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African Union summit – 2014 Year of Agriculture

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African Union summit, Addis Ababa, January 2014

African Union summit, Addis Ababa, January 2014

Radio France Internationale’s English service

A series of interviews and reports from the 22nd African Union summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Includes coverage from the Executive Council and Assembly as well as stories on South Sudan, Somalia, Kenya, Libya, Algeria, the AU Immediate Response to Crises force and agriculture, the summit’s theme.


26 Jan 2014

Report: AU ministers attend Bahir Dar retreat, civil society voices concern over South Sudan

In Addis Ababa, African Union foreign ministers returned from a special ministerial retreat in the Ethiopian city of Bahir Dar on Sunday in which they discussed the Africa Agenda 2063. This formed part of the lead up to the main African Union summit meetings later this week and was intended as a brainstorm session on Pan-Africanism and the future of Africa in 50 years time. Meanwhile, in Addis Ababa itself civil society voiced its concern about various crises across the continent, sending a message to heads of state before the summit kicks off. RFI’s Daniel Finnan reports from the Ethiopian capital…

Radio France Internationale: AU foreign ministers debate Africa’s future, citizens raise more urgent concerns


27 Jan 2014

Interview: Nicholas Kay, UN Special Rep for Somalia on US missile strike, new cabinet and Jubaland

In Somalia, the US military carried out a missile strike on Sunday against a suspected militant leader with ties to the hardline Al-Shabaab group. Al-Shabaab have been weakened in recent years following operations by African Union forces (Amisom). Meanwhile, there have been numerous political developments in the country – a new cabinet has been approved in recent days and last month a new prime minister was appointed, the second in just over a year. So what does the UN make of this, as it tries to help the government rebuild the country after years of civil war. RFI’s Daniel Finnan speaks to Nicholas Kay, the UN Special Representative for Somalia

Radio France Internationale: UN, new prime minister, new cabinet – new hope for Somalia?


27 Jan 2014

Report: Opening of AU Executive Council

Foreign ministers from across Africa gathered in Addis Ababa on Monday for the opening of the African Union’s executive council meetings. The theme of this year’s summit is agriculture. There are hopes that a so-called African agricultural revolution could help stop the continent being one of the most food insecure regions in the world. However, crises in South Sudan and the Central African Republic are somewhat overshadowing the agenda – with an unsure ceasefire in South Sudan between rebels and the government, and continued violence between Muslims and Christians in the CAR. RFI’s Daniel Finnan reports from the Ethiopian capital…


28 Jan 2014

Interview: Amina Mohamed, Kenya’s Foreign Minister on ICC, South Sudan, Somali refugees & splits in EAC

Kenya’s Foreign Minister Amina Mohamed told RFI on Tuesday that they expect some kind of resolution by the end of the African Union summit to conclude the whole International Criminal Court (ICC) “chapter”. On South Sudan, Mohamed said countries from the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) will participate in monitoring of the agreed ceasefire, while not ruling out Kenyan involvement. She denied that Kenya had ever suggested that it would forcibly remove Somali refugees residing in Kenya, at the same time Kenya is currently scouting for areas that Somali refugees can return to. On apparent splits between Tanzania the rest of the East African Community (EAC), Mohamed said there were no divides, the EAC remains “together”. Mohamed spoke to RFI’s Daniel Finnan…


28 Jan 2014

Report: African Union Executive Council draft resolutions

In Addis Ababa, foreign ministers at the African Union summit will on Wednesday adopt a long series of resolutions which will be submitted to heads of state for their approval later this week. RFI has obtained a draft copy of this 50-page document which covers both the functioning of the numerous AU institutions, its programmes and ambitions for the next 50 years. RFI’s Daniel Finnan reports from the Ethiopian capital…


28 Jan 2014

Interview: Mohamed Abdelaziz, Libya’s Foreign Minister on Al-Qaeda, militias and demilitarisation

During an interview on the sidelines of the African Union summit in Addis Ababa, Libya’s Foreign Minister Mohamed Abdelaziz on Tuesday responded to claims that Al-Qaeda are operating in southern Libya. He says Libya is currently finalising a plan with the European Union on the demilitarisation of the country. But at the same, Abdelaziz says, it must be understood that “military groups” do continue to contribute to security. Abdelaziz spoke to RFI’s Daniel Finnan…


28 Jan 2014

Q&A: Ramtane Lamamra, Algerian Foreign Minister on South Sudan, security in Libya & health of Bouteflika

Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra told RFI on Tuesday that there are ongoing discussions about the monitoring of the ceasefire agreement in South Sudan. On the sidelines of the African Union summit in Addis Ababa, the former AU Commissioner for Peace and Security said that some countries have already volunteered to take part in the verification of the agreed cessation of hostilities. In recent discussions between Algeria and Libya, Lamamra said they had talked about a resumption of cooperation in the oil industry, agriculture and security, as well as a focus on the training of Libyan law enforcement agencies. Following concerns about the health of Algeria President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, Lamamra said that he was feeling very well and was in charge of day-to-day operations of the country. He said they were discussing the deployment of AU observers for forthcoming elections in Algeria. Lamamra spoke to RFI’s Daniel Finnan…


29 Jan 2014

Somalia greenlighted US drone strike against radical Islamists: President

There are reports that a US drone strike in Somalia at the weekend was targeting the leader of al-Shabaab. Ahmed Abdi Godane was reportedly in the vicinity of the drone attack, but he was not killed. This comes as the Somali president, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, attends the African Union summit in Addis Ababa. RFI’s Daniel Finnan spoke to the Somali president about the fight against al-Shabaab, domestic politics and his country’s relationship with Kenya.


