President Lungu heads to Addis as Barotseland expected to be on Agenda

President Edgar Lungu is today Thursday expected in Addis Ababa – Ethiopia for the 26th ordinary session of the African Union Heads of State summit.
And the case between Barotseland and Zambia which is before the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR), an organ of the AU, is expected to be among the items to be considered.
Meanwhile Zambia’s Ambassador to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the African union and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa Susan Sikaneta has disclosed that among the important issues to be discussed at the summit is the need to restructure the Organisation from being politically centred to one that focuses on the economic agenda aimed at creating a prosperous continent.
The AU summit will also discuss the establishment of a free trade area by 2017, free movement of people, goods and services and introduction of an African passport.
Ms. Sikaneta further disclosed that the summit will discuss the introduction of an Air Transport market, the high speed train project linking all capital cities of Africa.
The summit will also discuss the silencing of the guns project for the establishment of peace and security on the continent among other issues.
Sikaneta however did not mention the pending case between Zambia and Barotseland which is at admissibility stage.
The Barotseland case (Communication 429/12, The Ngambela of Barotseland and Others V. Zambia before the ACHPR), and other issues, were given to the Executive Committee meeting and recommendations and decisions passed by ambassadors of Africa were made when they met in Addis Ababa (January 21-23 2016) as the Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC) of the AU. For three days, the Ambassadors had considered reports of the various activities of the sub-committees of AU, including Specialized Technical Committees (STCs); that included that on Defense, Safety and Security. Also considered were reports on the activities of the AU specialised Organs such as the African Commission of Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR); to which the issue of Barotseland (Communication 429/12, the Ngambela of Barotseland and Others V. Zambia) was submitted.
Should the case be admitted the two parties that is Zambia and Barotseland will formally communicated to after the Heads of State are briefed on the matter after which the case will enter the final stage which may involve the AU sending a fact finding mission to Barotseland.
On 13th December 2012, the then Ngambela (Prime Minister) of Barotseland Clement Sinyinda petitioned the African Commission of Human and Peoples Rights (ACHPR) to declare that the rights of the people of Barotseland to self-determination have been violated by Zambia following the unilateral termination of the Barotseland Agreement of 1964 by the Zambian government.
The ACHPR was further urged to make a finding that by repudiating this unity treaty with Barotseland that created Zambia as a unitary state, the Republic of Zambia had ceased to have power over Barotseland and should, therefore, immediately put in place transitional arrangements for the sovereignty of Barotseland under the auspices of the African Union and United Nations.
Barotseland submitted 258 pages of evidence while the Zambian Attorney-General submitted a response of 8 pages on behalf of the government.
And President Lungu is expected in Rome on 4th February where he is scheduled to meet Pope Francis at the Vatican.
A State House source has told the Zambian Watchdog that if there will be no changes then the President will be in Rome next week.
‘If there will be no change then he will be in Rome to meet Pope Francis on 4th February, 2016,’ revealed the source from State House.

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