Former President Olusegun Obasanjo is to lead the African Union Commission’s Short-term Observer Mission to Zimbabwe’s general elections scheduled to hold on July 31.
A statement by the Commission’s Directorate of Information and Communications on Tuesday in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, said: “he Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, has approved the deployment of an African Union Short-Term Observation Mission to the Republic of Zimbabwe for the July 31 General Elections.
“The AU STO Mission will be deployed on July 21 and will complement the work of team of nine AU Long-Term Observers who have been deployed to Zimbabwe since June 15.
“The Mission which will be led by Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, comprises of 60 observers drawn from members of African Electoral Management Bodies, Civil Society Organisations, the Pan-African Parliament, the Regional Economic Communities, Human Rights Organisations and members of the Permanent Representatives’ Committee of the African Union.”
The statement said the short-term observers would be supported by team of nine coordinating and technical team from the commission’s Democracy and Electoral Assistance Unit, the Pan-African Parliament and the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa.
It said that Commission drew its mandate from various African Union Instruments, including the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance 2007; the AU/OAU Declaration on Principles Governing Democratic Elections in Africa 2002; the AU Guidelines on Election Observation and Monitoring Missions, 2002; and the African Union Long-Term Observation Framework 2012.
The statement added: “As part of his activities, the Mission Leader, Obasanjo will meet relevant stakeholders in Zimbabwe including the President, the Prime Minister, the Chairperson of Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, Political Parties, Civil Society Organisations, and Security Agencies.
“The Mission will remain in constant interaction with the Chairperson of the African Union Commission and will release statements on development during the elections through the spokesperson of the Mission.”