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OAU / AU Summit Keywords:African Rapid Reaction ForceInternational Criminal CourtEthiopian media

A. N. BRAGIN

Our sobkor in Ethiopia

One of the key outcomes of the AU summit, held on May 26, was the decision to create the African capacity for immediate response to crises. During the discussions on this topic, in particular, it was noted that there are doubts about the feasibility of existing plans for the creation of a combat-ready African Permanent Readiness Force (AFF) by 2015.Most likely, additional time will be required to train all five regional AFF brigades and bring them to a combat-ready state.

At the same time, African leaders agreed that the instability and multiple existing and potential crisis situations in many countries of the continent require more decisive action from the AU. In their opinion, the conflicts in Mali, Libya, and Ivory Coast could be resolved faster and more successfully if Western countries did not interfere in them, and the leading role would be given to Africans.

"The time has come for Africans to find African solutions to African problems," said South African President Jacob Zuma. As a result, South Africa's initiative to immediately establish the AFDBK as a temporary (pending the final formation of the AFP) force found broad support among the summit participants. They will be created on a voluntary basis. South Africa, Uganda and Ethiopia immediately indicated their readiness to provide contingents and finance their participation if necessary.

According to South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, more than 10 countries have expressed a desire to provide troops for the creation of the ASBRK. It was decided that the commander of these forces will be a representative of the country that will provide the largest number of military personnel. The Afro-Commission was instructed to work out the technical details of the creation of the ASBRK and prepare relevant recommendations for consideration at the meeting of the special Committee on Defense and Security, scheduled for the 4th quarter of 2014.

Active controversy during the summit was caused by the discussion of the activities of the International Criminal Court( ICC), which was severely criticized for its clearly anti-African orientation. The continent's leaders pointed out that 99% of those prosecuted by the ICC are Africans, while crimes in other parts of the world are ignored by the court.

Africans called unfair the current practice of initiating an international investigation based on decisions of the UN Security Council, three of the five permanent members of which (the United States, China and Russia) They are not signatories to the Rome Statute1. Meanwhile, this fundamental document of the ICC has been signed and ratified by 34 of the 54 member States of the AU.

African leaders voted almost unanimously (except for Botswana) in favor of a resolution calling for the cases of new Kenyan President Uhura Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto to be referred to the national Kenyan court. At the same time, it was noted that the continuation of the investigation within the ICC does not contribute to political reconciliation in Kenya, given that Kenyans have expressed unequivocal support for the new leaders following the recent presidential elections, including due to their prosecution by the International Court of Justice.

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Amid heated debates about the need to ensure greater independence of the AU and strengthen its role on the continent and in international affairs, the Assembly of Heads of State and Government decided to find alternative sources of funding for the pan-African Organization. It was noted that currently 93% of the AU program budget is funded by partners; in addition, international donors pay 100% (about $500 million per year)of the AMISOM mission's expenses. 2 In this regard, it was decided to instruct the Ministries of Finance of the AU member countries to work out the possibility of increasing contributions to the organization's budget.

On the sidelines of the summit, the first meeting of the Regional Monitoring Mechanism for the Situation in the DRC was held in the" 11+4 "format, 3 under the chairmanship of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. It was decided to establish a Technical Support Committee to develop a roadmap for the implementation of the Framework Agreements for Peace, Security and Cooperation in the DRC, signed in Addis Ababa on February 24, 2013.

The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Nkosozana Dlamini-Zuma, enlisted the support of African leaders for her initiative to achieve a breakthrough in relations between Morocco and the POLISARIO, a political-military organization active in Western Sahara. The aim is to restore Morocco's full membership in the AU. Today, it is the only country in Africa that is not a member of the African Union (it left the OAU in 1984 in protest against the admission of Western Sahara (SADR), which Morocco considers its territory).

Local media reports on the Pan-African organization's forums in Addis Ababa have focused on Ethiopia's special role in the establishment and functioning of the OAU/AU. The official representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, Dina Mufti, is quoted as saying: "The decision to establish the headquarters of the African Union and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the organization's establishment in Addis Ababa reflects recognition of the significant role that Ethiopia has played and continues to play in solving Africa's problems in the colonial and post-colonial periods. Ethiopia is actively involved in resolving conflicts on the continent, including in DR Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Liberia, as well as in Sudan, South Sudan and Somalia. Ethiopia is also the founding country and chair of NEPAD, 4 which aims, among other things, to promote the African economic development agenda on the international stage (through the G-8, G-20, and climate change summits) .5

A special issue of the government-run newspaper, The Ethiopian Herald, says:: "The transformation of the OAU into the AU is a landmark event that demonstrates the direction of Africa's future development."

The first page of the Ethiopian weekly Fortune notes how ambitious the founders of the pan-African organization were.: "It took tremendous ingenuity, incomparable creativity and unyielding determination to embark on the dream of a united Africa under the yoke of colonialism."

Another weekly "Capital" published an article- " Africa-From where to where?". In particular, it notes that " the current millennium begins with a noticeable growth and increasing role of the BRICS countries in international affairs, and this definitely contributes to the development of Africa."

* * *

In general, the summit demonstrated the desire of the African Union and the continent's leaders for greater independence from the West, their desire to consistently and effectively respond to the challenges facing Africa, primarily economic and security, as well as to act as a single dynamic bloc in the international arena.


1 The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court is an international treaty that established the ICC. Adopted at the Diplomatic Conference in Rome on 17 July 1998 and entered into force on 1 July 2002.

2 AMISOM (African Union Mission in Somalia ) is a peacekeeping mission in Somalia. Approved by the UN and conducted under the mandate of the African Union.

3 11 African States (Angola, Burundi, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, DRC, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, Zambia) and 4 international organizations - the UN, the African Union, the South African Development Community (SADC) and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR).

4 The New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) is a kind of action plan for achieving sustainable development in Africa, with specific objectives for sectoral priorities: infrastructure, agriculture, environment, culture, science and information technology, and human resource development. It was adopted at the OAU summit in July 2001 in Lusaka, Zambia.

5 http://www.mfa.gov.et/news/more.php?newsid=1577


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