SA to host next AU Summit

SA to host next AU Summit

ADDIS ABABA – SOUTH  Africa will host the 25th African Union (AU) summit in Johannesburg, in mid-2015, the presidency said on Sunday.

President Jacob Zuma led the South African delegation at the summit, where Zimbabwe was elected chair of the AU for the year, presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj said in a statement.
Zimbabwe would have the double responsibility of leading both the continent and the sub-region as chair of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
Among the issues discussed at the summit were the escalation in terrorism in parts of Africa and the AU’s co-ordinated response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
Zuma took part in the discussion on security, focusing on the situation in the Great Lakes Region, South Sudan and the threat posed by Boko Haram in Nigeria and the surrounding countries.
Zuma said the countries of the Lake Chad Basin (Cameroon, Chad, Nigeria and Niger) had established a multinational force and sought endorsement from the AU.
The security council agreed to the establishment of this force and that requisite funding be provided, Zuma said.
A special meeting of the SADC took place on the margins of the summit to consider the current developments in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Great Lakes Region. The need to disarm “negative forces” in the region was also discussed at summit level.
In regard to South Sudan, Zuma stated that member states of the inter-governmental authority on development met on the sidelines of the AU summit in an attempt to finalise the agreement related to the modalities on how the government of South Sudan would be structured.
“A report on the situation in South Sudan will be presented to the AU peace and security council once negotiations, which are at a delicate stage at the moment, are concluded,” Zuma said.
The summit also reviewed the progress made in addressing the Ebola outbreak in West Africa (Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone).

The summit reiterated the need to urgently establish the African Centre for Disease Control and Prevention this year, Zuma said. - Sapa