Monday, July 12, 2004

African Union: miscellaneous

The third African Union (AU) Summit was held July 6-8 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The following is the eighth of eight summit summaries.

In this section ... things I found interesting/useful but couldn't fit anywhere else.

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Check out what the Sudanese foreign minister, Mustafa Osman Ismail, is quoted as having told the AU Peace and Security Council on July 4.
"We need absolute co-operation with the AU on this issue. We are ready to address the problem within the African context. Africa stood with Libya and Zimbabwe even when they were isolated by a large section of the world. We need help to restore security and stability in the Sudan, which, regrettably, is being interfered with by some of its neighbours," Osman told the 15-member PSC.
Source -- Okoko, Tervil. (2004, July 5). Sudan asks AU for protection against 'outsiders'. Panafrican News Agency.

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From UN Secretary Genreral Kofi Annan's opening speech ...
There is no truer wisdom, and no clearer mark of statesmanship, than knowing when to pass the torch to a new generation. And no government should manipulate or amend the constitution to hold on to office beyond prescribed term limits that they accepted when they took office.
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The people ...
  • President Olusegun Obasanjo (Nigeria) -- incoming Chairperson of AU
  • President Joachim Chissano (Mozambique) -- outgoing Chairperson of AU
  • Alpha Oumar Konare (former President of Mali) -- Chairperson, AU Commission
  • Sam Ibok -- Director, Peace and Security Department, AU Commission

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    The outgoing chairperson, Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano, caused the translators some trouble when he delivered his farewell speech in Swahili. In its summits, the AU only uses English, French, Arabic and Portuguese. They had to scramble to find somebody who could translate Swahili.

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    And how many women spoke at "the" summit ...
    Botswana's President Festus Mogae amused African leaders this week when he recalled a female delegate saying a male-dominated meeting on the status of women in Tanzania 12 years ago had been like "a congress of cats to discuss the well-being and upliftment of rats".

    Mogae's anecdote came as the discussion at this week's African Union (AU) heads of state summit in Addis Ababa turned to women's empowerment.

    Only one woman spoke at the meeting - and she was smuggled onto the speakers' list by Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade to talk on behalf of youth organisations. (source)
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    The AU picked a flag and anthem ... don't know what they are. But I'm sure both will appear online at some point.

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    I admit it ... this is a tabloidy story.

    You never know what details you'll pick up reading different stories. The following is from P.M. News in Nigeria.
    A NAN [News Agency of Nigeria] correspondent covering the summit reports that there had been a high turnover of the condoms placed openly in both male and female toilets of the conference centre and hotels as delegates appeared to rush for them just as more were frequently being provided. (source)
    And the following is a Xinhua story ...
    One reporter said he got four packs for his hired driver, and the driver "accepted happily." (source)

    Previous AU Summit summaries ....
  • African Union: assessments of the summit
  • African Union: dealing with Zimbabwe
  • African Union: dealing with Darfur
  • African Union: dealing with the DRC
  • African Union: "the mercenary threat"
  • African Union: location, location, location
  • African Union: who pays?