The African Diaspora Congress (ADC) and friends of Africa around the world have expressed great dismay over the sudden removal of Dr Arikana Chihombori-Quao as African Union (AU) Permanent Ambassador to the U.S. and have called for her immediate reinstatement.
ADC made this known in a statement on Thursday by Prof. Apollos Nwauwa, its Secretary General.
The congress said that the unilateral decision was taken by the African Union Commission Chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat, on Oct. 7, 2019 and was thought to represent the opinions of all 55 African heads of state.
“Amb. Chihombori-Quao was removed without any due process appropriate for a diplomat of her calibre.
“Curiously, no reasons were given for removing an envoy who has brought so much hope to many about the AU and its vision for the Diaspora.
“Therefore, ADC members are outraged and are calling for her immediate reinstatement.
“The ADC called for her reinstatement in a petition that garnered worldwide support amassing over 10,000 signatures daily since launching it on Oct. 12, 2019.
“We believe that her removal is ostensibly connected with her public criticisms of the continuing European post-colonial and neocolonial stranglehold and pillaging of Africa, with France being the major culprit in this process given its direct involvement, and sometimes, direct intervention in African affairs,” the congress said.
It said that Chihombori-Quao had led with courage and vigour and had galvanised and empowered peoples of African descent globally to come together, mobilise, and build the “Africa We Want” as espoused in African Union Agenda 2063.
“She was quite effective in providing access to justice for all and building effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions at all levels just as envisioned in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“She is a symbol of hope not only for the African Diaspora, but for humankind.
“The ambassador was a crusader for African liberation and reconnection with its Diaspora and her removal has rallied Africans and African Diaspora in her support…,” he said.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the ADC is a coalition of concerned Africans in the Diaspora, who are committed to addressing major issues affecting the continent and the peoples of African descent on a global scale.
It was set up to promote peaceful, progressive, and inclusive solutions to issues and challenges facing Africa and the African Diaspora in order to complement the efforts being made in the continent by the African Union (AU) and other regional non-governmental organisations toward the advancement of the people and their societies for sustainable development, growth, and wealth creation.
The AU had served Chihombori-Quao a letter on Oct. 7, bringing her tour of duty to an end, in line with the terms and conditions governing her contract of appointment, after serving three years as Permanent Representative of the African Union Mission to the U.S.
Ebba Kalondo, spokesperson for the Chairperson of the African Union Commission said in a statement on Tuesday that political appointees at the AU, including Chihombori-Quao, were appointed at the discretion of the appointing authority.
According to the spokesperson, the duration of such political appointments is also determined at the discretion of that appointing authority.