Thursday, June 19, 2014

African Union unfreezes Egypt's membership

African Union Peace and Security Council unanimously unfreezes Egypt's membership in the body after an ambassadorial meeting in Ethopia
The African Union's Non Aligned Movement 17th Ministerial Conference (AA)
MEE and agencies's picture
Egyptian Ambassador to Ethiopia Mohammed Idris hailed a Tuesday decision by the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council to unfreeze Egypt's membership in the pan-African body.
The council's decision reflected the "historic relationship" between Egypt and the AU, said Idris to Anadolu Agency.
The Egyptian diplomat also said the decision came in recognition of Egypt's contribution to the African struggle for liberation from European colonialism.
The African Union's AU Peace and Security Council unanimously agreed at a meeting earlier Tuesday to unfreeze Egypt's membership in the pan-African body, according to a source that attended the meeting.
Tuesday's council meeting was held at the ambassadorial level to discuss a report by a high-level AU panel on Egypt, which had recommended reactivating Egypt's membership now that the country had approved a new constitution and elected a new president.
"The council heard a briefing on the panel's report by Ugandan Ambassador Mull S. Katende," the source, requesting anonymity, told Anadolu Agency.
"All ambassadors have endorsed the panel's recommendation," the source said.
In June, the Muslim Brotherhood submitted dossiers to the AU as part of an international legal campaign to hold Egypt’s generals and ministers to criminal account for mass arrests, shootings, torture in custody, and show trials. A month earlier, the international legal team of Egypt's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) also provided the AU's Commission on Human and People's Rights with documents regarding the mass death sentencing of hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood supporters by a Cairo court. 
The AU had suspended Egypt's membership last summer, two days after the Egyptian army ousted elected president Mohamed Morsi after only one year in office.
The move came as an automatic measure taken in the event of an unconstitutional change of government in an AU member state.
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni is expected to preside over an upcoming meeting of the 15-member council, scheduled for 25 June.
The meeting will convene on the sidelines of the 23rd AU Summit, which will be hosted by Malabo, capital of Equatorial Guinea, from 20-27 June.
Egypt completed the second step of an army-imposed transitional roadmap late last month with the election of former army chief Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi as president.
Sisi, who led army's ouster of Morsi, was inaugurated as Egypt's president on Sunday after winning 26-28 May polls.
The AU had sent a 45-strong mission, led by former Mauritanian premier Mohamed Lemine Ould Guig, to observe the vote.
In a preliminary report, the mission said the polls had been held in a "peaceful and orderly" environment, but criticised a crackdown on protests by Egyptian authorities and the mass arrest of activists in the run-up to the vote.
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