How does the withdrawal of SAMIM affect AU’s engagement in the Conflict in Northern Mozambique?

How does the withdrawal of SAMIM affect AU’s engagement in the Conflict in Northern Mozambique?

Date | 15 July 2024

Tefesehet Hailu
Researcher, Amani Africa

Today 15 July marks the date for the official completion of the exit of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM). It is to be recalled that the 43rd Ordinary Summit of SADC held on 17 August 2023 decided to withdraw the SAMIM starting from 15 December 2023, although the mission’s withdrawal officially started on 5 April 2024.

SAMIM’s deployment came after the extraordinary SADC session held on 23 June 2021, which recognised the need for regional intervention in response to the escalating insurgency by the Islamic State of Mozambique (ISM) in the country’s Cabo Delgado region. In addition to the multinational SADC deployment, Mozambique also entered into a bilateral arrangement with Rwanda leading to the deployment of 1000 Rwandan forces in July 2021. While the insurgence became overt since 2017, what prompted the deployment of external forces was its expansion including the attack on the port city of Palma in early 2021 leading to the suspension of the significant liquefied natural gas projects involving Total Energies, EXXON and ENI.

While the African Union (AU) noted the threat posed by the situation as reflected in the report of the Peace and Security Council (PSC) to the AU Assembly in 2020, the situation in northern Mozambique was put on the monthly agenda of the PSC for May 2021. However, it was later removed from the agenda following an objection from Mozambique. It was the deployment of SAMIM, to which Mozambique acquiesced reluctantly, that brought the matter back to the PSC. Even then, it emerged on the agenda of the PSC six months after the decision for SAMIM’s deployment and principally for purposes of endorsing SAMIM’s deployment and the Rwandan troops during its 1062nd session. The post-facto referral of SAMIM’s deployment to the PSC highlighted the lack of involvement of the AU in the decision-making for the deployment of SAMIM troops. This is despite what is provided under Article 13 (6) and (7) of the Peace and Security Council Protocol, which envisages the ASF to be deployed in pursuit of a decision of the PSC and puts the Chairperson of the AU Commission at the top of the chain of command of the ASF.

Even though there was a lack of coordination between the AU and SADC and the bypassing of the AU’s role, the AU endorsed the mission within the ASF framework. These initial steps have shaped the AU’s involvement throughout SAMIM’s deployment. The AU provided logistical support by shipping equipment from the Continental Logistics Base (CLB) to Mozambique in 2022 and 2023. It also facilitated the provision of financial support to SAMIM through AU’s EU-funded Early Response Mechanism (ERM) and the EU’s European Peace Facility (EPF).

Although the PSC requested regular updates during its 1062nd session in January 2022, it only met once that year and did not meet in 2023. Unsurprisingly, SADC made the decision for the withdrawal of the SAMIM in the same unilateral manner it had deployed the mission with no engagement from the AU.

SADC’s decision for a phased drawdown starting from 15 December 2023, with the complete withdrawal to be finalised by 15 July 2024 is premised on the SADC’s position that it cannot run two missions simultaneously. Following the decision for the withdrawal of SAMIM, the Foreign Minister of Mozambique Veronica Macamo stated that given its budgetary limitations, SADC had opted to prioritise its mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) above SAMIM. She further noted that ‘… and SADC thought that, for Mozambique, if other countries continue to support us with material, including lethal material, we can effectively overcome terrorism’. The decision to withdraw SAMIM thus stemmed from financial limitations and the logistical difficulties of sustaining two missions simultaneously. It is worth recalling that prior to the decision on the withdrawal of SAMIM, SADC adopted the Framework for Support to the Government of Mozambique and a Peacebuilding Support Programme to supplement Mozambique’s Reconstruction Plan for Cabo Delgado (PRCD). This was after the 42nd SADC summit held on 17 August 2022 which decided to ‘de-escalate the intervention from scenario 6 to scenario 5 and subsequently to scenario 4.’

While it has not fully achieved its objectives, the mission, along with the Rwandan troops, has contributed significantly for stabilising the region through neutralising terrorists, recapturing villages, dislodging terrorists from their bases, and seizing weapons and equipment. These efforts have facilitated the creation of conditions for the return of internally displaced persons to their homes and the safer passage of humanitarian aid. Reported deaths also decreased from 1,100 in 2021 to 644 in October 2022. Furthermore, ISM participated in 11 political violence incidents per month during the first eight months of 2023, a significant decrease from the 36 incidents per month seen in 2022. By August 2023, over 570,000 internally displaced persons had successfully returned to their homes.

Despite these successes, the situation remained precarious. As we pointed out in the 3 March 2024 edition of Insights on the PSC, not long after the adoption of the decision on SAMIM’s withdrawal the insurgent group increased attacks since September 2023. Since January 2024, the ISM expanded its renewed campaign under the ‘kill them where you find them’ mantra, resulting in an increase in terrorist activities and internal displacement. These attacks have spread to the Mocímboa da Praia district and neighbouring districts of Palma and Muidumbe, extending to the Mocomia coast and Mecufi. Compared to the 51 attacks claimed by ISM in 2023, the group has already claimed 57 attacks within the first few months of this year. Additionally, a recent report by ACLED indicates the reestablishment of insurgents on the mainland of Palma district, where the international liquefied natural gas projects are based, for the first time since February 2023. Consequently, as of 15 March, since December 2023 more than 110,000 people have been internally displaced.

Source: IOM (Global Data Institute: Displacement Tracking Matrix), and ACLED

Given the resurgence of terrorist attacks, South Africa and Rwanda have reconsidered their deployment strategies. On Rwanda’s side, there was no intention of departure but it was recently announced that Rwanda will deploy another 2500 troops in addition to the 1000 troops that were deployed in 2021. South Africa, a country that was a major troop contributor with almost two-thirds of SAMIM’s troops, on the other hand, has announced that few of its troops will remain in Mozambique and 200 will stay up until March 2025. On July 1, the President of Tanzania, Filipe Nyusi, confirmed that Tanzania will maintain its 300-strong force in the northern district of Nangade even after SAMIM’s departure.

