Masisi Lauds African Union Summit

| June 17, 2015

The Vice President, Mr Mokgweetsi Masisi, has described the just ended 25th Ordinary Session of the African Union (AU), which was held in South Africa, as a success.

He lauded the session for being vocal on issues affecting women across the African continent. Speaking in an interview on his arrival from the summit on June 16, the Vice President said the AU saw the need to deliberate on issues affecting women as they were usually “victims of unfortunate socio-economic hardships.”

Mr Masisi said the continent had come to the realisation that its women folk were prone to various vicious forms of violence, explaining that all heads of state and delegates unanimously resolved to condemn such acts and called for their immediate end.

He said Botswana presented on gender-based violence as well as the initiatives the country was undertaking to arrest the situation.

He said the chairperson of the African Union Commission, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, raised the plight of women who were at times forced to bend over to weed large tracts of farm land using a traditional hoe.

She gave the AU 54 motorised hoes donated from Poland. Each member state had been given one and will buy 99 more to donate to women groupings in their respective counties, he said.

Mr Masisi said the meeting also talked about the need for the organisation to re-introspect and determine how best to carry out projects timely and generate its own revenue as opposed to over-reliance on donors.

He said member stated had been graded according to their economic performance and categorised into groups that would contribute varying revenue amounts to the organisation.

He further said that the meeting had to contend with the arrest of Sudanese president, Mr Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted at the International Criminal Court (ICC) over war crimes and crimes against humanity.

He said although a Pretoria High Court had issued an order that al-Bashir should not leave the country, it was regrettable that he left the country before the court could resolve the matter.

Mr Masisi said should al-Bashir come to Botswana, he would be accordingly arrested and handed over to the ICC to clear his name as there was no need for anyone to run away from this court if they were innocent.

The Vice President said although there were those who reasoned that the court was biased against African leaders, there was a need for leaders in the continent to refrain from abusing their powers and persecuting their own people.

The ICC issued arrest warrants for al-Bashir in 2009 and 2010, accusing him of masterminding genocide and other atrocities in his campaign to crush a revolt in the Darfur region.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: Governance

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