Protests to continue outside AU Summit

Civil society groups say greater interaction between citizens and politicians is needed at the summit.

Several civil society groups from countries including Egypt, Lesotho and Zimbabwe demonstrated outside the Sandton Convention Centre on 14 June. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Civil society groups say they will continue to demonstrate in Sandton where the African Union Summit continues and hope their pleas will be heard.

On Sunday, scores of people from countries including Zimbabwe, Egypt and Lesotho expressed their unhappiness with various issues affecting them.

They say greater interaction between citizens and politicians is needed at the summit.

Joang Molapo, who represents opposition parties in Lesotho, says steps need to be taken to bring stability to many countries on the continent.

"The situation is Lesotho has been on the agenda of the African Union, as well as SADC for some time now but we feel that the sort of corrective steps that are needed have not yet been taken.

"As democracy takes root on the African continent, it's important for our leaders to see the free expression of our democratic views."

Egyptian Samih Salem says the African Union is condoning criminal behavior by inviting leaders facing charges of crimes against humanity to the summit.

"The African Union is recognising the coup of Egypt by inviting this delegation to come here. This delegation has, among them, people who are accused of crimes against humanity."

Meanwhile, there's still confusion this morning on the whereabouts of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir following conflicting reports about whether or not he's left the country.

Bashir has been in South Africa attending the summit, but his visit has landed South Africa in a difficult diplomatic situation because he is wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes and has evaded arrest since 2009.