Nigeria’s Fatima Kyari Mohammed has reportedly lost the election for the position of African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Unconfirmed reports disclose the Nigerian candidate lost the bid in the election which was held on Monday at the 28th African Union summit in Addis Ababa, to Smail Chergui of Algeria. A reliable source in the external affairs ministry has confirmed the outcome of the election.
Fatima Kyari Mohammed is a peace advocate and development consultant. A senior expert with West Africa Conflict and Security (WACAS) consulting part of the INCAS Consulting Ltd. She is also co-founder and coordinator of the LikeMinds Project, Nigeria.
In her campaign, the Nigeria/ECOWAS candidate had pledged to eradicate conflicts on the continent if she wins. Fatima Kyari Mohammed said the commission needed to complement the efforts of Nigeria which was not only a key player in peace and security in Africa but also part in troubled parts of the world.
According to her, Nigeria has made significant contributions to ensure peace and development in Africa, and therefore promised to use Nigeria as a vehicle to intervene in the resolution of conflicts and ensure peace.
Mohammed said her emergence as Nigeria’s candidate was through a competitive selection with a number of individuals shortlisted. She had the opportunity to work with ECOWAS and its institutions for over a decade in different capacities including organizational development, regional integration and peace and security.
Part of Fatima Kyari Mohammed’s promise was to build upon the accomplishment of her predecessors because consistency was an important element of success. Mohammed said she had outlined three priority areas towards achievement of her vision, which includes focusing on prevention and transformation.
She promised to put people first in her schedule and promote inter dependency and shared future, while insisting on leveraging on intellectual and institutional assets, particularly at the diplomatic and leadership levels to transform conflicts in areas most affected to peace building and conflict prevention.
Mohammed also pledged to build on strategic partnerships by continuing to develop the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA).
At the summit, Chad’s foreign minister Moussa Faki was elected as the chairman of the African Union commission, while Morocco was also re-admitted as an AU member after 33 years when it quit the bloc.
56-year-old Faki succeeds South Africa’s Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the first woman to lead the bloc of 54 states, who did not seek a second term in office after completing a four-year term.
Faki’s main rival in the last round of voting at the AU, was Kenyan foreign minister Amina Mohamed, after Senegal’s candidate – Abdoulaye Bathily was knocked out in an earlier round of voting.
Two other candidates also contested for the seat: Botswana’s foreign minister, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, and Mba Mokuy, of Equatorial Guinea.
The AU was supposed to pick a new leader in July last year, but the election was postponed following three rounds of voting after candidates failed to garner the required number of votes. More than 50 percent of the member states abstained from the second round of voting last year.