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African Union Chairperson accepts President Koroma’s invitation

African Union Chairperson accepts President Koroma’s invitation

The African Union Commission (AUC) Chairperson, Dr. Jean Ping on Tuesday 15th March 2011 accepted in principle an invitation from His Excellency President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma to participate in Sierra Leone’s 50th Independence Anniversary celebrations slated for April 27th.  (Photo:  Ambassador Andrew Bangali and Dr Jean Ping)

The personalized invitation letter was handed over to the Chairperson by His Excellency Ambassador Andrew Bangali, Sierra Leone’s Envoy to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia with multiple representations to the AUC and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).

Dr. Ping assured Ambassador Bangali of his participation during the ceremony noting that he hoped to travel to Freetown from the United States because during that period he will be in the USA.

The letter in part reads thus: “I take great pride in informing you that Sierra Leone will be celebrating her 50th anniversary of independence on 27th April 2011. As we recognize the significant strides we have made in consolidating peace and in implementing priority projects that are geared towards positively transforming the lives of Sierra Leoneans, we have planned  a modest  but befitting jubilee celebration.

Dr. Ping reading his invitation

“It is my fervent hope that your participation in this celebration will further consolidate the excellent fraternal ties and very friendly relations between our governments and peoples.”

The Chairperson and Ambassador Bangali exchanged views on the Ivory Coast political stalemate and the uprising in Libya.

Dr. Ping spoke about the outcome of the recent AUC Peace and Security Council meeting held in Addis Ababa on Côte d’Ivoire.

He said if the diplomatic option fails to resolve the crisis, there would be no alternative but the use of legitimate force to oust President Laurent Gbagbo who is still defiant to relinquish power to the internationally recognized winner of the November 2010 polls, Mr. Alassane Ouattara, despite international pressure.

He expressed the hope that the AUC would resolve the political standoff amicably.

On the issue of Libya, he said, the Commission has set up an Ad hoc High Level Committee of five Heads of State to engage with all parties in Libya to facilitate an inclusive dialogue among them and engage AUC partners, as part of the overall efforts for the speedy resolution of the Libyan crisis.  The Ad hoc High Level Committee will hold its debut meeting in Nouakchott on Saturday 19th March 2011 before their meeting with the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi the following day.

Meanwhile, on the same day, Ambassador Bangali handed over a letter of invitation from President Koroma to the United Nations Under Secretary General and Executive Secretary of UNECA, Mr. Abdoulie Janneh to grace the Golden Jubilee celebrations.

Mr. Janneh gave his consent to participate in the event immediately after he received his letter.

Abdul Karim Koroma, Information Attaché, Embassy of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

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