African Union leaders are meeting for their first summit since the death of Muammar Gaddafi, the bloc’s founder, with the selection of top officials and discussion of crises on the continent dominating the agenda.
The leaders, gathered in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, on Sunday for a two-day summit have choosen Thomas Boni Yayi, Benin’s president, as the 54-member bloc’s new chairman.
|“The development of our continent is in our hands my dear presidents…it is in unity and cohesion that our continent will ensure its development“
– Thomas Boni Yayi, president of Benin
Yayi, who succeeded Equatorial Guinea’s President Teodoro Obiang Nguema AU chairman, said he wanted to “ensure that peace comes back our continent,” as he accepted the post with “humility” for “the high responsibility.”
“We shall continue to work hand in glove to ensure that we consolidate all what we have achieved so far,” Yayi said.
War-torn Somalia, oil disputes between Sudan and South Sudan,violence in Nigeria and riots in Senegal in response to the president’s determination to cling onto power, are also expected to be addressed in sideline talks.
“The development of our continent is in our hands my dear presidents…it is in unity and cohesion that our continent will ensure its development,” Yayi added, urging peace in Sudan and South Sudan, the Sahel region and in Nigeria.
The AU chairmanship rotates among African leaders and is held for one year, but intense lobbying continues ahead of a vote for the top job, the head of the bloc’s executive arm, the AU Commission. Read more…