African Union leaders elected South African Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as the first woman to lead the body’s commission, ending a divisive six-month stalemate over who would get the job.
A fight for the African Union’s top position has split its members and undermined its ability to deal with crises in nations such as Mali, Sudan and Somalia, said former Nigerian and U.S. envoys to the region.
South Africa failed in its bid to secure control of the African Union’s top decision-making body, setting back its plan for the continental organization to play a more forceful role in global politics.
An International Criminal Court arrest warrant for Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi and two others “pours oil on the fire” instead of helping to end the war, said Jean Ping, chairman of the African Union Commission.
The U.S. and the African Union expressed concern about the conflict between Sudan and South Sudan after planes bombed an oil field in the newly independent southern state and a meeting between the two countries’ leaders was canceled following border clashes.
The African Union must continue “fostering interaction” with all political actors in Libya, Jean Ping, chairman of the AU Commission, said at the opening of the group’s Peace and Security Council meeting today in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa.