AU: Uhuru calls for firm action to stop coups
AU: Uhuru calls for firm action
to stop coups
President Uhuru Kenyatta has rallied the African Union (AU) to end the
increasing cases of political instability and insecurity on the continent by
taking decisive actions.
said the deteriorating situation was undermining the continent’s socio-economic
“As you note excellencies, 2021
was marked by a spread of terrorism and violent extremism and the resurgence of
unconstitutional change of Government across the continent. This is a worrying
trend that needs to be arrested and dealt with decisively.
“We need to take bold steps to
address issues of terrorism and violent extremism and to undertake in depth
review of our existing instruments on unconstitutional changes of Government in
order to address the resurgence of unconstitutional changes of Government,” he
President Kenyatta spoke in
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia when he delivered the progress report of the African
Union Peace and Security Council (AU-PSC) at the ongoing 35th Ordinary Session
of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the AU.
Despite the restrictions
imposed by Covid-19, President Kenyatta said the AU-PSC had continued to
discharge its mandate noting that the entity had held 85 virtual meetings in
2021, and addressed concerns in Burundi, Central Africa Republic, Chad,
Ethiopia, Guinea, Libya, Mali/Sahel, South Sudan, Sudan, Western Sahara,
Somalia and Comoros.
On the conflict in Western
Sahara, President Kenyatta decried the escalating military tension between the
Kingdom of Morocco and Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) despite the
various UN and AU resolutions and proposed measures to de-escalate the tension.
“In this regard, the assembly
may wish to request the Peace and Security Council to discharge its mandate on
the conflict in Western Sahara, in accordance with the relevant provisions of
its protocol and the relevant assembly decisions by reviewing the situation in
the Western Sahara as necessary, at Heads of State and Government level.
“This should include receiving
briefings from the AU Troika; engaging the two parties, both of whom are member
states of the AU, to address the unfolding situation in order to prepare
conditions for a new ceasefire and to reach a just and durable solution to the
conflict,” President Kenyatta proposed.
Earlier, President Kenyatta witnessed
the transfer of the African Union’s Chairmanship from President Felix
Tshisekedi of DR Congo to his Senegalese counterpart Macky Sall during the
opening ceremony of the two-day summit.
In their speeches, leaders who
spoke at the opening ceremony, among them UN Secretary General António Guterres
and Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed paid glowing tribute to past AU chairpersons Cyril
Ramaphosa (South Africa) and Felix Tshisekedi (DR Congo) for outstanding
stewardship of the pan-African institution.
PM Abiy particularly applauded
President Ramaphosa for AU’s response to Covid-19 saying the South African
leader had provided “exemplary leadership in a collective response to the
challenges of the pandemic”.
The Ethiopian leader also spoke
about the conflict in his country’s Tigray region saying his Government was
taking all necessary steps to ensure that law and order was restored.
“As you are aware, despite the
intransigence of the other side in this conflict, my Government has taken a
variety of measures to minimise the loss of life and destruction of property.
“We have implemented unilateral
withdrawal from conflict areas and used force that is necessary to ensure law
“As a gesture of good will, we
have released high profile suspects with a view to creating a conducive
environment for peace,” PM Abiy said.
In his acceptance speech,
President Sall assured of his commitment to serve the African Union with
determination during his one-year tenure, and listed climate change, reform of
the multilateral system including the UN as well as peace and security as some
of his priority areas.
Macky Sall took over the baton of command from Felix- Antoine Tshisekedi
Tshilombo, President of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The event took place during the
official opening of the 35th AU Summit
of Heads of State and Government, in the presence of the Chairperson of the AU Commission,
Moussa Faki Mahamat, the Deputy Chairperson of the AUC, Dr Monique
Nsanzabaganwa, representatives of the UN, the Regional Economic Commission,
dignitaries and invited guests as well as the AU staff.
composition of the new bureau of the Assembly of the Heads of State and
Government of the African Union for 2022 as presented by the Dean of the
Permanent Representative Committee (PRC) is as follows:
Chairperson of the African Union
(AU) – Republic of Senegal, (West African region).
Vice Chair of the Union – Consultations are still ongoing;
– Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) – (Central African region);
Vice Chair of the Union – Libya, (Northern Region); and
Vice Chair of the Union – Angola, (Southern Region). “I do not
forget the resurgence of the phenomenon of coups d’état which constitutes a
major attack on democracy and institutional stability on the continent”.
Concluded the new AU Chair.