The leaders of the continent meet today on Monday in Addis Ababa for a transition summit. Several heavyweights of the continent will be absent, including Paul Biya, who has not trodden the floor of the conference center of the AU for a decade now.
For two days, the Ethiopian capital will host the 29th Summit of African Heads of State and Government. Main subject on the agenda: the reform of the African Union (AU). Some of the crises in the continent, including those in Mali, South Sudan and Libya, will also be at the center of discussions between African leaders.
The Cameroonian president is among the missing heavy weights of this 29th meeting of the leaders of the continent. According to Jeune Afrique, the greatest absentee at this African Mass will be the South African Jacob Zuma. The summit coincided with a crucial conference of the ruling ANC party, which is plagued by internal divisions. He will be represented by his Minister of Foreign Affairs, Maite Nkoana Mashabane.
Another heavyweight of absent is Muhammadu Buhari. For nearly a month, the Nigerian president is in London for medical reasons. Yemi Osinbajo, his vice-president, will replace him.
Senegalese President Macky Sall, whose country is preparing to hold parliamentary elections on 30 July, will also miss the call. He will be represented by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Senegalese from outside, Mankeur Ndiaye. The Egyptian President, Abdefettah al-Sissi, due to his current official visit to Hungary, will not be there either.
Similarly, for Cameroon’s Paul Biya, who has not walked the floor of the AU conference center for a decade, as well as the Algerian President, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, weakened by disease, sent his Prime Minister, Abdelmadjid Tebboune.
The absence of the Sudanese president, Omar El Bashir, is, on the other hand, a surprise, reports the Pan-African magazine. Under an ICC arrest warrant, the President usually likes to challenge international justice by finding his peers. He will be represented by his number 2, Hassabo Mohamed Abdul-Rahman.