AU 2011 summit in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea
Interview: Henry Bellingham, UK Minister for Africa
Interview: Mohamed Omaar, Somalia Deputy Prime Minister
Interview: Deng Alor, Minister for Regional Cooperation, South Sudan
Interview: Mohamed al-Orabi, Foreign Minister, Egypt
Press Conference Questions: Jacob Zuma, President, South Africa
Report: Summit curtain raiser
Report: The beginning of talks
Report: Opening ceremony
Report: Framework agreement on Libya
Interview: Henry Bellingham, UK Minister for Africa, 29th June 2011
Mediation efforts in Libya and Sudan were high on the agenda at the AU summit in Malabo. While observer missions at the summit tried to influence African delegations during closed-door meetings on issues such as the crisis in Libya.
Interview: Mohamed Omaar, Somalia’s Deputy PM, 30th June 2011
Somalia’s Shebab rebels are “a spent force”, Deputy Prime Minister Mohammed Omaar told RFI in an interview at the AU summit in Malabo. Omaar promises a new president will be elected next year and insists that government forces will win territorial control.
Interview: Deng Alor, Minister for Regional Cooperation, South Sudan, 29th June 2011
The Sudanese government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement signed a deal that aims to bring an end to fighting in the border state of South Kordofan. There has been heavy fighting in South Kordofan since 5 June between government forces and militia aligned to the SPLA, the ex-rebel army. The agreement follows mediation efforts by AU mediator and former South African President Thabo Mbeki. The conflict has displaced more than 70,000 people, according to the United Nations.
Interview: Mohamed al-Orabi, Foreign Minister, Egypt, 1st July 2011
The theme of this year’s AU summit in Malabo is youth empowerment. The empowerment of youth has not been felt more strongly in recent times than in Tunisia or Egypt. In Egypt violent protests once again hit Tahrir Square on Wednesday having a knock-on effect on the country’s currency, which hit a six year low.
Press Conference Questions: Jacob Zuma, President, South Africa, 2nd July 2011
The 17th African Union rounded up in Malabo on Friday. Following a number of meetings the AU tabled a proposal for a framework agreement on a political situation to the crisis in Libya. This agreement complements the work of the AU’s high-level mediation group and calls for continuing dialogue. But with the acceptance of Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi that he will not be part of the negotiation process. After the summit’s closing ceremony South African President Jacob Zuma gave a press conference.
Report: Summit curtain raiser, 29th June 2011
“Here at the purpose-built Sipopo conference centre things are starting to hot up – and the word on everyone’s lips is Libya. AU Commission Chairman Jean Ping told RFI yesterday that they won’t change tact on Nato’s military intervention. They’re calling for a political solution, with some kind of transition including Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi. We’ve also learnt that members of rebel National Transitional Council will be coming to Malabo, granted visas by the authorities, but with no access to the conference venue. Possibly a lobbying opportunity for them – whilst giving the AU a failsafe position, making sure they don’t shun them completely. Libya’s foreign minister Abdul Ati Al-Obeidi also was present at last night’s meetings. But the only sign you’ll get of Kadhafi in Malabo at this conference is his face adorning the flags of African leaders on the road from the airport to the flashy venue. RFI’s Daniel Finnan, reporting from Malabo.”
Report: The beginning of talks, 30th June 2011
“Discussions have already begun – and as well as a high level meeting of Nepad, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development, yesterday, there’s also been a number of closed door bilateral and multilateral talks. The AU mediation group on Libya met again last night, with presidents from South Africa, Mauritiana, Uganda, Mali and Congo Brazzaville. On the table over the next few days will be the continuing issue of Libya – how many African leaders will openly support the departure of Kadhafi, or what form could a transition take? With Sudan – what comes next in the on-going border disputes over Abyei and South Kordofan. Plus Somalia – will the AU be satisfied with the confirmation of a new Prime Minister by the Somali parliament – while will Uganda and Burundi want to contribute more troops to the AU peacekeeping force in the country. Reporting for RFI, this is Daniel Finnan in Malabo.”
Report: Opening ceremony, 1st July 2011
“The day started off with the grand opening ceremony and discussions on the summit’s theme – youth empowerment. Before leaders eventually sat down and talked about the burning issue of the day – Libya. ‘Somalisation’ – that’s the phrase increasingly used by the AU Commission Chairman Jean Ping, when he talks about the dangers of the ongoing conflict. Earlier in the morning RFI learnt that the rebel National Transitional Council had arrived at the summit, and met with the foreign ministers from Chad, Niger, Mali, Mauritiana and Cote d’Ivoire. One of the Benghazi envoys Mansour Saif al-Nasr said countries are ok with the departure of Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi, but only some say it publicly. Meanwhile, the Libyan government delegation continues its lobbying in Malabo, at some times just metres away from the rebels. At the end of the day, the evening meeting yielded no public announcement – but maybe we’ll see some kind of development on the AU’s roadmap plan, later today. Daniel Finnan, RFI, Malabo.”
Report: Framework agreement on Libya, 2nd July 2011
“After two days of discussions the African Union has tabled a new framework agreement on Libya. It calls for Kadhafi to accept that he cannot be part of any negotiation process on finding a political solution to the crisis. The framework doesn’t explicitly say that Kadhafi shouldn’t be part of any transition, if a settlement were to be reached. That was clear during comments made during the press conference. South African President Jacob Zuma said the framework answered all the questions. Although he wouldn’t be drawn on the question of a transition. Meanwhile, the AU also took a decision on the arrest warrant for Kadhafi, issued by the ICC, saying member states should not cooperate. And ask that the UN Security Council cancel the ICC process on Libya in the interests of justice and peace in the country. In passionate comments during the press conference, AU Commission Chairman Jean Ping made comparisons with American compliance and quoted a head of state, saying the court’s prosecutor is a joke. RFI’s Daniel Finnan reporting from Malabo.”