A trade-off

Israel stays accredited to African Union, dividing opinion in Africa

By Carien du Plessis

Premium badge Reserved for subscribers

Posted on October 22, 2021 13:58

People demonstrate in Germany on the anniversary of Nakba © A pro-Israel supporter holds Israeli flags on May 15, 2021. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach
A pro-Israel supporter holds Israeli flags on May 15, 2021. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

Israel is set to remain accredited to the African Union after a meeting of foreign ministers of member states failed to find consensus on whether to retain this status or not. The issue has divided the continental body after African Union Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat in July accepted the accreditation of Aleli Admasu, who is also Israel’s ambassador to Ethiopia, Burundi and Chad.

It is the first time that Israel is accredited to the AU after a previous accreditation lapsed with the dissolution of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in 2002.

Decision postponed

The two-day meeting of the AU’s executive council ended on Friday, with chairperson Christophe Lutundula, foreign minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo, postponing the decision until the heads of state summit in January, pending further investigation. This means that Admasu will be able to attend the summit as an accredited ambassador.

In a communiqué issued following the accreditation, Faki – who was re-elected for a second term in February – pointed out that he has the power to decide who to accredit, and over 70 non-African states and organisations have thus far been accredited to the AU without much controversy.

“The decision was taken on the basis of the fact of the recognition of Israel and

There's more to this story

Get unlimited access to our exclusive journalism and features today. Our award-winning team of correspondents and editors report from over 54 African countries, from Cape Town to Cairo, from Abidjan to Abuja to Addis Ababa. Africa. Unlocked.

Subscribe Now

cancel anytime