No agreement over Africa unity plan

The African Union met until the wee hours today but failed to agree on the creation of a new body to move the continent towards a single government.

It all unravelled when Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi stormed out of the
meeting room just after 2 am this morning and a few minutes later, all
the leaders filed out.

Asked why Colonel Gaddafi had stormed out, Tanzanian Foreign Minister
Bernard Membe said Gaddafi 'may have felt unwell'' and that is the
reason he left the meeting.

Today's deadlock followed a deal on Sunday under which the AU was to
create an African Union Authority with a president, a vice-president
and secretaries covering various portfolios such as Foreign Affairs,
climate change, poverty eradication, research and pandemics such as

As he walked out of the meeting, Kenyan Foreign Minister Moses Wetang’ula said: We will have a report by nine in the morning''.

But, by two pm today, the leaders were still meeting.

Sources at the meeting told the Nation that Colonel Gaddafi, who is
chairman of the AU stormed out because he did not agree with his
colleagues on three main issues:

The naming of the new authority to run Africa.

Col Gaddafi demanded that he should be given the title: king of kings'' but his colleagues refused.

There was no agreement on the nature of portfolios to be created.

Earlier as the summit opened, Colonel Gaddafi and Ugandan President
Yoweri Museveni clashed over the use of traditional leaders by the
Libyan leader to push his agenda for the creation of a United States of

At a debate that saw many interjections by Mr Museveni, the Ugandan
leader warned that he would arrest any traditional leader in his
country who claimed to speak for Col Gaddafi.

The main dispute over creation of the new continental body currently is
at the technical level as on Sunday, the AU agreed to convert the its
commission into the 'African Union Authority. '

The dispute now is over the powers that the new authority should enjoy.

At another level, there are questions over the powers that the members of the AU are ready to cede to the new authority.

What is also emerging is that Colonel Gaddafi, who replaced Tanzanian
President as the new chairman of the AU on Monday, is riding roughshod
over other members of the AU at its debates.

According to sources who briefed the Nation in Addis, only two leaders
have been taking Col Gaddafi to task in the debate over the new body to
be created by the AU.

The two leaders are Mr Museveni and Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe.

What is happening currently is that many AU leaders are either on their
way out or are too new and as such can hardly take on a leader who has
been in power for close to 40 years..

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