In view of these developments, the PSC during its March 2024 meeting on the situation, instead of endorsing SADC’s decision on the withdrawal of its mission, opted for simply noting the decision. It also requested the sharing of experiences and lessons learned, a comprehensive study and needs assessment, and regular reports and updated briefings from the SADC. The PSC’s requests reflect a cautious approach to the situation in northern Mozambique, emphasising the need to prevent the emergence of a security vacuum after SAMIM’s departure. By focusing on reviewing the Mozambican government’s progress in preparing to fill the void, the Council underscores the importance of assessing the country’s readiness to stabilise itself. This was also indicative that PSC’s engagement in any peace and security situation should not depend on and be mediated through regional mechanisms.

Thus, despite the fact that the PSC’s engagement in the crisis in Cabo Delgado was mediated through SAMIM, the departure of the SADC mission should not mark the end of the PSC being seized with the situation in Cabo Delgado. Developments in the past months warrant such continuous engagement of the PSC without this being mediated. The upcoming field mission of the PSC to Mozambique scheduled for 29 – 31 July 2024 serves not only as an opportunity for PSC’s continuous engagement but also for identifying the ways in which the AU can play a role in the effort for stabilising the Cabo Delgado region, beyond supporting efforts for filling in the vacuum left by the withdrawal of SAMIM. Most notably, during the field mission the PSC can engage national authorities and other local stakeholders in the ways in which the AU can contribute to peacebuilding and reconstruction including through an AU post-conflict reconstruction and development mission.

The content of this article does not represent the views of Amani Africa and reflect only the personal views of the authors who contribute to ‘Ideas Indaba’

Briefing on mediation and reconciliation in conflict resolution in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo

Briefing on mediation and reconciliation in conflict resolution in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo

Date | 14 July 2024

Tomorrow (15 July), the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC) will discuss the role of mediation and reconciliation in resolving the conflict in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), focusing on the Nairobi and Luanda Processes—regional peace initiatives under the auspices of the East African Community (EAC) and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), respectively.

The session commences with an opening remark from Tete Antonio, Minster of External Relations of the Republic of Angola and Chairperson of the PSC at the Ministerial Level. This is followed by a statement by Bankole Adeoye, AU Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security (PAPS). DRC, as the concerned country, may also make an intervention. The representatives of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), ICGLR, EAC and the United Nations (UN) may also deliver statements.

The last time the PSC met on the situation in Eastern DRC at its 1203rd session, it PSC highlighted the importance of the diplomatic efforts embodied in the Nairobi and Luanda processes. These processes are ongoing regional initiatives under the auspices of the EAC and the ICGLR. The Nairobi Process aims to mediate a resolution between the Government of the DRC and various armed groups active in the eastern regions of the country. Concurrently, the Luanda Process seeks to address the inter-state dimension of the crises in the Eastern DRC through dialogue between the DRC and Rwanda. Considering the persistence of the fighting involving the M23 and the fact that both the Nairobi and Luanda processes are stalled, the PSC, apart from receiving updates on the state of the conflict and the peace efforts, faces the challenge of how to overcome the impediments to the two peace processes.

On the security front, the conflict involving the M23 continues to rage on and expand. The M23 is not only deepening its territorial control in North Kivu but also moving towards South Kivu province. Since the last PSC session in March, the M23 came closer to the town of Seke some 27 kilometres from the strategic and regional capital, Goma before abandoning the area. The Special Representative of the Secretary-General and the Head of the UN Stabilisation Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO), Bintou Keita told the UN Security Council (UNSC) in a briefing on 8 July that ‘the M23 captured several strategic locations in North Kivu, burning several FARDC bases and triggering additional population displacements.’ On 29 June it captured Kanyabayonga, a strategic town that connects major commercial centres in North Kivu. In the context of the escalating fighting, it was reported that two South African soldiers died and 20 were injured when the M23 attacked the town of Seke at the end of last month. Beyond the fighting between FARDC and the M23, other domestic and foreign armed groups such as the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), the Coopérative pour le développement du Congo (CODECO), the Forces démocratiques de libération du Rwanda (FDLR), Red Tabara, and Mai-Mai also continue to wreak havoc in the region, significantly impacting the civilian population.

Apart from expressing concern about the territorial expansion of the M23 in North Kivu and its spillover into South Kivu, the head of MONUSCO warned in the 8 July briefing to the UNSC that ‘the rapidly escalating M23 crisis carries the very real risk of provoking a wider regional conflict.’ Instead of the gaps between DRC and Rwanda narrowing down, the tension between the two countries is deepening with escalatory rhetoric and trading of accusations. During the 8 July UNSC briefing the representative of the DRC held that ‘the deployment of Rwandan soldiers on the territory of the DRC, as well as Rwanda’s alliance with the M23 terrorist group to destabilise the country, constitute severe violations of the Charter of the United Nations.’ With a hint of unfulfilled expectations from the international community, the DRC representative noted that ‘[i]t appears that Rwanda has been guaranteed impunity and enjoys a blank cheque’ and called for a change of course by urging action against Rwanda. For the Rwanda representative, the ‘security and governance failures of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, he said, have led to the mushrooming of more than 250 illegal armed groups, chief among them the FDLR.’ The Rwandan representative asserted that Congolese Tutsi populations are being ethnically cleansed by armed groups, hinting it as a source of the fighting (involving M23). The DRC representative asserted that ‘any discussion will be difficult’ as long as Rwanda forces remain in Congolese territory.

In terms of the humanitarian consequences of the conflicts, the UN reports that about 7 million are displaced in eastern DRC. MONUSCO’s chief described the situation as ‘one of the most severe, complex and neglected humanitarian crises of our times.’ Expressing their alarm about the deteriorating security situation in the Kivus and Itury and its humanitarian implications, in a joint statement to the 8 July UNSC briefing, the African 3 plus members of the UNSC (A3+) stated that they are ‘especially concerned about the protection of civilians risks posed by this problem.’

While no major breakthrough has been achieved with respect to the Nairobi and Luanda peace processes, the US working in concert with Angola brokered a two-week humanitarian truce that commenced on 5 July 2023. According to a statement by the US, the ‘truce commits the parties to the conflict to silence their weapons, allow for the voluntary return of displaced people, and provide humanitarian personnel unfettered access to vulnerable populations. The truce covers areas of hostilities most affecting civilian populations.’ It further stated that the DRC and Rwanda governments have expressed support for the truce despite putting conditions for a broader de-escalation. Following their retreat in Zanzibar on 6-8 July, the Foreign Ministers of the EAC called for the indefinite extension of the truce.

