Association for Free Research and International Cooperation

Al-Sissi, a president of the AU a little discreet

Article from AFRIC Editorial
The 32nd summit of the African Union, held at its headquarters in Addis Ababa Ethiopia, on February 10 and 11, 2019, saw a change in leadership at the head of its ruling body. Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda after a year at the head of the organisation, ceded power to Abdel Fattah Al-Sissi, President of Egypt.

In his inaugural address, the Egyptian, unveiled the three pillars of his presidency namely: the development of infrastructure, the acceleration of the entry into force of the African Continent Free Trade Area (ETLS) and the creation of employment for the continent’s youth.

Since its inception in Durban, South Africa, on July 9, 2002, the constant change of President to the AU Presidency has been aimed at bringing a new and dynamic policy to the AU.

Although the main objectives of the AU are defined in its statutes, each of the presidents nevertheless gives it a new idea on which the tenure of his reign focuses. It should be noted here that, while some have always been fond of implementing drastic changes to shake up all the rules of protocol in force at the head of the AU, others by cons, much more traditionalist, opt for discretion. The most perfect illustration at this level is the case of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

The military school, the ideal springboard of discretion

Born in 1954 in Gamaleya, Cairo, President al-Sisi spent more than half of his life in military schools. His military career is what can surely best explain the reason for his great discretion. He entered the military academy in 1973 and graduated in 1977. He then continued his studies at the Joint Services Command and Staff College in the United States, where he wrote a memoir entitled “Democracy in the Middle East.”

Renowned for his great discretion and professionalism, President Abdel Fattah Al-Sissi is probably the closest to military gear in humans when we try to draw a parallel. To verify this parallel, it should be noted that as for the Egyptian president, stealth is the main feature of military gear, designed to have a reduced or banal signature and therefore to be less detectable, classifiable or identifiable. And, if we remember the words of General de Villiers during his visit to the service of the police station in Vincennes and Paris on June 28, 2016, he said to the military: “in all areas, you work in the discretion and she honors you. It is not necessary to show oneself to undertake. From then on, it became clear that it was this set of teachings that helped to shape the Egyptian president’s discretion, transforming it even into strength rather than weakness.

Discretion, a force rather than a weakness

Unlike his predecessor President Kagame nicknamed “the man in a hurry” who multiplied initiatives during his tenure at the head of the AU and was on all fronts, bringing with him several innovations in the body, the President Al-Sissi himself, is a discreet man who is not too fond of changes and the spotlight. For him, as for De Andre Prévot, “The good servant is one who serves with precision and discretion.”

Offensive Discretion and Effectiveness

The appointment of the President of the African Union is not intuitu personae linked to the character traits. Only results at the end of term are usually those that matter to the public and their peers. In his first speech on February 10, 2019, the Egyptian president was already setting the course by indicating that the way is still long in order to achieve the goal of the African Union to silence the weapons by 2020 on a continent plagued by conflicts. In this wake, he even announced the organization of a forum for peace and development in Aswan (Egypt) in the course of the year 2020.

Still in his offensive, the Egyptian president did not wait long for the AU to engage on the Lybian issue, considered as one of the most burning of the continent. Monday, February 11, he called for a conference in July to bring together the actors of this crisis and called for the holding of presidential and legislative elections in October. He charged Moussa Faki Mahamat, the chairman of the commission, with efforts to convene in Addis Ababa in (July) 2019, an international conference on reconciliation in Libya, under the auspices of the AU and UN. And at a press conference in which he stressed the importance of finding African solutions to African problems, the new AU president said: “Africa has decided to support Libya in its efforts to get out of the war and terrorism “.
Among other priorities announced by the Egyptian President, in addition to the usual announcements about security and peace, “the crisis of migrants, displaced persons and refugees”, official theme of the AU for 2019.

In this regard, AU endorsed in Khartoum the establishment of an operational center to combat “irregular migrants”, with particular emphasis on trafficking in human beings. All these initiatives of the Egyptian president therefore participate in giving reason to De Gilles Archambault who noted that: “discreet people are not because they lack imagination”.

Article from AFRIC Editorial

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