A view from opening session of the 33rd African Union Heads of State Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 9 February 2020 (Photo: Mınasse Wondımu Haılu/Anadolu Agency)
The so-called “peace plan” for Palestine proposed by US president Donald Trump last month has been rejected by the African Union (AU) at its 33rd summit being held currently at Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa. The Chairman of the African Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, said that the proposal violates the charter of the African Union and has been prepared without any consultation with the Palestinians. Palestine has an observer status at the AU.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony of the AU summit yesterday, February 9, Palestinian prime minister Mohammad Shatty said “we are proud of Africa that stands by the Palestinian people in a principled manner to realise our aspirations of a statehood on the 1967 borders and Jerusalem being the capital,” Anadolu Agency reported.
The summit is titled as “Silencing the Guns: Creating conducive conditions for Africa’s Development.”
President of South Africa Cyril Ramaposa is the new chair of the AU after succeeding Egyptian president Abdul Fatah al-Sisi. According to him, ending the war in Libya and the conflict in South Sudan would be the priorities of the AU in the coming year.
The war in Libya has been going on for the last nine years since the NATO forces-led invasion in 2011 removed long-serving president Muammar Gaddafi from power and created chaos in the country. South Sudan is facing a conflict of leadership between president Slava Kir and opposition forces led by Riek Machar since 2013.
AU is a continental union consisting of all 55 countries of the African continent It was formed in 1999 in Libya’s Sirte, with its headquarters in Addis Ababa.
Speaking at the inauguration of the summit, secretary general of the United Nations, Antonio Gutteres, said that Africa faces the three crucial challenges of eradicating poverty, talking about the climate crisis and silencing the guns. “Ultimately silencing the guns is not just about peace and security, but also inclusive sustainable development and human rights,” Al-Jazeera reported him saying.