29 Jan 2014

Interview: Linda Thomas-Greenfield, US Assistant Secretary for African Affairs & Donald Booth, US Special Envoy to Sudan and South Sudan

In the Central African Republic, at least two people died on the streets of Bangui on Wednesday as pro-Christian militias killed a Muslim with machetes and knives. Discussions at the high-level African Union summit in Addis Ababa include the possibility of putting more troops on the ground, which is wanted by France and the transitional CAR president Catherine Samba-Panza. Meanwhile, in South Sudan fighting has not yet ended, despite an agreed ceasefire, while the humanitarian situation continues to get worse. RFI’s Daniel Finnan spoke to the top US official for Africa and US envoy for South Sudan on the sidelines of the African Union summit in Addis Ababa. She told us more about the US position on current African crises…


31 Jan 2014

Report: African Union’s ACIRC force

In Addis Ababa, the African Union summit came to a close on Friday with a decision by African heads of state on a new force to deal with immediate crises across the continent. According to a draft of the resolution seen by RFI, a number of countries have initially volunteered to the so-called African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises force. RFI’s Daniel Finnan reports…


31 Jan 2014

Interview: Amina Mohamed, Foreign Affairs Minister, Kenya

Kenyan Foreign Affairs Minister Amina Mohamed speaking about South Sudan ceasefire monitoring following an Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) meeting at the African Union summit in Addis Ababa on Friday.


31 Jan 2014

South Sudan dossier

In Addis Ababa, members of the regional IGAD group said on Friday that monitors of the shaky ceasefire in South Sudan must be in place within the next 48 hours. The Intergovernmental Authority on Development met on the sidelines of the African Union summit in Ethiopia’s capital to discuss the verification mechanism for the agreed ceasefire, which IGAD negotiated. Clashes continue despite the deal signed last week by government and rebels supporting former vice president Riek Machar. Meanwhile 4 senior SPLM officials remain detained in Juba, accused of an alleged coup. IGAD member Uganda had sent in troops to back South Sudanese President Salva Kiir days after fighting broke out. During negotiations the rebels had insisted that the Ugandans be removed as a condition to the ceasefire. After the meeting, RFI’s Daniel Finnan spoke to James Wani Igga, South Sudan’s Vice President, who justified the presence of Ugandan troops…

James Wani Igga, Vice President, South Sudan at the African Union summit

Thousands have been killed in South Sudan and half a million people displaced since fighting broke out in mid-December. We spoke to Ugandan’s Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa in the Ethiopian capital, who says that Uganda is not quite ready to withdraw its troops…

Sam Kutesa, Foreign Minister, Uganda on South Sudan at African Union summit

Khartoum had played a role as the crisis in South Sudan unfolded. Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir met with Kiir at the start of January. The two countries have a shared interest in the oil industry, with most of the region’s oil fields in South Sudan and pipelines that run through Sudan. RFI’s Daniel Finnan spoke to the Sudanese foreign minister Ali Karti, on the sidelines of the AU summit. He says they’re concerned about the role Uganda is playing in the conflict…

Q&A: Ali Karti, Foreign Affairs Minister, Sudan

A number of Western powers have an interest in ending the violence in South Sudan. The US helped broker the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, which helped establish South Sudan as an independent country. RFI’s Daniel Finnan spoke to US Special Envoy to Sudan and South Sudan, Don Booth. After the talks in Addis Ababa, he says the IGAD talks are heading in the right direction…

Interview: Donald Booth, US Special Envoy to Sudan and South Sudan


30 Jan 2014

Agriculture

Interview: Bob Geldof on African agriculture, conflict and the African Union

There have been many advocates and champions of Africa, with one Irishman who stands out for his activism, especially regarding his efforts against poverty. The singer-songwriter Bob Geldof is probably best known for Band Aid, a campaign that raised money for the famine relief effort in Ethiopia in 1984. He’s currently supporting an initiative pushing African governments to devote 10 per cent of their national budget to agricultural spending. Currently only eight African countries hit this target. RFI’s Daniel Finnan spoke to him on Thursday before he joined African heads of state for lunch at the African Union summit in Addis Ababa…

Radio France Internationale: Bob Geldof backs African agriculture

2nd Feb 2014

Interview: D’Banj, Nigerian rapper, entertainer and cocoa farmer

In Addis Ababa, the African Union summit has concluded with a commitment to invest 10 per cent of national budgets to investment in agriculture. At the moment only eight African countries hit this target, which was originally outlined in the 2003 Maputo Declaration. It’s hoped that increased investment will improve agricultural infrastructure and research leading to a boost in productivity and an improvement in food security. RFI’s Daniel Finnan spoke to Nigerian rapper and entertainer D’Banj, who is part of the ONE campaign’s push to ensure governments fulfil their commitment…

Radio France Internationale: Campaign urges African states to invest more on agriculture


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