Apart from the unwillingness of the DRC government to talk to the M23, the Nairobi process was further complicated by tensions between the DRC and Kenya following a press conference in Nairobi in December 2023, where a new Congolese political coalition known as the Alliance Fleuve Congo (AFC), reportedly including several armed groups such as the M23, was announced. With the formation of the new AFC coalition, the M23 also expressed unwillingness to engage in dialogue with the Congolese government. On 7 June, the EAC held an extraordinary virtual summit to discuss, among other things, the strained relations between some of its member states. During the meeting, Rwandan President Paul Kagame requested an in-person EAC summit as soon as possible. DRC President Félix Tshisekedi did not attend the EAC virtual summit, signalling his dissatisfaction with comments made by Kenyan President William Ruto in a 22 May interview with Jeune Afrique, where Ruto stated that the M23 is a Congolese issue, not a Rwandan one. Nevertheless, following the decisions of the 7 June extraordinary virtual summit, EAC ministers held a retreat in Zanzibar on 8 July to discuss inter-state relations within the EAC and their adverse effects on the regional integration agenda. At this meeting, the Congolese and Rwandan ministers agreed to meet soon within the framework of the Luanda process. Underscoring a political process as the viable path to sustainable peace and security in eastern DRC, the EAC ministers in their communiqué recommended ‘the convening of a summit of the EAC to revitalise the political track of the EAC led Nairobi process in reciprocal coordination with the Luanda process.’

Under the Luanda process, apart from the role that Angola played towards the humanitarian truce that the US brokered between the warring parties in Eastern DRC and following the mini-summit that Angolan President João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço convened on the sidelines of the AU summit that ended without success after bitter exchanges, Lourenço held bilateral meetings with Presidents Tshisekedi and Kagame on 17 February 2024. He continued his diplomatic engagement in Luanda, meeting with the two leaders on 27 February and 11 March 2024, during which they reportedly agreed, in principle, to meet for direct talks. However, this meeting has yet to take place.

On the military track, following the replacement of the EAC forces by SADC Mission to DRC (SAMIDRC), it is to be recalled that the PSC, at its 4 March 2024 session, endorsed the deployment of SAMIDRC and requested the UNSC to support SAMIDRC, despite opposition from Rwanda which considers SAMIDRC as a force taking side with FARDC. The Security Council is expected to discuss possible support for SAMIDRC based on the Secretary-General’s letter submitted on 28 June 2024, which outlines options for the Council’s consideration. These options include information sharing and technical assistance to enhance coordination and deconfliction; limited use of the UN’s logistical assets and capabilities; and comprehensive UN support. During the Security Council’s 8 July 2024 meeting on the situation in DRC, some members ruled out the possibility of applying the third option and emphasised the need to find a political solution through the existing regional peace initiatives under the Nairobi and Luanda processes.

A related issue to note is the proliferation of regional initiatives, highlighting the need for enhanced coordination and harmonisation. To address this, the AU initiated the quadripartite process, involving the EAC, ECCAS, ICGLR, and SADC. The first quadripartite summit held on 27 June 2023, agreed on a joint framework to promote coherence among the initiatives of the four regional mechanisms, with a clear division of responsibilities and timelines. In its March communiqué, the PSC requested the AU Commission to convene a second quadripartite summit to follow up on the implementation of commitments made during the first summit. It is anticipated that the Commission will update the PSC on preparations for this upcoming summit.

Additionally, there is an ongoing discussion on the revitalisation of the 2013 Peace, Security, and Cooperation Framework for the DRC and the Region (PSC-F), ten years after its signing in Addis Ababa, in light of the escalating security situation in eastern DRC and its implications for the peace and stability of the Great Lakes region. This discussion is taking place in line with the decision of the 11th Regional Oversight Mechanism (ROM)—the body overseeing the implementation of the PSC-F—held in Burundi in May 2023. The next ROM meeting, to be hosted by Uganda this year, is expected to consider the recommendations of an independent assessment report on the revitalisation of the PSC-F.

The expected outcome of the session is a communiqué. The PSC is expected to express concern over the escalating insecurity in the eastern DRC. It may condemn the violence targeting civilians, MONUSCO and that which led to the death of SMIDRC soldiers from South Africa. It may reiterate its earlier assertion that there is no military solution to the conflict and welcome the decision of the EAC ministers for the revitalisation of the political process. Commending Angola’s role under the Luanda process, the PSC may also seize the opportunity to welcome the humanitarian truce that the conflict parties agreed to early this month and endorse the call of the EAC ministers for the indefinite extension of the humanitarian truce beyond the two-week period expected to expire on 19 July. In light of the growing danger of the situation spilling into a regional war, the PSC may call for an exercise of utmost restraint, respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the DRC and guarantee for the internal security of Rwanda. The PSC may encourage the EAC and the SADC to encourage Rwanda and DRC to build on their support for the humanitarian truce and engage in the Nairobi and Luanda processes with a higher sense of responsibility and commitment for achieving wider de-escalation. The PSC may also reiterate the importance of the revitalisation of the Peace, Security, and Cooperation Framework for the DRC and the Region including through the adoption of measures such as a continental peace operation that ensure confidence and trust through ensuring territorial integrity and sovereignty of DRC and security of Rwanda on the basis of political agreement for the resolution of the fighting in the eastern DRC on the basis of the Nairobi and Luanda processes. To this end, the PSC may request the AU Commission in consultation with EAC, SADC and ICGLR to explore and present options for an AU-led continental monitoring and supporting mission.

Consideration of the situation in CAR

Consideration of the situation in CAR

Date | 10 July 2024

Tomorrow (11 July), the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC) is expected to convene its 1221st session to discuss developments in the Central African Republic (CAR).

Following opening remarks by Miguel César Domingos Bembe, Permanent Representative of Angola to the AU and Chairperson of the PSC for the month of July 2024, Bankole Adeoye, AU Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security (PAPS), is expected to make a statement. A representative of CAR, as the concerned country, and representatives of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) and the United Nations (UN) may also deliver statements.

The last time the PSC considered the situation in CAR was on 13 June 2023, at its 1157th session. The session welcomed the declaration made by several armed groups that are signatories to the Political Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation (PAPR) to disband their movements in line with Article 5(d) of the Agreement. It also urged other armed groups in CAR, including those that do not fall within the framework of the PAPR, to follow suit and participate in conflict resolution processes and in the implementation of disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) programmes. The focus of tomorrow’s session is to review developments in CAR since the last session including in the implementation of the goals of the PAPR and the Luanda Roadmap.

