[dehai-news] Bloomberg.com: loomberg.com: Libya's Qaddafi May Be Next African Union Chief, Analysts Say

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From: Berhane Habtemariam (Berhane.Habtemariam@gmx.de)
Date: Fri Jan 30 2009 - 08:06:50 EST

Libya's Qaddafi May Be Next African Union Chief, Analysts Say

By Jason McLure

Jan. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Libyan leader
ds=wnnis&sort=date:D:S:d1> Muammar Qaddafi may be chosen as the new chairman
of the <http://www.africa-union.org/root/au/index/index.htm> African Union
when heads of state gather for a summit in Ethiopia next week, said analysts
including Kenneth Mpyisi of the <http://www.iss.co.za/> Institute for
Security Studies.

Qaddafi is "the leading candidate" to replace Tanzania's President
s=wnnis&sort=date:D:S:d1> Jakaya Kikwete, Mpyisi said in an interview
yesterday from the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. The choice of Qaddafi,
who has previously proposed the creation of a United States of Africa, may
spur cooperation between the continent's 53 economies, said Desire
Assogbavi, an African Union political analyst for Oxfam International.

"Having Gaddafi in this position would be an accelerator for integration,"
Assogbavi said in a phone interview in Addis Ababa, where the AU's
headquarters are located.

Choosing Qaddafi to lead the AU would be controversial, given the AU's
objective of promoting democracy and peace on the continent. Qaddafi has
ruled Libya since seizing power in a 1969 coup. His government has sponsored
rebel movements in countries including Sudan, Chad and Niger, and accepted
responsibility for the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie,
Scotland, in which 270 people died.

A leader from a North African country has never held the AU's top post.

African leaders begin their three-day meeting on Feb. 1. While the theme of
the gathering is infrastructure development, talks will probably focus on
crises in <http://www.un.org/Depts/Cartographic/map/profile/zimbabwe.pdf>
Zimbabwe, Sudan's western region of Darfur, and
<http://www.un.org/Depts/Cartographic/map/profile/somalia.pdf> Somalia.

Zimbabwe Impasse

In Zimbabwe, President
=wnnis&sort=date:D:S:d1> Robert Mugabe and his main opponent, Movement for
Democratic Change leader
elds=wnnis&sort=date:D:S:d1> Morgan Tsvangirai, on Jan. 27 agreed to form a
coalition administration to end a 10-month political crisis. The unity
government, to be appointed on Feb. 13, is being formed after Mugabe,
Tsvangirai and
ields=wnnis&sort=date:D:S:d1> Arthur Mutambara, head of an MDC faction,
agreed on Sept. 15, 2008, to share power.

Implementation of the agreement had stalled over disagreements about who
would lead key ministries, including Home Affairs, which controls the

Continuing fighting in Darfur will also probably be discussed. A joint
United Nations-AU peacekeeping force in Darfur is operating at only 60
percent of its intended 26,000- strong capacity, following disputes with
Sudan's government and after African nations failed to commit sufficient
troops to the operation.

The 18-year civil war in
<http://www.un.org/Depts/Cartographic/map/profile/somalia.pdf> Somalia will
also come under discussion, following the withdrawal of Ethiopian troops
earlier this month and the subsequent capture of the town of Baidoa, the
seat of the Somali parliament, by an Islamist militia.

The AU has 3,400 peacekeepers in Somalia, and is supporting Somalia's
transitional federal government.

Not attending the summit will be the leaders of Mauritania and Guinea. The
two West African nations were suspended from the AU after coup d'etats last


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