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latest news > news in brief > Africa: Civil Society to AU: Investment Must Address Marginalisation

Inter Press Service (IPS)

Africa: Civil Society to AU: Investment Must Address Marginalisation

16 July 2009

No gathering hosted by Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi is ever dull, and the Thirteenth Ordinary Session of the African Union, concluding in Sirte, Libya today has not disappointed.

A surprise invitation to Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who is facing down massive popular protest over his disputed re-election as president, briefly threatened to overshadow the meeting, but he did not in the end attend.

The other source of drama was the renewed challenge to the International Criminal Court, on grounds that it unfairly targets Africans. With Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir (who has been charged with grave war crimes in Sudan by the ICC) a confident and welcome guest in Sirte, a proposal originating with Libya calling for non-cooperation of AU member states in the arrest or handover of ICC indictees was unexpectedly put forward for discussion.

As is customary, the meeting of heads of state took place behind closed doors, but signs of tension leaked out Thursday when Gaddafi briefly walked out of the meeting, reportedly frustrated by continued opposition to his dream to strengthen continental government through a "united states of Africa". Read more

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