PRETORIA, Feb 2 — South Africa will host the 25th African Union (AU) summit in Johannesburg in mid-2015, the Presidency says.
President Jacob Zuma led the South African delegation to last week’s 24th Ordinary Summit of the AU at its headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where Zimbabwe was elected chair of the AU for the year.
Zimbabwe will 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.
A statement issued by the Presidency here Sunday said that President Zuma took part in the discussion on security, focusing on the situation in the African Great Lakes Region, South Sudan and the threat posed by Boko Haram in Nigeria and surrounding countries.
He 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 AU Security Council agreed to the establishment of this force and agreed that requisite funding be provided, President Zuma said.
A special SADC meeting took place on the margins of the AU summit to consider the current developments in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) 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, an eight-nation Horn of Africa grouping, 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 (AU-PSC) once negotiations, which are at a delicate stage at the moment, are concluded,” President Zuma said.
The summit also reviewed the progress made in addressing the Ebola outbreak in West Africa (Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone) and reiterated the need to urgently establish the African Centre for Disease Control and Prevention this year, President Zuma said.
Meanwhile, he added that his Nigerian counterpart, President Goodluck Jonathan, did not approach him for help in the fight against the Boko Haram during the AU summit. The AU resolved to create a West African task force to counter the jihadists.
The president stated that there had not been any request until they met at the Security Council meeting. He confirmed though that there was a meeting request between him and President Jonathan, saying “if that meeting doesn’t happen, we will wait for a memo to be sent to South Africa and hear what the envoy says”.