Home | News    Tuesday 16 October 2012

New AU chief takes office, vows to tackle continent’s crises

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By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

October 15, 2012 (ADDIS ABABA) – The new head of the African Union Commission, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, took office on Monday becoming the first female to assume the top position of the 54 member continental bloc.

A special handing over ceremony was held at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where outgoing Chairman Jean Ping, who had been in the position since 2008, handed over the gavel - a small ceremonial mallet - to his successor.

After the inauguration Dlamini-Zuma, who has previously served as South Africa’s health and foreign affairs minister, vowed to work towards solving the peace and security challenges facing the African continent.

“We will spare no efforts to try and resolve conflicts in Mali and the Sahelian region, the crisis that has the potential to spread across the region and even the continent,” she said adding supporting the political transition in war torn Somalia will also be among her priorities to be addressed.

She also vowed to support economic development, ensure women’s rights, and boost health and education.

Dlamini Zuma, who will take over the leadership for a four-year term, will be assisted by her deputy, Erastus Mwencha who will mainly be tasked with political and economic affairs.

Ethiopia’s new Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, Boni Yayi, President of the Republic of Benin and Chairperson of the African Union, AU officials, diplomats and other regional and international representatives attended the handing over ceremony.

Dlamini-Zuma was elected as AU Chairwoman at the 19th AU Heads of States and Governments assembly held in July in Addis Ababa after a heavily contested election where she beat the incumbent, Jean Ping of Gabon.

Dlamini-Zuma, 63, is a medical doctor and a veteran of the fight against apartheid. Until her appointment as head of the AU Commission she was serving as South Africa’s home affairs minister.

She is the former wife of South African President Jacob Zuma. Her appointment is a change from the custom that the AU commission in led by a politician from one of Africa’s smaller nations. South Africa has the continents larger economy.

Implementing Septembers deal between Sudan and South Sudan and ensuring the two sides do not return to conflict will be one of her major challenges.

(ST)

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  • 16 October 2012 07:58, by zulu

    spla oye. one armed tank destroyed and two captured from the enemies of peace, the NCP. Viva la revolution

    repondre message

  • 16 October 2012 09:09, by Tutbol

    Ms Zuma should make sure that the Europeans are stricted on the corridors of the AU head-quartors especially the UK and France if she is going to succeed in solving anything and to refrain from being lobbied by parasites like her country man, Mbeki, otherwise, we will be watching. African states are not UK and France’s oversea provinces any more.

    repondre message

    • 16 October 2012 22:13, by Peacocktail

      the AU chairperson already divorce the Husband becoz of Selfishness, Shame on her,She think there are many men hanging around there to attract and invade, Zero work, I do not respect her beoz many women shall follows her and we shall have many pple dying from HIV/AIDS. She should quite instead of infecting many African.Useless, no Africa solution shall comes from her leadership. Go back home

      repondre message

  • 16 October 2012 09:22, by Tutbol

    Some Europeans permenant members of the UNSC still use their 70 yrs diplomatic manuals on non permenant member states and they think no one knows their foolishness, which bring us to our Africans belief that a whiteman had closed himself in a hole that he becomes out of touch with reality. He thinks what he does is right when others see it in different light. He goes on with what-can-u-do diplomac

    repondre message

  • 16 October 2012 09:25, by Tutbol

    Some EU permenant members of the UNSC still use their 70 yrs diplomatic manuals on non permenant member states and they think no one knows their foolishness, which brings us to our Africans belief that a whiteman had closed himself in a hole that he is out of touch with reality. He thinks what he does is right when others see it in different light. He goes on with what-can-u-do kind of diplomacy.

    repondre message

  • 16 October 2012 11:18, by James Maker Akok

    African Union Leaders are celebrating of Destroying South Sudan right and telling the world that they solved the problems already.
    This is very big too sorrow/destroy to us we South Sudanese people in South Sudan and around the world. I been thinking all 24 hours why our Leaders don’t go for International Court for this Map problem to be solve by International Court

    repondre message

  • 16 October 2012 11:26, by James Maker Akok

    Contact me to see the Original Map Border Line between South Sudan and North Sudan. This is Map will be taken to go for International Court.
    jamesmakerakok@gmail.com

    repondre message

    • 16 October 2012 22:07, by Peacocktail

      I Had never support any AU chairperson becoz they are their as Pupet of the West, They late Col.Gadhafi being humilated and Killed by West due to wealth in his Country Libya, this will hapen one day in Sudan and SOuth Sudan, they shall lost second leader to Dr.Garang due the resources. I don’t support AU Mission, they are toothless and do not represent Africa but West interest. This Lady is usele

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