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Ethiopian PM Hailemariam Desalegn Elected as African Union Chairman

By William Davison (bloomberg)

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn was elected by African heads of state as chairman of the African Union today, replacing Benin’s President Yayi Boni.

The 47-year-old Hailemariam, who became leader of Ethiopia after the death from illness of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi in August, will serve a one-year term as head of the African Union, or AU.

The 54-member continental bloc’s assembly is meeting in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa. The AU faces several security challenges on the continent, including rebellions in Mali, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic, and continuing tension between South Sudan and Sudan which have failed to implement agreements on borders.

hailemarima_d_at_parlama

“We should do everything possible to help restore constitutional order in Mali and safeguard the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country,” Hailemariam said.

The Addis Ababa-based AU Commission is headed by South Africa’s Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who was elected for a four-year term in July and is the first woman to head the organization’s secretariat.

Hailemariam, a former foreign minister and deputy prime minister, is from the minority Wolayta ethnicity that has historically been excluded from power in Ethiopia by more populous groups. He is also a Protestant in a nation dominated by Orthodox Christians and Muslims.



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The Ethiopian Prime Minster Hailemariam Dessalegn has taken over the rotating chairmanship of the African Union from President Boni Yayi of Benin.

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One Comment

  1. I thought the purpose of African Union was to make Africa one country instead of one continent.
    Africa need to unite to become strong.
    Euro is a sign of Europeans uniting and becoming stronger.
    What is stopping Africans from eliminating the boarders that were imposed upon them by Europeans? Nothing except the brain washed leaders like Mr. Desalegn that say “We should do everything possible to help restore ..in Mali… territorial integrity of the country.”
    As a chairman of AU he should worry about the territorial(land grab) ,cultural and societal integrity of Africa as a whole otherwise AU is going to be looked at like another slave trader sell out which I believe is not the purpose of Au at all.

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