AU says no intervention in North African pro-democracy protests

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA) - The African Union (AU) said Wednesday it had no immediate plans to directly intervene in the gale of protests sweeping across North Africa, especially Tunisia, Algeria and Egypt.

AU Commission's Deputy Chairperson Erastus Mwencha said the organisation was not in a position to stop civilians from demanding their rights.

“These are events that come from time to time as part of an evolution…we have to wait and see how the waves will flow,” Mwencha told journalists ahead of an AU Summit opening here Sunday.

“As far as the legal instruments are concerned, nothing has been tampered with. The people are asking for their rights. We cannot stop the people from seeking their rights,” Mwencha added.

Egyptian demonstrators, inspired by the fall of President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali of Tunisia's government, have poured into the streets to denounce their government under long-serving President Hosni Mubarak.

Mwencha said the AU Commission was monitoring the political developments in the region, but considered them more of domestic affairs, unless a breach of the constitution occurs.

The AU traditionally acts if a regime change occurs that does not follow the constitutional order. In such a case, the organisation is authorised to suspend such a regime from its membership and call for elections within six months.

The AU Commission's deputy chief said Africa was making steady progress in the area of peace and security, adding: “We still have a few hot spots, but they are few.”
-0- PANA AO/SEG 26Jan2011

26 Janeiro 2011 17:06:00

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