27 January 2013

Africa: AU Summit Set to Discuss Security On Continent

Addis Ababa — THE 20th Summit of African Union (AU) heads of state and government which started here on Saturday has received various reports, including one on the situation in Somalia.

The Chairperson for African Commission, Dlamini-Zuma, who was the former South African Minister for Foreign Affairs, submitted the reports. On the list of the reports include the provision of adequate security that allowed elections to be held in Somalia last year, although more is yet to be done to combat and defeat the Al-Shabab group.

President Jakaya Kikwete arrived here on Friday night from Davos, Switzerland ready to attend the meeting. Dlamini-Zuma also ensured that protocols were signed between the Sudan and South Sudan to enable humanitarian supplies reach the refugees.

The AU meeting will also discuss the conflicts in Mali, Madagascar and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The theme for the meeting is 'Pan Africanism and African Renaissance' in bid for the African Union to gain strength and speak with one voice.

There are still problems facing the African continent and the AU leaders have reached a consensus on a number of issues including the need to expedite the process to achieve a common market, suggest reforms to the United Nations and start an aviation agency for Africa.

The Abuja declaration on safety of airspace in Africa is awaiting the blessings of the ongoing Summit. Thirty-three African presidents are expected to attend the meeting and up to Saturday afternoon, the Heads of State that had arrived included Mwai Kibaki of Kenya, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe and Omar Hassan al Bashir of Sudan. The Palestinian Leader, Mr Mahmoud Abbas, is also expected to attend the meeting.

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