Sanctions may follow refusal to comply, AU chief declares
By Nsikan Ikpe
South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC have been asked to pull themselves together and quickly inaugurate proper and acceptable, peaceful and democratic orders in their respective territories to avoid being sanctioned by the African Union, AU.
The charge is coming from the Chair of the African Union Commission, Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat.
Addressing the 30th summit of Heads of States of the pan-African body, Mahamat urged South Sudan’s warring factions to do everything that they must to reach a peace agreement soon or risk African Union sanctions.
South Sudan, Africa’s newest Independent state has been embroiled in crisis following the breakdown of relations between the camps of President Salva Kir and his ousted deputy, Riek Machar.
Machar had been sacked by Kiir in July 2013.
Mahamat also called on the Joseph Kabila presidency in the Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC to ensure that elections already scheduled to hold later this year, proceed according to schedule.
A constitutional crisis has been looming in the DRC for months now following moves by the Kabila camp to amend the nation’s constitution and introduce fresh legislation, permitting Kabila who has already served the mandatory maximum allowed term limits to continue in office in perpetuity.
African Union statutes strictly forbid non-constitutional entry and subsistence in office by African leaders.
In the past, the group has put its moral weight strongly behind efforts to ensure that such provisions are respected but observers say that the body requires more enforcement bite.
One such episode involved the frustrating of former President Yahya Jammeh’s efforts to invalidate the outcome of the Gambian presidential elections and which led to his ouster in 2017 and the emergence of the incumbent president, Mr. Adama Barrow.
And with his tenure due to elapse in March, one leader that was probably attending his last AU summit in that capacity as a head of state was President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone.
President Joseph Kabila of The Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC