Grinning Grip

At the HQs of the African Union, on Roosevelt St., a Chadian journalist, Ismail Ben Cherif Tom, thumps up his countryman after Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chad’s foreign minister, was elected the fourth chairperson since the Union’s founding in 2001. Chad’s President, Idriss Déby, pictured in the middle, was part of the cheerful moment on January 30, 2017.

After a hotly contested campaign with a surprising result, Mahamat was elected in the sixth round, winning 39 votes of the 54 heads of state, three votes above the threshold required.

He defeated four other contenders for the seat, which he takes over from South Africa’s Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma (PhD), who stayed in the post an extra six months after leaders failed to elect a candidate at a vote in Kigali, Rwanda, last year.

Mahamat was challenged by Kenya’s Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Amina Mohamed (PhD), who campaigned aggressively, touring all the member states over the past one year and spending hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to people close to the AU. Mahamat is seen as a decisive person, with clear idea of what he wants to do.

“Sound of guns will be drowned out by cultural songs and rumbling factories,” Mahamat had pledged during his campaign.



Published on Feb 13,2017 [ Vol 17 ,No 876]



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