AU calls for Egypt’s help in Central African Republic
Minister of Foreign Affairs Nabil Fahmy - YOUM7 (Archive)

CAIRO: Egypt approved a request from the African Union to send military aircraft to transport peacekeeping troops in the Central African Republic in its meetings this week with African Union Peace and Security Council official Ismail Sharqy, ministry sources told Youm7 Thursday.  

The Central African Republic has experienced growing sectarian violence as Anti-Balaka militias last year began targeting the mostly Muslim supporters of the Seleka movement that had taken over the country’s government in March 2013.

Sharqy met with Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy and the two discussed relations between Egypt and the AU and ways to restore Egypt’s activities in the African body, reported Youm7, adding that the AU decided to suspend Egypt in July 2013 following the removal of former President Mohamed Morsi. The organization said the removal contradicted constitutional norms.

Ayman Shabana of the Institute of African Research and Studies in Cairo said the current crisis between Egypt and the African Union will be resolved in the “near future.” He stressed that the decision taken by the AU to suspend Egypt’s membership was temporary and was opposed by a number of African states, including Mauritania, which took the presidency of the AU in January.

Shabana told The Cairo Post, “The hard-line position adopted by a number of African states witnessed notable change due to the serious steps taken by the government to execute the roadmap.”

The African Union also decided to send a delegation to monitor coming Egyptian presidential elections scheduled from May 26-27. Foreign ministry spokesman Badr Abdel-Atty said May 7 that the African delegation will have over 50 members, including parliamentarians, journalists and representatives of civil-society organizations.

The decision to send a delegation broke with a stance adopted by Paul Lolo Polis, head of the AU Peace and Security Council not to participate in monitoring the elections as a protest against the nomination of Abdel Fatah al-Sisi for president.

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