Short and sharp is probably the best way to describe International Relations and Co-operation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane’s report back on this week’s ECCAS (Economic Community of Central African States) Extraordinary Summit.
She told a briefing in Pretoria President Zuma told the Summit in N’Djamena “South Africa has taken a decision to withdraw its troops from the Central African Republic (CAR)”.
This because “since the self-appointed leader of the CAR took over, in the process nullifying the Constitution, the Parliament and the Judiciary, it has become clear the government we entered an agreement into with was no longer in place”.
Zuma was invited to the Summit by Chadian President Idriss Deby Itno, who also chairs ECCAS.
“The Summit considered the unfolding political and security situation in the CAR and took a number of decisions in relation to the situation.
“The ECCAS Extraordinary Summit decided the government of the CAR, constituted after March 23 2013, is not recognised as a legitimate government. This is in line with the AU statutes that outlaw unconstitutional changes of governments on the continent.
“The position of the AU is very clear that there could be no recognition given to any government that comes to power through unconstitutional means, especially through a violent military coup such as the one in the CAR.
“The decisions by the AU, the ECCAS and South Africa not to recognise the self-proclaimed government in the CAR will go a long way in strengthening the authority of the AU, its statutes and policies, which are adopted collectively at Summits and other organs of our continental organisation.
“The leadership of our continent is showing no tolerance to unlawful changes of governments.
“The ECCAS leaders also decided an “electoral college” or committee comprising representatives from all sectors of society in the CAR is to be constituted to head the transitional period in the CAR. It was further decided the “electoral college” will have executive powers and its period of existence will be no longer than 18 months.
“The leaders dispatched a team of ministers from the ECCAS region to visit the CAR and convey the decisions of the Extra-Ordinary Summit,” Nkoana-Mashabane said.