Feb 3, 2007 ( JOHANNESBURG) — South African President Thabo Mbeki said on Friday that the decision to choose Ghanaian president as new chair of the African Union (AU) should not be seen as a rejection of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.
In his weekly newsletter on the ANC Today website, Mbeki said the nomination of Ghanaian President John Kufuor at the AU summit in Addis Ababa this week had been unanimous, and was backed by al- Bashir himself.
"The AU felt that everything should be done to commemorate the historic independence of Ghana in 1957," he said.
He said: "The decision taken by the AU Assembly in Addis Ababa, concerning who should chair the union during 2007, had absolutely nothing to do with humiliating or rejecting Sudan and President Omar al-Bashir."
"Those of us who serve within the structures of the African Union, and daily bear the responsibility to respond to what the World Economic Forum described as the promise of Africa, have a task to address Africa’s actual and real challenges," Mbeki added.
"To succeed in what we have to do, in the interest of the African masses, this means that we must separate prejudice and illusion from the hard and exciting reality of the actuality of the evolving African condition," he said.
To read the text of president Mbeki please go at: