Can the African Union Finally ‘Silence the Guns’?

Can the African Union Finally ‘Silence the Guns’?
African leaders at the opening session of the 33rd African Union Summit at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Feb. 9, 2020 (AP photo).

Editor’s Note: Every Friday, Andrew Green curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent. Subscribers can adjust their newsletter settings to receive Africa Watch by email every week.

The coronavirus pandemic is certain to dominate the annual African Union summit this weekend, but it’s far from the only issue on the agenda at the two days of virtual meetings. Key elections are scheduled for leadership positions in the AU Commission, and analysts are watching to see whether the bloc can revitalize last year’s pledge to end Africa’s conflicts.

The summit marks the end of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s one-year term as AU chair, which he described as “a baptism of fire.” He took the position just days before the first COVID-19 case was detected on the continent, quickly spearheading an early push to ramp up testing and, more recently, to try and secure vaccines even as wealthier nations have been buying up most of the available doses.

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