Thu, 25 Jul 2024

 

BREAKING: Mauritania president emerges new AU chairman
 
By: Abara Blessing Oluchi
Sat, 17 Feb 2024   ||   Nigeria,
 

The Heads of State and Government of the African Union, on Saturday, elected the President of Mauritania, Mohamed Ghazouani, as the new chairman of the union for 2024.

He was elected during the ongoing 37th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union Heads of State and Government in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Ghazouani takes the baton of leadership from President Azali Assoumani of the Union of Comoros, who served as the AU Chairperson for 2023.

The bloc managed to avoid a crisis on another front by defusing tensions over the one-year rotating AU chairmanship, which was transferred Saturday from Comoros President Azali Assoumani to Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Ghazouani.

The succession had long been blocked by a dispute between Morocco and Algeria, highlighting internal divisions within the AU even as it seeks to have a stronger voice on the global stage, including in the G20 grouping which it joined in September.

Portending more challenges, 19 presidential or general elections are scheduled on the continent this year.

“The AU has ambitious institutional commitments and tools for mediation and peacekeeping but lacks the political and financial strength to make the most of them,” the International Crisis Group said in a briefing note.

“Member states are looking inward, closely protecting their sovereign prerogatives rather than investing in collective security.”

Another major subject of discussion at the summit is expected to be how the AU will transition to relying on African states to fund most of its budget rather than foreign donors.

The UN Security Council in December adopted a resolution to finance AU-led peace missions, but capped it at 75 percent of the budget.

 

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