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The 20th AU summit which is taking place from the 21st of January is being held under the theme of ‘Pan-Africanism and African Renaissance.’ In his exclusive coverage for Addis Standard Tesfalem Waldyes has captured momentous pictures of participants of the ongoing summit.

Holding the world, and Africa, by its nerve!

As negotiations for peace between Sudan and South Sudan have continued, ICC indicted Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir and South Sudan’s President Salva Kirr are in Addis Ababa since Monday the 21st of Jan, during which both have attended the 46th extra ordinary session of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) council of Ministers meeting. On Friday Jan 25th, President Al Bashir and his counterpart Salva Kirr have met with AU’s high level panel led my former South African president Thabo Mbeki and attended by Ethiopia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Dr. Tedros Adnahom. The two then went separately for a closed door meeting with the 15 member heads of state and governments of the Peace and Security Council of the AU, which is expected to give out statements on behalf of both to the media. The PSC member states will also be briefing the Heads of State and Governments meeting that will kick off on Sunday Jan. 27th. Such is the intense level of attention granted for the conflict between Sudan and South Sudan, another high level meeting at the level of heads of state and governments is scheduled to take place on Sat. Jan. 26th. Since a Jan. 2011 referendum granted South Sudan an independence from Sudan, the two countries have been locked in dispute mainly over oil rich Abyei region and issues of citizenship among others.

Never mind where we are from!

Ambassador Girma Asmerom, Eritrea’s Ambassador to the AU is seen here passionately interacting with an Ethiopian aid at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Ethiopia and Eritrea fought a two year costly border war between 1998-2000. Diplomatic relations between the two countries has not been restored; however, diplomats of the two countries are often seen interacting with each other in events like this. On Monday Jan. 21st army mutineers in Asmara took a brief control of the building housing the Ministry of Information and the Airport and took state TV off air. Things seem to be calm in Asmara but Eritreans in the UK have raided the Eritrean Embassy in London in an apparent move to support the army mutineers.

When work goes cellular!

Ambassador Berhane Gebre Kirstos, State minister of Ethiopia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was taking a brief stop for telephone conversation. Ambassador Berhane, a career diplomat who has been in the picture for the last 20 years, was highly expected to become Ethiopia’s next Minister of Foreign Affairs. The spot is now taken by former Health Minister Dr. Tedros Adnahom.

Veterans talk!   

Dr. Tekeda Alemu, Ethiopia’s long running state minister for Foreign Affairs, is now the country’s Ambassador to the UN. DR Tekeda is pictured here discussing with Ambassador Konjit SineGiorgis, a veteran career diplomat who is now Ethiopia’s Ambassador to the AU. Ambassador Konjit was Ethiopia’s favorite candidate for the Peace and Security Commission seat with in the AU, which was retained by its current commissioner Ambassador Ramtane Lamamra of Algeria.

Deeply concerned, rightly! 

Malian Foreign Minister Tieman Hubert Coulibaly looked deeply troubled, understandably, as the AU finally says it is now preparing a troop pledging conference to rescue Mali from Al-Qaeda affiliated Islamist rebels. 2,000 French troops are on the ground in Mali fighting with Islamist militants after Mali was split in two and rebels marched through most of Northern Mali following a military coup in April 2012.

First timer!  

Dr. Tedrwos Adnahom, (left) Ethiopia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, is participating in the AU summit in his capacity for the first time. Dr. Tedros was formerly Health Minister who is credited for outstanding health reforms that saw child mortality rate in the country significantly drop during his reign as health minister. On Nov. 29th 2012, Ethiopia’s Parliament approved the appointment by Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn of Dr. Tedros as the next Minister of Foreign Affairs. Many Ethiopians have expressed their concern on the wisdom of removing a man from where he was performing best. Dr. Tedros is yet to prove his diplomatic capacity.

 

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