There have been various engagements to take the peace process in the CAR forward. On 6 February, President Touadéra chaired a special session of the Executive Monitoring Committee of the PAPR during which all relevant stakeholders were urged to remain committed to efforts aimed at fostering the consolidation of peace, security and national unity in CAR. The start of the second phase of the government’s communication plan for the peace process took place on 12 March. Another notable development is the move towards decentralising the implementation of the peace process, including the identification of activities to be undertaken at the local level for the implementation of the PAPR and the Luanda Roadmap. A high-level national conference on peaceful and prosperous transhumance opened on 13 May. In addition to these, the government also continued the implementation of its DDR programme, targeting not only groups but also individuals within armed groups that showed readiness to join the programme.

Despite these encouraging steps, challenges persist in CAR’s peace process. One of the key factors hindering progress is the intransigence of the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC) to rejoin the peace and reconciliation process. The CPC not only continues carrying out attacks in various parts of the country, including a most recent attack in a mining town located a few miles from the capital city, but it also remains to be implicated in reports of human rights abuses and conflict-related sexual violence. Considering that the actions of CPC are causing havoc to the security of civilians and impeding progress in the peace process, a key issue warranting PSC’s reflection during tomorrow’s session is exploring ways of inducing members of the CPC into giving up the use of force and embrace the path of dialogue to resolve the conflict involving the group.

Although the overall security situation has significantly improved in most parts of CAR, some of its remote regions remain unstable. One of the sources of insecurity is the rebel attacks perpetrated mainly by the CPC. The other sources of violence in the CAR involve transhumance-related tensions and criminal activities, particularly the abduction of people for ransom and looting.

There are legislative and institutional efforts for enhancing law and order and the protection of civilians in the CAR. These include the adoption of a national human rights strategy, a sectoral policy on justice, and a national strategy to combat sexual and gender-based violence in the course of the past year. While these are important developments, their significance lies in the political commitment of the government and the mobilisation of wider societal support for their implementation.

Apart from developments in the peace process and the security situation in the CAR, another key issue expected to receive attention during tomorrow’s meeting is the preparations underway for conducting the long-awaited local elections which were postponed from July 2023. The local elections, if conducted according to plan, will be taking place in the country for the first time in over three decades. While this underscores the importance that these local elections have including in extending legitimate structures of governance at local levels, consensus on the holding of the elections is still lacking.

On the one hand, the government and CAR’s partners are forging forward with preparations to conduct the elections in October this year. On the other hand, members of civil society and opposition groups are expressing concerns and calling for further postponement until structural reforms are successfully carried out to pave the way for the formation of an independent elections management body. In addition to voicing concern over the continued fragility of the security situation in parts of the country which may disrupt the elections, opposition groups are also of the opinion that the 30 July 2023 constitutional referendum which led to the adoption of a new constitution scraping the two-term limit and extending presidential mandate from 5 to 7 years is indicative of President Touadéra’s intention to consolidate power and his readiness to rig the local elections in favour of his party. The government does not agree with the position of the opposition and civil society organisations. Apart from viewing the elections as key vehicle for restoring security by fostering local governance, it considers the call for postponement as a manifestation of a lack of the necessary support for the opposition to democratically win the local elections.

It is clear from the existing discourse that there is a lack of trust between the CAR government and opposition groups as well as stakeholders in the civil society space. Despite the importance of conducting the local elections for consolidating democratic dividends and for further institutionalising legitimate structures of governance at the local level, the value of the election in bringing about legitimate local structures depends on wider public trust and buy-in. It may thus be critical to ensure that all processes leading to the elections are inclusive and based on sufficient consultations between the government and all the relevant stakeholders. In this regard, it may also be of relevance to consider the role that can be played by the AU and the sub-regional actors, ECCAS and ICGLR, as well as Angola as the AU champion of peace and reconciliation, to facilitate dialogue among CAR’s stakeholders on measures to be adopted for enhancing confidence and optimal conditions for the holding of the elections as planned.

The humanitarian situation in CAR is another area of concern that deserves the attention of the PSC. According to OCHA’s latest report of 2 July 2024, CAR is currently host to 31,649 forcibly displaced people from Sudan, including 25,491 Sudanese refugees and 6,158 returnees originally from CAR. Furthermore, the food insecurity crisis in CAR remains a major concern, with 2.8 million people in the country, which constitutes 46% of the total population, regarded to be extremely vulnerable that humanitarian assistance alone is feared not to suffice for their well-being. In a global context characterised by dwindling humanitarian funding and given CAR’s years long humanitarian crisis now further compounded due to the ongoing war in Sudan, the humanitarian community in CAR is faced with considerable capacity challenges. On its part, the CAR government adopted a humanitarian response plan in January 2024 with the aim to address the concerns of refugees and IDPs. However, this plan also continues to face the challenge of low financial mobilisation.

The expected outcome of the session is a communiqué. The PSC is expected to welcome the progress made in some areas in the implementation of the PAPR and the Luanda Roadmap and the support provided, including from Angola in this respect. The PSC may encourage the CAR stakeholders to sustain and elevate their efforts to implement the PAPR and the Luanda Roadmap to advance peace and reconciliation in the country. The PSC may condemn attacks perpetrated predominantly by the CPC. It may in this respect task the AU Commission working with ECCAS to develop and submit options for addressing the challenge that the intransigence of CPC poses to the peace process in CAR. It may also note and welcome the appointment of the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the AU Commission to CAR, António Egídio de Sousa Santos, in line with PSC’s request at its 1157th meeting. Highlighting the important role to be played by the AU Mission in CAR (MISAC) in monitoring and evaluating the implementation of the PAPR, the PSC may further emphasise the need for strengthened support for the mission. The PSC may also encourage all CAR stakeholders to engage in inclusive dialogue for enhancing further popular consensus and support, particularly regarding the conduct of the local elections. In this regard, the PSC may also request the AU together with ECCAS and Angola as AU champion of peace and reconciliation, to facilitate engagement with stakeholders having concerns about the preparation for elections for enhancing the conditions that create wider trust and support for the holding of the election. Taking into account the spike in the number of displaced populations hosted in CAR due to the war in Sudan, the PSC may request the AU Commission and AU member states working in concert with ECCAS to mobilise support for the humanitarian efforts of CAR state and non-state actors including through the relevant PRC sub-committee.

Informal Consultation between the PSC and CPAPS on Early Warning

Informal Consultation between the PSC and CPAPS on Early Warning

Date | 8 July 2024

Tomorrow (9 July), the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC) will hold an informal consultation with the Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security (CPAPS) on early warning.

