AU gets new committee on African integration

Sirte- Libya (PANA) -- The 5th ordinary summit of the African Union (AU) has set up a new seven-member committee on the proposed creation of a United States of Africa, a thorny and controversial topic that dominated two days of deliberations here.
Nigerian President and AU Chairman Olusegun Obasanjo, will head the committee that also includes representatives from Algeria, Kenya, Senegal, Gabon, Lesotho and Uganda.
The new committee will replace the one set up earlier and headed by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on the same issue, Obasanjo said at the closing ceremony of the summit Tuesday.
"One of the items (on the agenda) that engaged the Heads of State more than any other was the report of the seven-member group (on the integration issue) headed by President Museveni," the Nigerian leader said.
He said the new committee has been mandated to "consider all the ideas" discussed at the Sirte summit on the issue and consultations with other relevant bodies and individuals, and report to the AU mid-term summit in Addis Ababa in January 2006.
According to him, the body will make recommendations on the structure, timeframe and measures required to fully carry out the mandate of the task.
The AU chairman said discussions at the Sirte summit were "frank and candid" on the range of issues it addressed, adding that messages of solidarity and support were received from China, India, Japan, North Korea, Cuba, Brazil and Iran.
On behalf of African leaders, Obasanjo paid tribute to Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa, who was attending the summit for the last time as Head of State as his country goes to the poll in October to elect a new leader after Mkapa's two terms spanning 10 years.
   Mkapa was commended for his "immense" contributions to the work of the AU, particularly on the social dimension of globalisation committee.

05 july 2005 17:34:00

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