Central African Republic Ratifies African Unity Treaty
The Central African Republic has ratified a plan for African union adopted at the Organization of African Unity (OAU)'s Lome summit in July this year, officials announced on Sunday.
The country's president, Ange-Felix Patasse, signed the act into Centerafrican law on Sunday after the country's parliament approved it by an overwhelming majority, a presidential spokesman said.
The plan has already been signed by some 35 African countries, but needs final ratification by two-thirds of the OAU's 53 member states to take effect.
OAU Secretary General Salim Ahmed Salim has repeatedly called on countries who have not yet signed the treaty to do so and for those who are signatories to proceed with ratifying the agreement.
The act is designed to replace the OAU charter of 1963, though the pan-African organization’s founding text would remain in force for a transitional year.
It specifies that the African union will be based in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital and OAU headquarters.
Its founding principles are "equality, sovereignty and the independence of states", with "respect for borders", "non-interference" and a ban "on the use of force or the threat of force against another member state" -- BANGUI (AFP)
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