Union summit vows to end
MAPUTO, Mozambique — The second
summit of the infant African Union ended in Maputo yesterday, with
heads of state appointing a leadership to oversee collective action
to end the civil wars tearing the continent apart.
Newly appointed AU Chairman Joachim
Chissano, the president of Mozambique, said Africa would attract
investors only once it achieved peace.
"At this assembly, a consensus was
reached that peace and stability are basic conditions for ensuring
Africa's harmonious and sustainable development," he said at the
"It is, therefore,
incumbent on us to find a durable solution to the situations of
tension and conflict still prevailing so as to transform Africa into
a region attracting investments," he added.
The heads of state focused on 10
conflicts currently raging in Africa, emphasizing the need to create
a Peace and Security Council able to deploy an African Standby Force
to intervene in genocidal wars.
Chissano reiterated a statement by outgoing AU Chairman Thabo Mbeki
of South Africa at the start of the event, urging countries who had
not yet ratified the Peace and Security Council protocol to do so. A
minimum of 27 ratifications are required, but just 17 countries had
endorsed it by Friday.
elected a nine-member team responsible for the daunting task of
establishing AU organs.
"It will be
their primary responsibility to define priorities in terms of the
organic units of the structure of the union, which should be
immediately put in place," Mr. Chissano said.
The former president of Mali, Alpha
Oumar Konare, will head the AU Commission, along with his deputy,
Rwanda's Great Lakes Minister Patrick Mazimhaka, and seven
commissioners — two men and five women, in line with the AU
constitution. The commission has representatives from all five
regions in Africa.
John Kufuor said leaders showed serious commitment to bringing peace
to the myriad conflicts.
"We are very
positive, very serious and very determined to end the conflict
around the continent. We want to restore peace and normalcy
everywhere so as to allow development," he said. "The atmosphere has
been very businesslike, there is a lot of commitment. It has been a
very successful summit."
The AU was
inaugurated in the eastern harbor city of Durban in South Africa a
year ago, with Mr. Mbeki appointed as its first chairman. He handed
the revolving post over to Mr. Chissano at the Maputo meeting.
The organization succeeded the
Organization of African Unity, disbanded after 39 years, partly
because it did not have the clout to intervene in political crises.
The AU constitution, on the other hand,
allows for interference in wars involving crimes against humanity,
and also supports a peer-review mechanism where leaders will
evaluate each other's performances in good governance and democracy.
The organization envisages a pan-African
parliament, which Mr. Mbeki wants up and running before the end of
the year, a court of justice and, in the long term, a common African
Its pet project is the New
Partnership for Africa's Development, designed to boost social and
economic levels. It promises sound governance in exchange for more
aid from the developed world.
our debates, we concluded that NEPAD is the driving force and the
vanguard instrument for the development of Africa," Mr. Chissano