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AU Summit begins as Nigeria, SADC back Malawian leader as chairman

By Okey NDIRIBE,  Addis- Ababa
Nigeria has joined other  countries backing the candidacy of Malawian PresidentMr Bingu Wa  Mutharika to head  the African Union at  the summit of the Heads of State of the continent body beginning tomorrow in Addis-Ababa.

Also, President of Uganda, Mr Yoweri Museveni, has pledged to raise his country’s troops contribution for the AU’s peace keeping mission in Somalia to 8,000. The Ugandan leader made the pledge during a meeting he held in Tripoli with Libyan leader and  President of AU Col. Mouammar Kadhafi. Both leaders also held discussions and reviewed ways of implementing  resolutions regarding the transformation of AU Commission into an authority of the African Union.

Both leaders also held discussions on the  on-going summit of the African Union.

Sources close to the Nigerian delegation to the summit told Saturday Vanguard that Nigeria had decided to throw its weight behind the Malawian leader who has already been endorsed by member states of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC).

Earlier in the week,  leaders of SADC  met at Maputo, the capital of Mozambique penultimate week during the investiture ceremony of President Armando Guebuza where they discussed the political and security situation prevailing in the continent. The meeting, presided over by President Joseph Kabila of DRC,  expressed deep concern over the political stalemate prevailing in the Republic of Madagascar.

The Southern African leaders commended the efforts of the SADC facilitator for his support to Zimbabwe  towards   the full implementation of that country’s internal political agreement and also condoled the Governments and peoples of Malawi, DR Congo and Haiti for the loss of human lives and destruction of goods as a result of natural disasters in these three countries.

The SADC leaders asked that humanitarian assistance should be extended to these countries.

The SADC summit also commended Botswana, Mozambique and Namibia for the credible elections they held. They  also hailed Angola and South Africa for the international football championships they are hosting this year.


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