18 September 2017

Tanzania: Magufuli Skips UN General Assembly, Once Again

Dar es Salaam — President John Magufuli has skipped another high profile United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) held in New York in the US between September 18 and 20, this year.

In the meeting, Tanzania is represented by Minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, Dr Augustine Mahiga.

The meeting which started today, September 18, was addresses by the US president Donald Trump who among other issues spoke about the North Korea's nuclear threat and UN reform agenda.

Recent reports said that Tanzania was among several African countries being investigated by the United Nations for violating the sanctions imposed on the Asian country.

Addressing reporters in last week before his departure, Dr Mahiga said among others, he would meet with the five UN permanent members to assure them that Tanzania had ceased relationship with North Korea.

This is a second UNGA that President Magufuli has skipped since he came into power in November 2015. The first UNGA skipped was held in September last year.

Dr Magufuli has also escaped key international events where he was expected to meet with other leaders in Africa and at the UN.

Instead, he has been sending representatives, including the Vice President, Ms Samia Hassan Suluhu, and Prime Minister, Mr Kassim Majaliwa and the Foreign Affairs Minister.

Some of the meetings he escaped were the forum on China-Africa Co-operation in Johannesburg held in South Africa in December 2015. He sent Ms Suluhu to attend.

President Magufuli also delegated Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa to represent him at the Double Troika Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) which was held in Gaborone, Botswana on January 18, 2016.

Another one was the 26th meeting of the heads of state of the African Union (AU) in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, in 30 January 2016.

He also skipped the high profile continental meeting, the 27th African Union Heads of States Summit held in Rwandan capital, Kigali in July 2016.

The recent one was the 37th Ordinary Southern African Development Community (SADC) Summit of Heads of State and Government held in last month in South Africa where he sent his vice, Ms Suluhu.

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