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09.07.2004 General News

President Kufuor To Chair AU Defence Committee

The President of Ghana, H.E J.A. Kufuor, has been endorsed by the Assembly of the African Union to chair a six-member committee of African Heads of State to study a Libyan sponsored proposal on the adoption of common defence and security policy for Africa.

The Assembly also endorsed a proposal tabled by Ghana to confirm South Africa as the seat of the Pan-African Parliament.

The other members of the committee are President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, President Dennis Sassou Nguesso of Congo Brazziville, President Joaquim Alberto Chissanon of Mozambique and the Ethiopian Prime Minister, Meles Zenawi.

The endorsement of President Kufuor as the chairman of the committee is in recognition of the strategic role he has played in regional matters, particularly in the conflicts in Cote d'Ivoire and Liberia.

“There is a growing confidence among African leaders in the leadership of President Kufuor,” Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, Foreign Minister, said in an interview.

At a special summit of the African Union on water and agriculture in Sirte, Libya in February this year, the Libyan leader, Col Muamar al-Qathafi, proposed the creation of a unified defence force in Africa but his colleague leaders rejected his idea and rather opted for the establishment of five regional standby forces capable of responding quickly to conflicts on the continent.

At the Third Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union currently under way in Addis Ababa, Libya was rather pushing for the adoption of common defence and security policy. It is not clear whether it is the same as the proposal for the creation of unified defence force which was rejected at the special session of the AU in Libya.

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