Cape Town, South Africa (PANA) - South Africa's President Jacob Zuma Monday urged the African Union (AU) and the UN to work together to secure peace around the continent.
“The AU Commission chairperson should assist us in promoting further co-operation with the United Nations so that the AU peace and security machinery can work closely with the UN Security Council machinery to bring about peace,” he said at a Johannesburg banquet held to honour incoming AU chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
The former Minister of Home Affairs will this month take up her new post in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
President Zuma said there were areas which would require the attention of his former wife, including the Sahel region which was under pressure following the Arab spring.
He also said she understood how the AU could promote Africa's political and socio-economic development.
“The AU technical infrastructure at Addis Ababa requires a strategist, a politically astute individual, a team worker, a unifier and someone who can motivate commissioners and staff to do more to ensure success. Dr Dlamini-Zuma is such a person,” the President said.
He said Dlamini-Zuma, who previously served as Foreign Affairs Minister, had witnessed the birth of the AU and contributed during its initial growth.
“She understands the AU and how it works. She knows the role it can play to promote the political and socio-economic development of the continent as well as to boost its position internationally. She therefore brings the benefit of intimate knowledge of the continent, and an added benefit of a perspective of an outside observer while she was still at another department,” the South African President said.
However, in an interview with The Sunday Independent, former President Thabo Mbeki warned that Dlamini-Zuma may have been set up for failure.
Mbeki said the dynamics and processes within the AU would neither allow her to effect any changes nor set policy.
He expressed his concern “about people putting a burden on her shoulders; a burden she can’t carry”.
“I think part of this feeling that she is going to change (things) is the failure to understand how the AU operates. People might put a big burden on her shoulders expecting her to do this and that and when it doesn’t happen, they will blame her when actually she has no capacity to do these things,” Mbeki said.
-0- PANA CU/SEG 9Oct2012