ADDIS ABABA – The African Union at its continental body’s summit in Ethiopia, elected Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi as the new chairman of regional organization.
Regional and international advocacy and rights groups including Amnesty International warned that el-Sissi’s chairmanship might undermine the African Union’s human rights mechanisms.
The rights group said Egypt since 2015 has stage-managed a sustained political attack against the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the body that aims to monitor African states’ human rights records.
“Dozens of cases alleging serious human rights violations have been lodged against Egypt at the ACHPR,” it said.
El-Sissi’s election as chairman of the AU after a one-year chairmanship of Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame.
The chairpersons of the African Union set agendas of issues to be addressed during their one-year tenure, this essentially gives the Egypt’s strongman the power to dictate the course the AU will follow over the next 12 months.