Uganda gains seat on AU Peace and Security Council

By Henry D Gombya

A very happy President Museveni (1st right) grins from ear to ear after the accolades he received at the AU meeting in Addis Ababa. He is pictured with (from right to left) UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, President Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame (Photo by Paul Kagame photostream)

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni’s decision to help stop the al-Qaeda-leaning Somali militant group Al Shabaab has been rewarded by fellow African leaders after Uganda was appointed as the only East African country to sit on the all-powerful Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU).

Having answered the call to send troops to stop Somalia from being overtaken by Al-Qaeda, President Museveni who came to power in Uganda in 1986 and is one of the longest serving African Heads  of State, can now revel in the respect other African leaders are finally showing him. While other African leaders were dithering as the Al-Shabaab threatened to take over power in Somalia, President Museveni took the courage to send without any hesitation thousands of Ugandan troops to engage Al-Shabaab. While the number of Ugandan casualties in this war remain a state secret, there is no doubt that President Museveni led the way into making Somalia governable again. By doing so, he has made Uganda become respectable among other nations for taking hard decisions at critical times in the continent’s volatile history.

Other countries chosen to make the five-member committe include Nigeria, Algeria, Equatorial Guinea and Mozambique. Membership on the AU Peace and Security Council is  for a three year term . The Council is literally the equivalent of the United Nations Security Council.

The announcement of Uganda’s election was made at the conclusion of the 20th Ordinary Session of the AU which was held under the theme ‘Pan Africanism and African Renaissance’.  Addressing the closing ceremony, the AU’s new Chairman, Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn expressed satisfaction at the active participation of all the Heads of States and Government in the discussions on various issues of interest to the continent. He said: “Your valuable comments and contributions have no doubt enriched our debate and informed the decisions that we have adopted on a myriad of issues.

Having seen how the International Criminal Court has treated African leaders, AU Heads of State requested the African Union Commission on International Law to examine the proposed establishment of an Africa International Constitutional Court and make recommendations to the 22nd Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union that will take place in January 2014 on the said proposal.  On the integration of the new Africa- Asia Strategic Partnership (NAASP) into African Union structures and processes. The Assembly requested the Commission to take the necessary steps towards the integration of the New Africa-Asia Strategic Partnership (NAASP) into the African Union structures and processes.

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