The African Union Summit on Refugees, Internally Displaced People and Returnees took a beating when AU chairman Muammar Gaddafi, Libya’s leader, did not turn up in Kampala, and after allegedly also keeping several other heads of state away who had initially indicated personal attendance, according to other news sources.
The information was broken just as it became public that the Mbeki Commission had endorsed the International Criminal Court warrants and prosecutions over the Darfur war, which in clear text means that African ICC signatory members states, so far hiding behind an obscure AU “resolution” not to act until the commission report was submitted, must now arrest the wanted individuals including regime leader Bashir of Khartoum.
It is now speculated that with this document available, several heads of state, and, in particular, Gaddafi, may not have wanted to come to Kampala to avoid the issue for a little longer and “consult first” before meeting and concluding the inevitable.
That meeting is expected to take place in Nigeria next week, and the AU must have been uncomfortable with the present Kampala meeting bringing together too many heads of state and providing an opportunity to brainstorm and set the tone for the Nigeria summit, in particular, as it was dealing with the very fallout of politically inspired violence on the continent.
On a positive note, the summit reach agreement on a range of measures to end causes of conflict, which have driven millions of innocent families from their homes and farms and made them refugees abroad or else saw them herded into Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps.
It was also learned that apparent agreement has been reached to turn the African Union peace keeping force in Somalia into a fully fledged UN mission to relief logistical and financial constraints from the African Union. Uganda is presently seconding the most troops to the Somali mission and has as a result incurred the wrath of the militant Somali Islamists.