Miguel Cesar Domingos Bembe, Permanent Representative of Angola to the AU and PSC Chairperson for July, will make an opening remark during the informal consultation. The CPAPS, Adeoye, is expected to brief the PSC.

The last time the PSC held an ordinary session on early warning was at its 1208th session convened on 16 April 2024, discussing ways to unblock obstacles and ensure effective early warning and response. During the session, the PSC not only expressed its commitment to fully implement Article 12 of the PSC Protocol on the establishment and operationalisation of AU’s Continental Early Warning System (CEWS) but also tasked the AU Commission (AUC) to take specific measures to enhance early warning and early response. The Commission is also required to report back to the PSC before the end of the year. One such measure highlighted in the communiqué is to ‘hasten the ongoing AUC institutional reforms to enhance the utility of the CEWS in PSC decision-making processes as one of the pillars of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA).’ Furthermore, it is recalled that the PSC, during its Mombasa retreat, held in May 2021, agreed to hold monthly early warning meetings with CPAPS and use such platforms to share particularly ‘sensitive’ early warning information.

While tomorrow’s informal consultation aligns with the Mombasa retreat, the main focus is likely to be on CPAPS providing the PSC with an update on the actions taken as a follow-up to PSC’s 1208th session and sharing proposals for enhancing early warning drawing on analysis received from technical experts tasked by PAPS.

As the PSC reflected on its 20-year journey last month, one of the major limitations identified in the implementation of the PSC Protocol is its conflict prevention mandate broadly, and Article 12 of the Protocol that establishes CEWS specifically. The Dar es Salaam Declaration, adopted on 25 May 2024 at the High-Level Colloquium in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the PSC, commits to enhancing the PSC’s conflict prevention mandate, including by responding swiftly to early warning signs of looming conflicts and crises and fully utilising all available preventive diplomacy tools, such as the Panel of the Wise, the Network of African Women in Conflict Prevention and Mediation (FEMWISE), AU’s Pan-African Network of the Wise (PANWISE), and YouthWISE. The Declaration further emphasises the need for the Commission to elaborate a clear and objective criterion on a trigger mechanism to facilitate the role of the PSC in assessing the need for early action while ensuring its consistent application in all circumstances.

In a special research report we released in May to complement the policy debates on the lessons from the two-decade journey of the PSC, the PSC’s conflict prevention mandate is identified as one of the key aspects of the PSC Protocol where implementation has fallen short and requires further attention. According to the report, despite the PSC Protocol’s emphasis on conflict prevention, the PSC has predominantly functioned like a ‘fire brigade,’ primarily responding to conflicts after they erupt. This tendency, the report argues, has resulted in the proactive dimension of its mandate, especially conflict prevention, being largely ignored.

As noted in our previous analysis, including ‘Insights on the PSC’ and the special research report indicated above, there are several factors that account for this poor state of implementation of early warning and early action dimension of the (APSA). These factors can be categorised into institutional, technical, and political spheres.

Institutionally speaking, the major factor is the AU Commission’s limited focus on conflict prevention as reflected in the institutional reform that restructured the Peace and Security department into the new Political Affairs, Peace, and Security (PAPS). Unlike its predecessor, the new PAPS lacks a dedicated division for conflict prevention and early warning, marking a significant institutional regression in the conflict prevention mandate. With the CEWS structure removed, early warning and governance monitoring are ‘mainstreamed’ into the regional desks, thereby depriving CEWS of a dedicated structure housing and responsible for it. The ‘Situation Room’ now serves PAPS in its entirety rather than being part of the conflict prevention directorate. This restructuring not only fails to confirm with Article 12 of the PSC Protocol but also has created operational difficulties, as CEWS is deprived of a fully dedicated structure for its regular functioning.

The technical aspect of the challenge to the use of early warning for conflict prevention concerns the development of methodologically sound, substantively rigorous and solid early warning reports. Related to this is the process not only for the collection of quality data but also for an informed analysis and interpretation of the early warning data. The call for the establishment of a ‘trigger mechanism and indicators’—a request first made during the Cairo Retreat held in October 2018—to facilitate the role of the PSC in assessing whether a given situation calls an early action by the PSC remains unheeded. The other challenge that traverses the technical and political domains is the lack of effective flow of information between the early warning mechanism and those responsible for initiating early response, the Chairperson of the AU Commission and the PSC. The analysis and reports generated by the early warning system fail to effectively reach decision-makers or prompt timely action. For example, although the ‘horizon-scanning briefings’ were intended to facilitate the exchange of ‘sensitive’ early warning information between the Commission and the PSC, as envisaged in the Mombasa retreat, these briefings seldom delve into such sensitive matters.

On the political front, the major hurdle, as alluded to by the PSC in various of its sessions including the 1208th session as well as the May 2024 High-Level Colloquium, is the ‘culture of denialism’ by Member States and Regional Economic Communities/Regional Mechanisms (RECs/RMs) regarding credible early warning reports of looming crisis and conflict situations, while invoking sovereignty as a shield. This denial prevents timely action, including the deployment of preventive diplomacy and mediation. At times, Member States are backed by RECs/RMs, claiming the principle of subsidiarity, to block a looming situation/crisis from reaching the agenda of the PSC.

The PSC has explored several options to address these challenges. It is thus critical to ensure the implementation of the relevant parts of the conclusions of the Cairo and Mombasa retreats of the PSC. The 1208th session also outlined several measures, including expediting the ongoing AUC institutional reforms; utilising the Panel of the Wise and AU Inter-Regional Knowledge Exchange on Early Warning and Conflict Prevention (I-RECKE); leveraging technological advancements; ensuring the timely dissemination of daily, weekly and monthly early warning reports to Member States; and monitoring, tracking and ensuring the implementation of previous decisions of the PSC on continental early warning and security outlook.

The next and critical phase in the effective deployment of early warning is ensuring the reinstitution of the CEWS as envisaged in the PSC Protocol. Indeed, critical to compliance with the PSC Protocol as envisaged in Article 12 is housing the CEWS in a dedicated structure within PAPS, hence reversing the mistake of dismantling the structure where CEWS was housed during the institutional reform that led to the emergence of the current PAPS Department. It is also critical to develop and implement a protocol for sharing early warning on country-specific developments with the AU Commission Chairperson and the PSC.

