PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe took over the post of African Union chairperson on Friday, replacing Mauritania’s President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz.
Mugabe was elected by his fellow heads of state to replace Abdel Aziz in the role, which rotates between the continent’s five regions.
“By electing me to preside over this august body, with full knowledge of the onerous responsibility that lies ahead, I humbly accept your collective decision,” Mugabe said as he was appointed at the AU summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The veteran leader, Africa’s oldest president aged 90, shook hands with Abdel Aziz in front of fellow leaders to applause at the AU summit in the Ethiopian capital.
Africa’s longest-serving leader is viewed with respect by many of the continent after he led Zimbabwe to independence, however he is subject to travel bans in the European Union and US.
Ahead of his election many African diplomats privately expressed concern with the image the continental body was going to get with Mugabe in charge.SAPA