29 January 2013

Angola: Country's Participation At 20th AU Meeting Considered Positive

Addis Ababa — Angola's participation at the 20th African Union (AU) Summit of Heads of State and Government was considered very active by the secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Manuel Augusto.

Assessing the results of the meeting, the diplomat justified his statement saying Angola defended realistic positions on situations concerning the continent that, after 60 years over the period of the independences, is still unable to solve its problems.

Manuel Augusto mentioned the great discussions at a meeting where the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) was in favour of the lifting of AU sanctions against Guinea Bissau.

"There is that ECOWAS tendency, with Nigeria at the head, to force the AU to lift the sanctions and suspension against Guinea Bissau, on the argument that the situation is normalised and there is a functioning transition government there. This is not the vision of Angola and of the Portuguese Speaking Community (CPLP)", he stressed.

According to Manuel Augusto, after heated debates, the conclusion was that the sanctions and suspension should only be lifted after the conclusion of the process underway, including a multiparty mission involving various partners, the regional organisations, the European Union, and an evaluation within the African Union's Peace and Security Council.

The diplomat said that that was not a very fine moment, as the arguments presented by the ECOWAS did not hold and attempted to follow an avenue that the AU did not support, with the African Portuguese Speaking Community (PALOP) team attending the summit getting the support of other states to maintain the initial positions of the heads of State concerning keeping the sanctions until the situation in Guinea Bissau gave signs of change.

On the other hand, he underlined that the summit has had the merit of once again calling the attention of Africa to the need for a deep reflection as to where the continent is heading to.According to him, it was seen as a sign of weakness that the meeting thanked an European country, France, for its intervention in the conflict of an African country.

"This shows our incapacity as, 60 years after the independences and 50 after the foundation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), it was desirable that the situation in Mali was resolved by non-Africans," the secretary of State explained.

This is a matter the leader can think over deeply about the path to follow, as poverty and material resources cannot be a justification for Africa's incapacity to deal with its own problems.

On the other hand, the diplomat said that a reflection will be made on May 25 this year, during the special sessions celebrating the 50th anniversary of the OAU, and it is expected by then that the continent proves equipped with the means to settle or, preferably, prevent conflicts.

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