Not any less important is ensuring the timely crafting and activation of early action. As outlined in our special research report cited above, there can be no effective conflict prevention where early warning is not accompanied by and does not trigger follow-up preventive action. Article 9 enjoins the PSC to ‘take initiatives and action it deems appropriate with regard to situations of potential conflict’. It is thus incumbent on the PSC to determine whether to pursue such ‘initiatives and action’ through a) collective intervention of the Council as a whole, b) its Chairperson, c) the Chairperson of the AU Commission, d) the Panel of the Wise, and e) in collaboration with a regional mechanism. It is thus clear that the collective intervention of the PSC—whether through a) having a matter on the agenda of the PSC, b) considering such matter in an informal consultation, or c) undertaking a field mission—is only one of the range of options available for preventive action.

No formal outcome document is expected from tomorrow’s consultation. However, concrete recommendations on enhancing the continental early warning system are anticipated to emerge from the consultation. The PSC may provide direction on the next steps to translate the recommendations, as well as previous decisions on the issue, into action. Member states may request full implementation of Article 12 of the PSC Protocol, which requires ensuring the reinstitution of the CEWS structure in the PAPS department as envisaged in the PSC Protocol. PSC may also reiterate its request from the 1208th session for the Commission to report to the PSC before the end of this year on the implementation of the specific measures outlined in the communiqué, with a view to unblocking obstacles and ensuring effective early warning and response.

PSC@20. Brainstorming: “Summit of the Future”

PSC@20. Brainstorming: “Summit of the Future”

Date | 4 July 2024

Tomorrow (5 July), the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC) is expected to convene its 1220th meeting to brainstorm on the Summit of the Future. The meeting is expected to be held as an open session.

Following opening remarks from Miguel Cesar Domingos Bembe, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Angola to the AU and PSC Chairperson for July 2024, Bankole Adeoye, Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security (PAPS) is expected to deliver a statement. Emilia Ndinelao Mkusa, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Namibia to the AU is also expected to make a statement alongside Stephan Auer, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Ethiopia and representatives from the United Nations (UN) Office to the AU (UNOAU) and the European Union (EU) Delegation to the AU.

The meeting is being convened following the adoption of UN75 Declaration by the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in September 2020 which tasked the UN Secretary-General António Guterres to give prospective recommendations to enhance global governance following the exponential  threats and minimum progress in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals. This subsequently led to the secretary-general releasing the report, ‘Our Common Agenda’ on 5 August 2021, which gave an outfit of his vision for the future of multilateralism, in which he proposed to have the ‘Summit of the Future’, which is to be convened in September 2024 in New York.

Under the theme, ‘Summit of the Future: Multilateral Solutions for a Better Tomorrow’, the upcoming summit is expected to converge leaders from across the world, to enhance efforts to accelerate progress on current global commitments and address emerging challenges, with the aim of revitalising the multilateral system. The summit will culminate in the endorsement of a negotiated document called the ‘Pact for the Future’ – to be adopted by consensus – which will focus on Sustainable Development and Financing for Development; International Peace and Security; Science, Technology and Innovation and Digital Cooperation; The Rights of Youth and Future Generations; and Transforming Global Governance. The Pact for the Future is a global commitment to address the importance of human rights, gender equality and the ‘need to leave no one behind.’ The zero draft Pact of the Future additionally calls for increased funding for sustainable development and peacebuilding efforts and highlights the need for new models of peace operations to address the evolving nature of conflict. To achieve this, the Pact calls for increased funding for sustainable development and peacebuilding, alongside new approaches to peacekeeping that can adapt to the changing nature of conflict.

The developments leading into the Summit of the Future have been led by Germany and Namibia. They released a starting point for zero draft of the Pact of the Future in January 2024. Before that, there were discussions in late 2023 where many countries and other groups gave their ideas. In July 2023, the UN Secretary-General proposed a new approach to peace and security (“A New Agenda for Peace” – NA4P) which underscored the need to strengthen the relationship between the UN and regional organisations, recognising that regional organisations, like the AU, are the critical building blocks of multilateral cooperation and central to conflict prevention, management and resolution. UN Secretary-General highlighted the significance of peace support operations as a key area of cooperation between the UN and AU and emphasised the need for reliable, predictable and sustainable funding for such operations.

Noteworthy, the AU has a number of existing policies and common positions that can be adapted to assist in drafting a common position for the Pact for the Future. It is important for the AU to highlight these to its member states to enable the region to negotiate as a collective bloc, which would benefit Africa’s overall development. Specifically, the AU can draw from the following:

Chapter 1: Sustainable Development and Financing for Development:

  • Agenda 2063 – The AU’s strategic framework for socio-economic transformation.

Chapter 2: International Peace and Security:

  • AU’s understanding on Resolution 2719.
  • Common African Position on Small Arms and Light Weapons.

Chapter 3 – Science, Technology, Innovation and Digital Cooperation

Chapter 4 – Youth and Future Generations

Chapter 5 – Transforming Global Governance:

  • Common African Position on the Proposed Reform of the United Nations (Ezulwini Consensus)

Over and beyond, stakeholder engagements have occurred, offering insights for developing common positions among African States and exploring AU positions. From 9 to 11 May 2024, a UN Civil Society Conference took place in Nairobi, Kenya which provided preliminary discussions and data ahead of the Summit of the Future. UN outreach efforts were also conducted at regional and country levels between February and April 2024, including regional fora. Furthermore, the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) hosted the tenth Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD-10) from 23 to 25 April 2024 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to, among others, mobilise Africa’s priorities and inputs for the Summit of the Future. In conjunction with the Pact for the Future zero draft, a Global Digital Compact and Declaration on Future Generations was developed. Co-facilitated by Sweden and Zambia, the Global Digital Compact underwent informal consultations from February to May 2024. Notably, it underwent three readings: the first on 5 April 2024, the second on 2 May 2024 and the third on 16 May 2024. The Netherlands and Fiji originally co-facilitated the Declaration on Future Generations, with Jamaica succeeding Fiji as co-facilitator and the informal consultations took place in January 2024 and virtual consultations with stakeholders on the 15 and 16 January. Written inputs were provided by 26 February enabling a zero draft on the Declaration, which was circulated in March. To date, there have been four readings, the first reading on 8 April, second reading on 14 May, third reading on 10 June and the fourth reading on the 26 June 2024.

