Israel’s Deputy Director for Africa at the Foreign and some delegated members were expelled from last Saturday’s (18th February) African Union conference hall.
During a ceremony to launch the Summit at Addis Ababa the security personnel of the conference were reported to have approached members of the Israeli delegation and demanded they leave the hall. A video which has gone viral on social media showed security guards escorting Sharon Bar-li, Israel’s Deputy Director General for Africa, out of the AU assembly.
Israel attained an observer status at the African Union in 2021 when Moussa Faki Mahamat was Commission Chief of the Union; a decision which unleashed protests by powerful AU member states including Algeria and South Africa.
An AU official who spoke to the media explained that the individual who was dismissed from the conference had not been invited to the meeting; adding that only a non-transferrable invitation was issued to Israel’s ambassador, Aleli Admasu.
Ebba Kalondo, AU Commission Chief Spokesperson, maintained that the Israeli delegate’s attitude was an abuse of courtesy.
On the other hand, a spokesperson for the Israeli Foreign Ministry, Lior Hayat, has described the incident as severe diplomatic breach since their delegate had an accredited observer with access badges. She accused South Africa and Algeria as AU members behind the move.
According to Hayat, “It is sad to see that the African Union has been taken hostage by a small number of extremist countries such as Algeria and South Africa, driven by hatred and controlled by Iran.”
Saturday, 18th February