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AU Sets Up Peace and Security Council
Thabo Mokgola
18 March 2004

The African Union has elected 15 member states to serve on the continent's Peace and Security Council. The election took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, during this week's meeting of the continental body's Executive Council.

The Council is expected to have legal powers to intervene in member states' affairs where transgressions of human rights are recorded and principles of good governance are flawed.

Five countries, one per region - Central, East, North, Southern, and West Africa - were elected to serve for a three-year term, with 10 others to serve for a term of two years thereafter.

Gabon, Ethiopia, Algeria, South Africa and Nigeria were elected for the first three-year term, while Cameroon and Congo (Central Africa), Kenya and Sudan (East Africa), Libya (North Africa), Lesotho and Mozambique (Southern Africa), Ghana, Senegal and Togo (West Africa) were elected to serve the subsequent two-year term.

The council, following its election, met in a closed session on Tuesday to adopt its rules of procedure. These were later submitted to the Executive Council for adoption on behalf of the Assembly of the Union.

The Assembly, at its meeting in Maputo, Mozambique in July 2003, mandated the Executive Council to adopt rules of procedure to enable the Peace and Security Council to start operating.

The Executive Council also appointed its remaining two commissioners this week: MM Mkwezalamba of Malawi as commissioner for economic affairs, and Libya's Nagia Mohammed Assayed as commissioner for human resources, science and technology.

Source: BuaNews