The open session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union has opened today in South Africa.
African leaders congratulated newly-elected presidents including Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, Mozambique’s Filipe Nyusi and Pakalitha Mosisili of Lesotho.
They also congratulated Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir for conducting a successful poll.
This warm welcome is coming on the heels of a court order issued by a Pretoria high court judge, Hans Fabricious preventing President Al-Bashir from leaving South Africa.
The order is pending a decision of the court, to be made after an urgent application that Al Bashir be arrested today.
The judge made the order after granting the state a 3-hour period in which to prepare arguments in response to South Africa litigation centre’s application that President Jacob Zuma and the National Prosecuting Authority arrest Al Bashir on the order of the International Crimes Court (ICC).
As a signatory of the Rome treaty, South Africa is obliged to arrest the president, but the AU has previously refused to heed the ICC call, accusing them of targeting African leaders.
The Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, chaired the Peace and Security Council meeting at the 25th AU Summit holding in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Talks at the meeting largely focused on security challenges facing some African countries, as participants sought better ways of tackling insurgency in some West African countries.