The Herald (Harare)

27 March 2014

Africa Calls for EU Summit Boycott

Photo: Nehanda Radio
President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace.

The African Union's Peace and Security Council has advised the bloc not to attend the EU-Africa summit set for Brussels, Belgium next week to protest how Europe is holding the continent in contempt by determining who is eligible to attend the meeting. The PSC is the AU's most powerful organ with the mandate to enforce union decisions.

Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi yesterday said the AU Peace and Security Council met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and told permanent representatives to advise their governments on its decision.

"The African Union Peace and Security Council took a decision that the European Union was in violation of an AU resolution that they do not have the right to determine the composition of Africa's delegation.

"So the AU Peace and Security Council has recommended to all member states that the Summit cannot be held until Europe recognises Africa's sovereignty. The ball is now in the EU's court. It's now up to the EU to decide whether they want the summit to proceed or not.

"If they want it to proceed, they should accept that they have no right to determine the delegation from Africa. I have since briefed President Mugabe and he has since welcomed the decision," said Minister Mumbengengwi.

The EU barred Eritrea from attending the Summit scheduled for April 2-3, 2014. However, Egypt was invited even though it is suspended from the AU because of a military coup - tacitly backed by some EU members and the United States - that removed legitimately elected president, Mr Mohamed Morsi, in July last year.

Another full AU member, the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic, was also not invited.

On the other hand, Morocco - which is not an AU member and which colonised SADR and has close ties to the EU and USA - was invited.

Morocco pulled out of the AU (then the Organisation of African Unity) in 1984 because the bloc had accepted SADR's membership two years earlier.

In addition, the EU initially sent an invitation to Zimbabwe but not to President Mugabe. The EU only sent a personal invitation to the President when he was elected the AU's First Deputy Chair and the continent threatened to boycott the summit if he was not present.

The EU has since tried to bar First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe from accompanying her husband to the Brussels, Belgium, meeting.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has also not been invited but an "invite" was sent to his country. The EU and USA strongly back an attempt to try Mr al-Bashir at the International Criminal Court.

The AU has resolved that it will not co-operate with any attempt to haul a sitting Head of State before the ICC.

The ICC is accused of inordinately targeting Africans while ignoring glaring crimes against humanity perpetrated by Western leaders in places such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Guantanamo Bay - a US prison on illegally seized Cuban territory.

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