Thirty-six states have ratified the African Union, according to the Organization of African Unity (OAU), which means that the body dreamed up by Libyan leader Moammar Kadhafi and which is due to replace the OAU is close to becoming a reality.
The Union's formal establishment is scheduled to take place 30 days after the OAU receives all the official paperwork. Six states that have ratified the necessary documents have yet to lodge them with the OAU.
On Monday, April 9, Uganda became the latest state to submit ratification documents, which are required from three-quarters of the OAU's 53 member states.
"As soon as the last six ratification instruments are lodged with the (OAU) secretariat general, the judicial requirements for proclaiming the African Union will be fulfilled," OAU Secretary General Salim Ahmad Salim said in a statement.
A draft agreement on the new body has already been signed by the OAU's 53 member states and the Union was launched, in anticipation of the necessary ratifications, at an OAU summit held in Libya in March.
According to its constitution, the African Union will be led by a supreme organ made up of heads of state and will also have an executive council on which ministers will sit.
Following a model loosely based on the European Union, the African Union will have a parliament, a central bank, a monetary fund and a court of justice. — (AFP, Addis Ababa)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)