Egypt's el-Sissi Elected New Chairman of African Union

Chad’s Moussa Faki Mahamat the African Union Chairman

Chad’s Moussa Faki Mahamat the African Union Chairman

The leaders in attendance of the summit have witnessed the inauguration of a commemorative statue of former Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia in recognition of his contribution to Africa's liberation and unity leading up to the founding of the then Organization of African Unity (OAU), now the AU, in 1963.

A statue of Emperor Haile Selassie, the last emperor of Ethiopia and a longtime ruler who served from 1930 until his overthrow by the Marxist regime in 1974, was unveiled outside the African Union's headquarters in Addis Ababa on Sunday.

On Saturday afternoon, Ramaphosa attended a meeting of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) heads of state and government on the margins of the AU summit. "Mediation and preventive diplomacy will remain one of the priorities of the African Union".

"Terrorism remains a cancer that affects African nations and steals the dreams of our people and we must identify and combat those who fund terrorism activities on the continent", Sisi said in a speech to the AU assembly shortly after his appointment.

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Rights groups, including Amnesty International, have expressed concern that Egypt's chairmanship may undermine the AU's human rights mechanisms. Under his leadership the country has undergone a catastrophic decline in rights and freedoms. "Dozens of cases alleging serious human rights violations have been lodged against Egypt at the ACHPR", it said.

During his tenure, el-Sissi is expected to concentrate on security and financial reform, but with no great plans to strengthen the AU's multilateral powers.

In recent years, Cairo has had a frosty relationship with the African Union.

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