Uganda under pressure over Bashir’s attendance to key Africa meeting

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African heads of state are to deliberate more on maternal, infant and child health, and security matters in the coming AU heads of state summit meeting slated for 19th to 27th July this year in Uganda’s capital Kampala.

Uganda’s state minister for regional cooperation in the foreign
affairs ministry, Isaac Musumba said in a press conference today in Kampala that the health issues were agreed upon by all member states that needed
maximum attention and needed promotion as spelt in the Millennium
Development Goals (MDGs).

“The theme of the fifteenth ordinary session of assembly of heads of state will be, maternal, infant and child health and development in Africa,” said Isaac Musumba.

Musumba also said that the main event will be opened with a series of meeting by ministers and permanent secretaries from various ministries across AU member states and later on the 25th to the 27th July, 2010 the heads of states meeting will commence to finalize what the earlier meetings would have agreed upon.

“The other issues to be discussed include security, peace, food security among others,” he continued.

Pressure is mounting on Uganda ahead of the meeting, which will see the East African country assume AU chairmanship. Kampala is in a dilemma on whether to invite the ICC indicted Sudanese president Omar Bashir.

But According to the Ugandan state minister for regional cooperation in the foreign affairs ministry “Sudan is a member of the African Union. We will invite Bashir. It is up to him to come or send a delegation.”

Thirty African countries are signatories to the Rome Statute that mandates the ICC to arrest Omar el-Bashir should he set foot in those countries. And last year, Chief Prosecutor of the ICC, Luis Moreno Ocampo, had told Uganda officials that “Uganda has a legal obligation to arrest President Bashir, if he decided to travel to Uganda.”

over 50 African Union member heads of state and over 3000 guests are expected to attend the Uganda summit.

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