In relation to this, Amani Africa has also been instrumental and resourceful in contributing to the developments leading to the Summit of the Future, with publications and organising events. Its Policy Brief titled: Africa and Peace and Security Diplomacy in a Time of the New Agenda for Peace, released in June 2023, provided thoughts on crisis management (peace and security) diplomacy in the changing global order through the prism of what this means for Africa and its role. The policy brief recommended a multifaceted approach to peacebuilding that extends beyond military solutions. An approach that should leverage regional organisations, development tools and non-military means for conflict prevention, such as early warning systems and addressing the root causes of conflict. The policy brief further emphasised the importance of strong regional partnerships and a networked multilateral system for effective peacebuilding efforts. In addition, it was also recommended that peacebuilding efforts extend beyond conflict resolution to include delegitimising war economies, supporting local communities and fostering regional cooperation in post-conflict situations. The policy brief also acknowledged the emergence of new threats like pandemics and climate change, necessitating the development of updated diplomatic strategies, and called for strengthened arms control efforts to address traditional threats like nuclear weapons. It also underscored the critical role of robust humanitarian diplomacy in protecting civilians caught in conflict and maintaining legitimacy in a complex global landscape. This emphasis included utilising frameworks like Women, Peace and Security (WPS) and Youth, Peace and Security (YPS), alongside broader civilian protection measures.

Building on this, in February 2024, Amani Africa released a Dispatch on Why Africa needs a new strategy on how to position itself in the face of tectonic global shifts and the quest for reform of multilateralism. In addition Amani Africa’s Special Research Report: Africa and the Summit of the Future: Seizing the New Window of Opportunity for the Reform of the UN Security Council, released in June 2024, dissected the renewed push for the reform of the UNSC, and how Africa comes in, in this push for reform. In general, the special research report highlights the historical point of view of Africa not being well-represented when the UN was formed, and today, the continent lacking permanent seats in the Security Council, and having limited non-permanent ones. The desired outcome however from the recommendations of the research outlined that Africa wants a UNSC that is: more just: Fixes the historical imbalance in representation; more effective: Addresses global peace and security challenges better; and more reflective of today’s world: Represents the rise of multipolarity (more than just a few powerful countries). In this regard, Amani Africa underscored that the Summit of the Future will not change how the Security Council works, rather it will be a stepping stone for future reforms.

Subsequently, Amani Africa has organised a series of events on this discourse since July 2023 under the Joint Namibia and Amani Africa high-level panel of experts on Africa and the reform of the multilateral system project. On 17 to 18 July 2023, Namibia and Amani Africa jointly convened the meeting of a High-Level Panel of Experts on Africa and the Reform of the Multilateral System held in Windhoek, Namibia, which brought together experts to deliberate on the nature of the multidimensional changes or transformations taking place in the world, the challenges and opportunities these developments present for Africa in its engagement in the multilateral system and the negotiating position that Africa needs to articulate to secure its interest in the ongoing varied processes for the reform/transformation of the multilateral system, including for redressing the historical injustice of Africa’s exclusion from the UN Security Council. This led to the adoption of a strategic document articulating the objectives, methodology and program of work of the panel of experts towards elaborating a report on ‘Africa and the Reform of the Multilateral System.’

On 26 September 2023, at the sidelines of the UNGA 78, the continuation of the series of events of the High-level Panel took place in New York with the Africa and the transformation of the Multilateral System – Side Event in which the discussion centred on Africa’s desired outcomes from the reform of the multilateral system. The core concerns from the event were how to ensure Africa has a strong voice and can achieve its development goals. These included reforming financial and trade structures, as well as securing a more just and influential role in the UN Security Council, potentially including permanent membership. Beyond just a veto on the Council, the discussion explored other ways for Africa to contribute meaningfully to global peace and security. Amani Africa also convened a Dialogue on the New Agenda for Peace: Reimagining the UN-AU Partnership in Peace and Security on 12 December 2023 which converged stakeholders from the UN, AU and other independent entities in the space of peace and security in Africa, to discuss how to strengthen the partnership between the UN and AU in maintaining peace and security in the continent.

On 14 to 15 December 2023, Amani Africa convened the joint Namibia-Amani Africa High-Level Panel of Experts on Africa and the Reform of the Multilateral System in Nairobi, Kenya, which served as a platform to consider the draft report of the High-Level Panel on the reform of the multilateral system. The Final Convening of the Joint Namibia-Amani Africa High-Level Panel on Africa and the Reform of the Multilateral System was held on 18 to 19 March 2024 in Addis Ababa which saw discussions delving into reflections on global digital architecture and Africa’s place in shaping norms for the regulation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other Transformative Technology; Reflections on Reform of Global Financial Architecture and Establishment of AU Financial Institution; Reflections on UNSC Reform – which focused on options and pathways for Africa’s equitable representation. The high-level panel also focused on multilateral negotiations on Climate Change and enhancing Africa’s negotiation architecture on climate change; and Reflections on ‘AU as a pillar of reformed multilateralism’ with a particular interest in Resolution 2719 and AU at G20 as signifiers. This convening provided the platform for the finalisation of the High-level report on the reform of the multilateral system.

Tomorrow’s meeting therefore will serve as a platform for the AU to involve its member states and other stakeholders to discuss on how to address current and future challenges, and restore trust in multilateralism ahead of the ‘Action Day(s)’ on 20 to 21 September 2024, which will prompt additional action and commitments from member states, civil society and other stakeholders. The cardinal elements that will guide the AU to augment Africa’s peace and security priorities will be the push to reform the UNSC; A new peace operation doctrine that surpasses traditional peacekeeping in favour of the realities on the ground; A reaffirmation of the primacy of politics – which involve resolving conflict through dialogue and not militarily. More so, the discourse on the reform of the Global Financial Architecture (GFA) is of significance, alongside (a just) climate change agenda; a global digital architecture; an Effective Representation of Africa in the G20; and women and youth representation. In this regard, a reformed multilateral system should be guided by a number of principles which include representation, in essence, having a seat the decision-making table. Second, equity, fairness and justice. Third, equality of the dignity of all nations and peoples; transparency; and lastly, the reaffirmation of commitment for the principles of the UN Charter and international law.

