AU tackles Africa's hot spots

2010-02-01 14:01

kalahari.com

Addis Ababa - African Union heads of state focused on rising tensions in oil-rich, secessionist southern Sudan on Monday as they reviewed their response to the continent's many crises and conflicts.

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, who on the 14th summit's opening day had to relinquish the 53-state body's presidency to Malawi, warned that Sudan could become "another Somalia".

Tension has been mounting in Sudan in the run-up to a 2011 referendum in which the south is widely expected to choose independence from Khartoum, only six years after signing a peace deal.

Many observers fear that a secession of oil-rich Sudan - which is Africa's largest country and borders nine others - could further destabilise one of the continent's most volatile regions.

"If the South has a right to separate itself then there'll be danger for the South," Gaddafi said at a press conference late on Sunday.

"The outbreak of war will not be between the North and the South, it will be within the South itself. The South itself is not united," he said.

Big responsibility

"It could become fragile and coveted by its neighbours (with a view to) taking the resources, oil or something else," he warned.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who attended the first day of the summit, also put special emphasis on the fate of Sudan.

"The UN has a big responsibility with the AU to maintain peace in Sudan and make unity attractive... This year will be crucially important for Sudan with the election in three months and the referendum in a year," he said on Sunday.

At his press conference, Gaddafi, who was replaced as the chair of the organisation by Malawian President Bingu wa Mutharika, complained that the "AU president has no prerogatives".

He also bemoaned the lack of progress on his own pet project: intensifying the political integration of the billion-strong continent to achieve a "United States of Africa".

But he firmly ruled out any idea of reducing Libyan funding or commitment to the body.

"There's no question of going backwards," he said.

Continent’s main crises

Relief was palpable in the corridors of the AU headquarters, after a year during which Gaddafi and Jean Ping, who heads the body's executive arm, publicly expressed contradictory views on some of the continent's main crises.

In their meetings on Monday, African leaders were also expected to review the situation in Somalia, where a weak internationally-backed government is struggling to fend off an Islamist insurgency.

They will also review the performance of the AU's peacekeeping mission there, almost three years after it was deployed.

Among other issues on Monday's agenda are climate change and the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The AU's relations with the ICC have been fraught since the court slapped Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir with an arrest warrant over the atrocities committed in Darfur since 2003. Bashir arrived in the Ethiopian capital on Friday.

In a report released less than two weeks ago, Human Rights Watch pilloried the AU for supporting the embattled Sudanese leader, arguing that such a move was a blow to the entire institution's credibility.

- SAPA

Read more on:    au  |  au 14th summit  |  africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
/News
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Tuesday Epping - 10:06 AM
    Road name: N7 Vanguard Drive
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bofors Circle
  • Tuesday Kuils River - 08:34 AM
    Road name: Polkadraai Road Eastbound
    ROADWORKS between the R102 Van Riebeeck Road and the R310 Baden Powell Drive exit - DELAYS
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Telesales Agents

Cape Town
Teleresources Cape Town
R4 000 - R5 000 Per Month

Fire Engineer

Cape Town
Cozens Recruitment Group ( Western Cape)
R300 000 - R380 000 Per Month

Junior Problem Manager

Cape Town
Datafin Recruitment

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

40% off appliances & homeware

Get mind blowing deals on top selling appliances and homeware. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Lenovo A1000 tablet now R999!

Get the Lenovo A1000 tablet for only R999! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

New gobii smartphones from R999!

Front and rear camera's, dual SIM capability and 200MB of FREE Cell C data every month for 12 months, are just some of the many features on these smartphones. Get yours now! Shop here.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Torch 9810

The BlackBerry Torch 9810 gives you the powerful combination of...

From R2790.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

It may be hard to avoid an argument or heated conversation today. Someone may be stirring things up and testing your patience. ...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.