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Pan-African Parliament debates current situation in Africa

May 11, 2011, 1:33 PM

Midrand, South Africa - The Fourth Ordinary Session of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) continued yesterday with Hon. Marwick Khumalo, Chairperson of the PAP Committee on Cooperation, International Relations and Conflict Resolution presenting a report on the current situation in Africa.

Hon. Khumalo’s report covered Libya, Côte d’Ivoire, Somalia, Tunisia, Egypt, Madagascar, Saharawi Republic and Djibouti.

The report revealed that, considering the current situation in Libya, the PAP is planning to undertake a fact-finding mission to Tripoli and Benghazi to gather information, and make recommendations for the restoration of peace in the country.

Although the Côte d’Ivoire has overcome the conflict induced by elections, the political situation is said to remain fluid.

The report indicated that the humanitarian situation in the country is deteriorating as basic social services have been negatively affected during the past months.

However, the PAP Committee found it heartening to note that the Côte d’Ivoire Constitutional Committee ratified the win of Alassane Ouattara as President.

With regard to Somalia, it was noted that peace and security remain a challenge to the African Union (AU). However, significant contributions have been made, especially in stabilizing Mogadishu and some parts of central Somalia.

On issues relating to Tunisia and Egypt, the PAP with the agreement of the authorities in these countries will send fact-finding missions on the state of democracy and the evolution of the transition that is taking place there.

On Madagascar, the report said that the AU, along with SADC, continues to deploy efforts to help resolve the crisis there.

The  main concern of the PAP, with  regard to the Saharawi Democratic Republic, is that a human rights monitoring mechanism was not included in the new Resolution (1979/2011), adopted by the UN Security Council last month.

In Djibouti, the PAP Committee reported on social tensions brought about by limited pluralism. There is a lack of governance that poses as a risk in the Horn of Africa - an area where the AU needs to increase focus.

In the debate that followed the presentation of the report, PAP members stressed their concern on the visibility of the AU in Africa as a whole, especially in the countries affected by instability. They insisted on the urgent adoption of the African Charter for Democracy, Elections and Governance by African countries, and the granting of legislative powers to the PAP. 

This, it was suggested, would empower the PAP to play a more influential role in the decision-making process on the continent; thus avoiding foreign and sometimes destructive interference.