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25.03.2004 General News

African Youth Command rejects AU Parliament

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The African Youth Command (AYC) on Thursday rejected the mode of composition of the African Union Parliament (AUP) and called for its immediate review to include human rights and civil society organisations.

The AYC contends that picking only five elected members of African Parliamentarians from the various 53 member-states of the AU to constitute the new AUP is to distance and isolate the parliament as an ivory tower from the perception and involvement of the citizenry. A statement signed in Accra by AYC General Secretary Alhaji Yakubu Salley and addressed to President Alpha Oumar Konare, Chairman of the African Union Commission (AUC), urged African leaders to let the new AUP reflect the dire aspirations of the suffering people of Africa. "The AYC postulates that by picking only MPs from Member-States of the AU without considering the inclusion of the human rights and expertise of African Civil Society, the AUC has committed error, which must quickly be redressed," it said.

The AYC argues that African Civil Society is very pregnant with eminent intellectuals from academia, medical health and agricultural professions as well as engineering and astronomy sciences, technocrats and custodian of traditional chieftaincy and other social economic disciplines.

The group also expressed dismay by "the tortoise-pace" development of the structure of the AU and called on the leaders to accelerate with visionary vigour, enthusiasm to salvage the continent. The AYC contends that there is very little merit to fashion the structures of the AU strictly along the same lines as that of the European Union, which has taken nearly half a century to attain its present enviable position in international geo-politics.

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