Uhuru-Spirit News


April 27, 2017 | Uhuruspirit

AU Commission Chairperson

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson invited the new chairman of the African Union (AU) Commission, Moussa Faki, to a meeting in Washington, before changing his mind at the last minute.

The appointment was scheduled in the week of April 17 after Moussa Faki completed his interviews and meetings at the United Nations in New York.

Faki had planned to travel to Washington on 19 and 20 April. He then waited until the details of the meeting were finalized. But Rex Tillerson's office went silent before finally proposing to Moussa Faki to meet officials of a lower rank, which made him so furious that he then canceled his entire trip to Washington. Moussa Faki also heads Chadian diplomacy, a country that faces the threat of Boko Haram, an Islamist sect originally from neighboring Nigeria.

“African officials were incensed,” said Reuben Brigety, a former U.S. ambassador to the A.U. who was familiar with the circumstances surrounding to Faki’s visit.

“This is ridiculous, particularly at a time when Africans are increasingly becoming more and more aware of their choices in partners around the world,” he said, calling the mishap “the dumbest thing in the world.”

Arikana Chihombori, the African Union's ambassador to Washington, confirmed to Foreign Policy that Tillerson’s invitation to Faki did not end in a successful visit.

“The people I dealt with at the State Department were very attentive and did the best they could,” she said.

“We tend to rise above situations like this,” Chihombori added, noting the incident would not likely harm relations between the U.S. and A.U.

This is not the first time that the administration of the 45th president of the United States has devalued African officials. During his visit to Washington, Paul Kagame, president of Rwanda, was not received by anyone at the White House or the secretariat of state, recalls one expert quoted by Foreign Policy.

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