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Vol 55 No 3

Published 7th February 2014

Danger, road works ahead

The summit focused on immediate regional crises but made little headway on an African Standby Force or a new independent financing system for the organisation

Like the labyrinthine streets of host city Addis Ababa, the African Union's security strategy for the continent is undergoing drastic reconstruction and is beset with traffic jams. This year's AU summit in Addis on 24-31 January has been a lengthy test for both projects. The Ethiopian government is building a light railway system in the capital and its excavation works are adding to the congestion that the AU summits always cause. The AU is trying to build an African Standby Force to give it the diplomatic and military authority – and also an independent financial base – to deal with crises such as those in Central African Republic, South Sudan and Mali. At the current rate of progress, Addis Ababa will get its new railway long before the AU gets its army and extra money.

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