Egypt’s president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi (L), Guinea-Bissau’s president Jose Mario Vaz (2nd row, L), Democratic Republic of Congo’s president Joseph Kabila (3-L), Congo’s president Denis Sassou Nguesso (6-L), Ivory Coast’s president Alassane Ouattara (7-L), Zimbabwe’s president Mugabi (8-L), Guinea’s president Alpha conde (9-L), Equatorial Guinea’s president Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo (10-L), South Africa’s president Jacob Zuma (11-L), African Union (AU) chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma (C), Sierra Leone’s Ernest Bai Koroma (12-R), Chad’s president Idriss Deby (11-R), Gabon’s president Ali Bongo Ondimba (10-R), Rwanda’s president Paul Kagami (9-R), Niger’s president Mahamadou Issoufou (8-R), Uganda’s president Yoweri Museveni (7-R), Liberia’s president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (3-R), Madagascar’s president Hery Rajaonarimampianina (2-R), Togo’s president Faure Gnassingbé (R) and other heads of State pose during a photo call before the official opening of the 27th African Union (AU) Summit in Kigali on July 17,2016.<br />Renewed fighting in South Sudan that has claimed more than 300 lives dominated discussions at an African Union summit that opened July 17 in the Rwandan capital Kigali. A shaky ceasefire has held since late July 11 following the fighting that raged for four days in Juba, leaving hundreds dead and forcing 40,000 to flee their homes.<br />/ AFP PHOTO / CYRIL NDEGEYA
African heads of state meeting in Kigali failed on Monday to elect a new head of the African Union and will try again in January, an official said.
Current AU Commission President Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma was due to stand down but leaders were unable to agree on a successor to lead the executive branch of the continental body during its 27th summit meeting, being held in the Rwandan capital.
“Black smoke billows from the 27th AU Summit as no winner emerges… Commission elections postponed till next summit,” Dlamini-Zuma’s spokesman, Jacob Enoh Eben, said on Twitter, referencing the smoke signal that precedes the naming of a new pope.
None of the three candidates was able to muster the two-thirds majority required to win in the secret ballot.
Ahead of the vote many states had expressed dismay at the “lack of stature” among the little known candidates from Botswana, Equatorial-Guinea and Uganda and, in the end, 28 of the 54 member states abstained from the final round of voting thus forcing a postponement of the election and an extension of Dlamini-Zuma’s term.