POOL / AFP

Keita and Cisse are now being held in an army base in the town of Kati, an official at the prime minister’s office said.

Their arrest comes after months of protests calling for Keita’s arrest that have rocked the crisis-torn country.


#Newsworthy…