AU Leaders Meet Facing Coups, Conflicts, Crises

AU leaders meet facing coups, conflicts, crises

Addis Ababa, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 17th Feb, 2024) African leaders opened a two-day summit on Saturday as the continent wrestles with coups, conflicts, political crises and regional tensions.

Ahead of the gathering in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, African Union Commission head Moussa Faki Mahamat voiced alarm at the violence gripping many nations, both in Africa and other parts of the world.

Sudan was in "flames", Faki said, while also highlighting the militant threat in Somalia, "eternal tensions" in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, the "terrorist danger" in the Sahel, and constant instability in Libya.

"The resurgence of military coups, pre- and post-electoral violence, humanitarian crises linked to war and/or the effects of climate change are all very serious sources of concern for us," he told African foreign ministers on Wednesday.

A mini-summit aimed at finding ways to relaunch the peace process for the DRC -- including the Congolese leader and his Rwandan rival -- opened Friday on the sidelines of the main AU meetings and was due to continue on Saturday.

But the 55-member bloc has long been criticised for being ineffectual and taking little decisive action in the face of numerous conflicts and power grabs.

"I doubt that there will be any strong decisions," said Nina Wilen, director of the Africa programme at the Egmont Royal Institute for International Relations think tank in Brussels.

The pan-African body has so far had "very little influence on countries that have suffered recent coups", she said, adding that member states did not want to set precedents that could clash with their own interests.

Among those attending from outside the region was Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. But UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was not present, with spokeswoman Stephanie Tremblay telling AFP he had plane problems and was not able to fly to Addis Ababa.