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Gadhafi Miffed Over African Union Ousting

Monday, 01 Feb 2010 10:16 AM


Libya's leader Muammar Gadhafi has failed in his bid to stay on as president of the African Union for another year.

At the annual AU summit in Ethiopia, leaders from 53 African countries chose the president of Malawi, Bingu wa Mutharika, to take his place.

A BBC correspondent at the summit says Col Gadhafi was very reluctant to stand down, causing considerable resentment.

He used his farewell speech to call for political unity in Africa.

Earlier UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged African leaders to work for national unity in Sudan to prevent the south seceding from the north.

Mr Ban said both the UN and AU had a big responsibility "to maintain peace in Sudan and make unity attractive".

A referendum is due next year on whether the oil-rich south should become independent.

Libya has chaired the AU for the past year, and under the system of rotating regional blocs, the job was due to go to a southern African leader.

However, Mr Gaddafi wanted to extend the term. He had the support of Tunisia, and is said to have won over some smaller countries by paying their AU membership dues.

Malawi was apparently backed solidly for the role by southern and eastern African countries.

The BBC's Uduak Amimo says the organisation needed a country chair with strong financial muscle, like Libya, but also needed to be seen to be respecting its own rules and processes.

After conceding the presidency, Mr Gadhafi said he would continue to promote his vision of a "United States of Africa", adding that he did not need to keep the title of AU head.

"My brother president of the Republic of Malawi will replace me and take over," he said.

To read full BBC story — Go Here Now.

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2010-16-01
Monday, 01 Feb 2010 10:16 AM
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