Tug-Of-Words In African Union As Sacked Ambassador Demands Cash

The African Union (AU) has apparently been micromanaging a little hostage  crisis within itself since October 7, 2019, when it fired its Permanent Representative to the United States. The vociferous Ambassador was reportedly sacked for her hard-line stance against the colonial tactics of France on Francophone African countries who transfer over US$ 500 billion to France annually and only received their money in piecemeal and with interest. Ambassador Arikana Chihombori Quao, head of the AU Representational Mission in the US replied to the October 7 letter firing her with a memo demanding almost US$300,000 in severance package. The October 9, 2019 memo, addressed to H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the AU Commission rationalized that US$195,000 of the amount being demanded will cover her salary for the rest of his tenure, from November 1, 2019, to February 28, 2021. “…and also 3 months’ salary in lieu of notice  of US$39,000 alongside my other separation benefits by 31 October 2019 or whenever these payments will be made to facilitate a smooth handover. I would ask that my health benefits also continue for six months i.e. from 1 November 2019 till 31 May 2020.” Ambassador Quao’s memo made it clear that she will only handover the US Representational Office of the African Union, if her entitlements are fully paid. A copy of the memo which Whatsup News intercepted carries a sense of officious hostility between the sacked AU Ambassador and the rest of the AU leadership. It is also well hinted that the AU may now be having a little hostage crisis on its hand, as the sacked head of its Representational Mission in the US demands about US$300,000 in ransom as a pre-condition for leaving the office for a new appointee. Her termination letter was apparently dated 7th October 2019. The reply, in the form of the memo dated 9th October 2019 demanding the cash was duly copied to H.E. Kwesi Quartey, Deputy Chairperson of the AU Commission. It was also copied to Amb. Abdoulaye Diop, Chief of Staff of the AU, Rekia Mahmoudou, Acting Human Resource Director and Biodun Adeyemo, Acting Finance Director. “I can assure you Sir, that as soon as I receive my dues, I will be ready to hand over,” the memo stated in part. It also made it clear that “In the meantime, I wish to reserve my acceptance of your (termination) decision until I receive written confirmation that the outstanding dues, as well as my separation entitlements, are ready.”

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