Israel Granted Observer Status at African Union After Two Decades of Lobbying

Africa

The African Inion’s predecessor the OAU, established in 1963, enshrined the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the post-colonial African states. But the AU has sent peacekeeping troops to intervene in conflicts — notably in Somalia.

The African Union (AU) has granted observer status to israel after nearly 20 years of lobbying by the Jewish state harshly criticised by many of the bloc’s leaders.

Israeli Ambassador to Ethiopia, Burundi and Chad Aleli Admasu officially presented his credentials to AU Commission chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat at the association’s headquarters in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital.

israel held observer status in the AU’s predecessor, the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), but was not admitted on the same basis when the AU was founded in 2002.

“This corrects the anomaly that has existed for almost two decades and is an important part of strengthening the fabric of Israel’s foreign relations,” Lapid said. “It will help us strengthen our activities on the African continent and with the member states of the organisation.”

In May this year the AU Commission chairman condemned Israel’s “bombardments” of the Gaza Strip and “violent attacks” by Israeli security forces at the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, accusing the Israeli Defences Forces of acting “in stark violation of international law”.

The OAU, established in 1963, enshrined the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the post-colonial African…

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