S. Africa Disputes Any Link of Zuma's Run to Head AU with Eritrea Sanctions
By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive
UNITED NATIONS, December 1 -- Whether Jean Ping will get a second term as
head of the African Union or be replaced by for example South African
minister Nkosozana Dlamini Zuma is a contest that was raised and then
rebutted as part of the UN Security Council controversy over how and when to
impose more sanctions on Eritrea.
On November 30 while in the Security Council's closed door consultations
Gabon's request, pushed by the US, to vote that day on the new sanctions ran
into opposition, outside a representative of one of Eritrea's neighbors came
and told <http://www.innercitypress.com/usun5eritrea113011.html
> Inner City
Press "South Africa is pressuring us to vote" for Ms. Zuma, former SA
Foreign Minister & current SA Home Affairs Minister, and "now it's just sour
grapes on their part. They need to decide if they are with the BRICS or with
Inner City Press published the quote
> , adding its opinion
that it's not either / or, AU or BRICS.
On December 1, South Africa's Doctor Mashabane came to Inner City Press
and responded, on the record. He argued, "saying we are forcing them to vote
for Madame Zuma. It's not true. [She was Foreign Minister for] 10 years, she
is respected across the Continent. There's never been a woman chair of the
organization. We are not forcing anybody, it has nothing to do with the
Eritrea's neighbor's pitch had been that South Africa was taking its
positions in the Security Council either to promote Ms. Zuma, or as "sour
grapes" against countries which support Jean Ping. Then there was the dig
that South Africa should choose between the AU and BRICS.
Mashabane told Inner City Press, "the issue of South African and BRICS is
neither here not there, anyone can join BRICS, make a case. Nobody can make
us choose, we are Africans. The whole year we have been in the Council, we
have been the champion on African issues, I think all 14 members can agree."
The Council fight on November 30, to be continued in public on Monday,
December 5 is about new sanctions on Eritrea. Mashabane told Inner City
Press, "This issue on Eritrea is an issue on an African country, there is no
BRICS position. If it happens with other members, because share values with
us, we can't tell them not to join us."
Mashabane downplayed what some saw, especially November 30, as a split
between Gabon and South Africa, occasioned by the US and Ambassador Susan
Mashabane told Inner City Press, "we have worked with Gabon and Nigeria,
we have been saying we must have it balanced, concerned about blanket
sanctions effecting the innocent people of Eritrea. Our point is, this
initiative is at the insistence of the West... You can't have sweeping
sanctions to bring down an economy, in this case of an African country."
Earlier on December 1, Brazilian Permanent Representative Maria Luiza
Ribeiro Viotti told Inner City Press that Brazil too has concerns about
these sanctions and prefers the "political" track. Mashabane referred to
these similarity of views, telling Inner City Press that "anyone can
approach the BRIC members and lobby them for their resolution."
And as Inner City Press late on December 1 was finishing this,
representatives not only of Gabon and South Africa, but also Russia and
China, came out of the Security Council, still working on the Eritrea draft.
Inner City Press has sought authorization to use as similar on the record
quotes things said about the proposed sanctions by certain Western Council
members, for now lacking in South Africa's, Brazil's and even BRICS'
transparency. Watch this site.
) UN Photo
Doctor Mashabane in UNSC, AU & Western on the record responses not shown
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Received on Fri Dec 02 2011 - 15:59:04 EST