Home | News    Tuesday 3 February 2009

Libya’s Gadhafi elected at the head of the African Union

February 2, 2009 (ADDIS ABABA) – African heads of states and governments designated the Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi to chair the African Union for one year.

Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi attends the opening of the African heads of State summit on February 2, 2009 in Addis Ababa. (AFP)

In a closed door meeting, Gadhafi has been elected as North Africa did not chair the African body since 2000. As he is in favor of a quick creation of the United States of Africa some countries opposed to the idea showed reluctance to see him at the AU chairpersonship.

Leaders of the Southern African zone lobbied for a leader from their region but their efforts had failed.

Wearing a gold robe and guarded by a female bodyguard, Gadhafi accepted the position in a short speech where he vowed to work plans to establish the United States of Africa. "I think the coming time will be a time of serious work and a time of action and not words," he concluded.

The Libyan leader, 66, faces several crises in Africa, like Madagascar unrest, Zimbabwe, conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan Chad relations and Darfur crisis.

Gadhafi election at the head of the African Union could give Libya the opportunity to follow closely the ongoing efforts to organize peace talks between Sudan government and Darfur main rebel movements.

The joint mediator Bassolé and the state of Qatar have to work with a country they tried to minimize his role up to now. Libya had failed to sponsor peace talks in October 2007. At the time the mediators thought Tripoli can bring rebels.