AU leaders focus on Congo conflict
Why the secrecy over Independent? TOP TABLE: African Union Commission chairwoman Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma speaks at the AU’s headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Sunday. ADDIS ABABA — African Union (AU) leaders met on Sunday to tackle continuing conflicts on the continent, a day after the pan-African bloc threw itself a lavish birthday party celebrating 50 years of existence.
I think we will be able to fix it, the Congo is going to be fixed," Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete said after the meeting, on the sidelines of the main summit at AU headquarters in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. Tanzania is sending 1,280 troops to join a new United Nations brigade with a mandate to conduct "targeted offensive operations" against rebels in the Congo’s mineral-rich east.
However, UN chief Ban Ki-moon was more hesitant, saying that while progress was being made, promises on paper must be enacted on the ground. Leaders also discussed a proposal to urge the International Criminal Court (ICC) to stop the trial of Kenya’s leaders, President Uhuru Kenyatta and Vice-President William Ruto, on charges of crimes against humanity.
The proposal, agreed on by AU foreign ministers on Thursday, would ask the ICC to refer the trials back to their home country. Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto, elected in March, both face trial in The Hague for their alleged roles in orchestrating deadly violence after previous elections in 2007.
However, after hours of talking, diplomats said members were divided on the proposal. If passed, it would be the first time the pan-African body has moved formally against the ICC, even though Mr Kenyatta is the second African leader to face trial, after genocide charges were brought against Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.... Read the full, comprehensive news article and discuss at Business Day