The leaders of the continent meet on Monday in Addis Ababa for a transition summit. Alpha Conde, Alassane Ouattara or Joseph Kabila are there but several heavyweights of the continent are absent.
The parade of the presidential sedans in front of the palaces of Addis Ababa began Sunday evening July 2. In a period of just two days, the Ethiopian capital will host the 29th Summit of African Heads of State and Government. Main subject on the agenda: African Union (AU) reforms. Some of the crises on the continent, including those in Mali, South Sudan and Libya, will also be at the center of discussions between African leaders.
AU President-in-Office Alpha Condé arrived in Addis Ababa on the eve of the summit to chair a series of meetings, including one on the African Renewable Ehttp://english.bwiza.com/wp-admin/post-new.phpnergy Initiative, one of the mechanisms set up by the African Union Conference on Climate, Cop 21, Paris.
On Sunday, Denis Sassou-Nguesso (Congo-Brazzaville) led a meeting of the AU High Level Committee for Libya. Fayez al-Sarraj, the leader of the Libyan government recognized by the international community, made the trip, as well as part of the country’s neighbors in crisis.
The full G5 Sahel
Alassane Ouattara landed on Saturday evening with his wife, Dominique. The Ivorian President arrived directly from Paris, where he took part in the presentation of the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize. The presidents of G5 Sahel, Idriss Déby Itno (Chad), Roch Marc Christian Kaboré (Burkina Faso), Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta (Mali) and Mahamadou Issoufou (Niger) are expected to meet at the summit yesterday. ‘Dawn this Monday morning after a direct flight from Bamako.
Present for the historic summit last January marking the return of Morocco to the AU, Mohammed VI will this time be represented by his brother, Prince Moulay Rachid, who will deliver a speech on his behalf. The Moroccan ruler was given the task of presenting a report on the theme of migration in conjunction with the theme chosen for this 29th edition: “Taking full Advantage of the Demographic Dividend by Investing in Youth”.
Kagame arrived, presence of Kabila noticed
Among the other presidents present, there is Paul Kagame of Rwanda, initiator of the reform project of the African Union which must be one of the major themes of this 29th summit. The arrival of Joseph Kabila on Sunday evening was particularly noted, the president of the Democratic Republic of Congo rarely traveling to the summit of the continent. While several dignitaries of his regime, accused of “serious violations of human rights”, have recently been sanctioned by the European Union and the United States, he comes to seek political support from the AU, according to his entourage.
The Congolese authorities have denounced “illegal” sanctions aimed at “destabilizing” the country. The Gabonese, Ali Bongo Odimba, and the Zimbabwean Robert Mugabe are also expected.
Continental Heavyweights among absentees
The greatest absentee at this African Mass will certainly be the South African Jacob Zuma. The summit coincided with a crucial conference of the ruling ANC party, which is plagued by internal divisions. He will be represented by his Minister of Foreign Affairs, Maite Nkoana Mashabane.
Another heavyweight of the absent continent, Muhammadu Buhari. For nearly a month, the Nigerian president is in London for medical reasons. Yemi Osinbajo, his vice-president, will replace him.
Macky Sall, who is preparing to hold parliamentary elections on 30 July, will also miss the call. He will be represented by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Senegalese from outside, Mankeur Ndiaye. The Egyptian President, Abdefettah al-Sissi, due to his official visit to Hungary, will not be there either. Similarly, for Cameroon’s Paul Biya, who has not walked the floor of the AU conference center for a decade, as well as for Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, weakened by the disease, Summit its Prime Minister, Abdelmadjid Tebboune. The Angolan Eduardo Dos Santos will be represented by his Minister of Defense and designated successor, the former general Jose Lourenço.
El Bashir does not come
The absence of the Sudanese president, Omar El Béchir, is, however, a surprise. Under an ICC arrest warrant, the president usually likes to challenge international justice by finding his peers. He will be represented by number 2, Hassabo Mohamed Abdul-Rahman.
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