Egypt’s El-Sisi assumes AU presidency

Elias Hubbard
February 10, 2019

The Africa Union Commission today unveils the statue of Ethiopia's Emperor Haile Selassie I build in the AU headquarters compound in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

But the former Egyptian military leader is expected to stress security and peacekeeping issues.

"Terrorism remains a cancer that affects African nations and steals the dreams of our people and we must identify and combat those who fund terrorism activities on the continent", Sisi said in a speech to the AU assembly shortly after his appointment.

Shoukry reviewed the priorities of the Egyptian presidency, which include economic integration, regional integration, economic and social development, peace and security, cultural and civilization bridges between African peoples and cooperation with global partners.

Sisi takes the helm from Rwandan President Paul Kagame, who focused on creating an Africa wide free-trade zone during his tenure.

Several African leaders at the current African Union summit and relatives of the emperor attended the statue unveiling ceremony.

"The commemorative statue of emperor Haile Selassie is an important recognition of the emperor's contribution to Africa's liberation and unity leading up to the founding of the Organisation of African Unity in 1963", the global relations and cooperation department said in a statement on Sunday.

But it has met resistance not only from Egypt, but other member states, so may fail to pass.

Five years ago, the AU suspended El Sisi's after a coup that unseated Mohamed Morsi. The bloc later lifted Egypt's suspension.

Amnesty International expressed fears that Egypt's chairmanship could undermine human rights mechanisms in the AU.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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