Ethiopia: AU Summit appoints Special Envoy for Libya

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA) - Former Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete has been appointed the African Union Special Envoy to Libya, a top AU official said on Sunday.

Kikwete’s appointment was done by the 26th Summit of the AU Assembly, which ended its two-day talks in Addis Ababa on Sunday. He would spearhead the work of an AU Committee of five Heads of State formed to help push forward a political solution to the crisis in Libya,

AU Commissioner for Peace and Security Smail Chergui said the AU Committee of Five, initially formed in 2010 at the height of the political crisis in the North African nation, and was revived to support efforts to form a government acceptable to the national parliament.

An International Contact Group meeting on Libya alongside the AU Summit resolved on Wednesday to push for action against the Islamic State (ISIS) fighters matching from eastern Libya towards the south.

“This requires us to act. We can only do that if we have a government and the Libyan forces can be trained and equipped. The Heads of State and Government have decided to revive the High-Level Committee of five Heads to lend support to this process,” Chergui told reporters.

The plan to have an AU Heads of State Panel to spearhead the search for a quick solution to the crisis was initially proposed by Chadian President Idriss Deby, the newly elected Chair of the continental body.

Speaking at the closing of the Summit, President Deby vowed the AU would not stand by during his tenure as civilians are killed in thousands.

“I welcome the consensus we reached on terrorism and some conflicts. The key words to dealing with these conflicts should be dialogue. The AU must pursue its efforts. We cannot allow thousands to die due to violence,” he said, referring to conflict hot spots across Africa.

During the Summit, AU Commission Deputy Chairperson Erastus Mwencha said the peace and security situation in Africa was rapidly improving, in spite of some pockets of violence.

“We have setbacks because we are fighting an asymmetrical war in places like Somalia. We are working to contain the situation,” he said.

In order to deal with threats facing the continent during his tenure, President Deby called for “solidarity and complimentarity” in the work of all the AU organs.

“We talk a lot and we do not act most of the time. We always expect help from outside. That is why we are stagnating and we keep debating why. We must put an end to this tragedy of our time. We cannot make progress if the limbs of our body remain sick,” President Deby said,  referring to the spread of violent conflicts across Africa.

The Chadian leader said the AU should take over the work of the UN Special Envoy in Libya.

-0- PANA AO/AR 31Jan2016

31 january 2016 17:50:12

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