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July 07, 2013

African Union to Send ‘Eminent Personalities’ Team to Egypt

An African Union team of eminent persons plans to meet this week with Egypt’s interim leadership, following the ouster of the democratically elected President Mohammed Morsi.

“Egypt is an important member of the African Union and we would not in any way allow Egypt to degenerate into chaos.  We would do all we could to ensure that Egypt remains stable and prosperous, God willing,” said Ambassador Aisha Laraba Abdullahi, the African Union’s Political Affairs Commissioner.

Abdullahi also called for peace and reconciliation in Egypt following violent clashes between supporters and opponents of Mr. Morsi’s ouster.

“We note with deep concern the violence that happened on Friday and the early morning of Saturday,” continued Abdullahi, “We hope that the human-rights violation, the use of firearm to control protesters should be strongly discouraged.  We frown upon that and we call for peace for reconciliation for tolerance, so that Egypt could bounce back.”

Abdullahi’s comments came after newly installed President Adly Mansour appeared to back away from an announcement that former Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohammed ElBaradei would be made prime minister.  The Muslim Brotherhood says it rejects ElBaradei’s appointment and vowed to protest until Mr. Morsi is returned to power.

The African Union suspended Egypt’s membership Friday following the group’s Peace and Security Council’s meeting.

“The African Union will not tolerate unconstitutional [overthrow] of government of any form from any of its member states and this will remain our principle,” said Abdullahi.

“We call on the new authorities in Egypt to promote dialogue to reconcile to ensure that the constitution that would be drafted is [an] all inclusive one that would embrace everybody and promote peace, stability and hopefully development for Egypt, to ensure that as soon as they draw up a chronogram that they comply with the chronogram to ensure that this military action is not repeated.”

Abdullahi says the African Union will work closely with the North African country to restore constitutional rule.

“The AU is sending a team of African eminent personalities to discuss with the interim authorities so that they quickly set up a chronogram that would make them to go ahead and organize elections, which would hopefully, allow the country to also draw up a new constitution, go for elections and once that is done, we would be happy to re-admit Egypt back into the union,” said Abdullahi.

The African Union has also called for Egypt’s interim leaders to ensure Morsi’s safety after the military placed the former leader under house arrest after he was ousted.

“We continue to call for peace, for calm for respect of human rights for tolerance and understanding among the Egyptians,” said Abdullahi.
Clottey interview with Aisha Abdullahi, AU Political Affairs Commissioner