The expected outcome of tomorrow’s session is a communique or a summary record. Council may commend the contributions of member states, partners and civil society for their contribution to the preparation to the Summit of the Future, and particularly extend its appreciation to Namibia and Germany who are co-facilitating the Summit. Council may also call for strengthened cooperation and coordination among member states to address current and emerging peace and security challenges on the continent. Council may also raise awareness of the preparations for the Summit of the Future and mobilise the member state’s contribution to the draft Pact of the Future in addressing Africa’s priorities and common positions to be included in the Summit of the Future on peace and security and global governance. Council may urge AU member states to actively engage in the Summit of the Future and promote common positions to increase the voice of Africa as a region and also to renew multilateral system support to the realisation of the AU’s Agenda 2063 aspirations and silencing the guns flagship project. Furthermore, the meeting may provide guidance on approaches Africa should adopt to reflect its interests and voice in the Pact for the Future.

Provisional Program of Work for the Month of July 2024

Provisional Program of Work for the Month of July 2024

Date | July 2024

In July 2024, the Republic of Angola will take over the role of chairing the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC) from the Republic of Uganda. The provisional program of work of the month envisages a total of five substantive agenda items. Additionally, the program of work also includes a field mission to Mozambique and an informal consultation between the PSC and the Commissioner of Political Affairs and Peace and Security (C-PAPS) on Early Warning. Of the five substantive agenda items, two will address country-specific situations while the remaining three will focus on thematic issues. One of the sessions is scheduled to take place at ministerial level. Apart from the activities of the PSC, the Military Staff Committee (MSC) and the Committee of Experts (CoE) will also be meeting during the month.

The first session of the month is scheduled for 5 July and as part of the commemoration of the PSC at 20 it will hold an open session to brainstorm on the ‘Summit of the Future’. On 21 September 2020, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the UN75 Declaration, tasking United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres with providing recommendations to enhance global governance amidst escalating threats and the lack of progress in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals. In response to this mandate, Secretary-General Guterres released a report titled ‘Our Common Agenda’ on 5 August 2021, outlining his vision for the future of multilateralism and proposing the ‘Summit of the Future’. Scheduled for September 2024, the Summit of the Future aims to bring world leaders together to accelerate efforts toward fulfilling current global obligations and to take concrete actions addressing emerging challenges and opportunities. This summit is designed to revitalise the multilateral system and will culminate in the endorsement of a document named the ‘Pact for the Future,’ which is currently being negotiated through consensus-based intergovernmental negotiations. Therefore, this session is expected to take stock of the state of participation of African states in the negotiations and to contribute towards the articulation of shared perspectives on the proposals that African states could advance collectively regarding the various chapters of the Pact of the Future.

On 9 July, the PSC will convene an informal consultation with the C-PAPS on Early Warning. This consultation aligns with the 13th PSC retreat on its working methods within the context of AU institutional reforms, which agreed to a monthly informal consultation between PSC Ambassadors/Charge d’Affaires and the C-PAPS. As stated in the retreat’s conclusions, the meeting will serve as a platform for the Commission and Council to share particularly sensitive early warning information. Additionally, the discussions are expected to explore ways to enhance and fully operationalise the CEWS to improve anticipation, preparedness, and early response to conflicts across the continent. The meeting may also address institutional and technical challenges to CEWS and follow up on previous decisions, particularly those from the PSC’s 1208th session held on 14 April 2024.

On 11 July, the PSC will hold its second substantive session of the month for an update on the situation in the Central African Republic (CAR). The last time the PSC held a session on CAR was at its 1157th session, which was held before the local elections that were scheduled for July 2023. During the session, it emphasised the responsibilities of the government and all political and social stakeholders to ensure the elections occurred as scheduled. However, the local elections were postponed to prepare for a constitutional referendum that was held on 30 July 2023. In relation to the local elections, the PSC is expected to receive a briefing on the necessary arrangements for CAR’s rescheduled local and regional elections, now set for 13 October 2024, and 26 January 2025. Furthermore, the session is expected to review the implementation status of the peace agreement, including the integration of the African Union Observer Mission in the Central African Republic’s (MOUACA) mandate into the AU Mission in CAR and the mission’s capacity to follow up on these tasks. Additionally, considering the PSC’s previous requests for the UN Security Council to lift the arms embargo against CAR, and with the CAR sanctions regime set to expire on 31 July 2024, as extended by UNSC Resolution 2693 adopted on 27 July 2023, the PSC is expected to discuss developments on this matter. Another issue that has particular resonance with the current continental policy discussion on unconstitutional changes of government and may receive attention is the July 2023 constitutional amendment that removed the two-term limit on the mandate of the President.

On 15 July, the PSC will consider the role of mediation and reconciliation in conflict resolution in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), focusing on the Luanda and Nairobi Processes. During its 1203rd session, the PSC highlighted the importance of the diplomatic efforts embodied in these processes. The Nairobi and Luanda processes are ongoing regional initiatives under the auspices of the East African Community (EAC) and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR). The Nairobi Process aims to mediate a resolution between the Government of the DRC and various armed groups active in the eastern regions of the country. Concurrently, the Luanda Process seeks to address the inter-state dimension of the crises in the Eastern DRC through dialogue between the DRC and Rwanda. Considering the persistence of the fighting involving the M23 and the fact that both the Nairobi and Luanda processes are stalled, the PSC, apart from receiving updates on the state of the conflict and the peace efforts, faces the challenge of how to overcome the impediments to the two peace processes. The other issue that this session is expected to address concerns how the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Mission to DRC (SAMIDRC) can support and align with the Nairobi and Luanda processes.

On 24 July, the PSC scheduled a key thematic session to discuss the future of Peace Support Operations (PSOs), focusing on financing, new configurations, coordination, lessons learned, and best practices. This session follows the 14 June 2024 PSC session on UN Security Council Resolution 2719(2023), in which member states expressed differing viewpoints on the matter. It is therefore anticipated that PSC members will have further discussions on the modalities for the implementation of Resolution 2719.

On 25 July, the fifth and the last session of the month will convene to consider the Mid-Year Report of the Chairperson of the Commission on Elections in Africa, covering the period from January to June 2024. This report aims to provide an overview of the elections conducted during the first half of the year, January to June 2024. In addition to reviewing these past elections, the report will offer an outlook on upcoming elections scheduled for the second half of the year, from July to December 2024. It is expected to highlight the evolving situations in Rwanda, Algeria, Mauritius, Namibia, and Ghana as these countries prepare for elections. Special attention may be given to Mozambique due to the worsening security situation in the northern part of the country. Furthermore, considering the potential for elections in conflict-affected countries such as Libya and South Sudan, the report is expected to provide updates on recent developments regarding elections in these Countries. Besides, this session presents an opportunity for the PSC to explore ways to assist member states in preventing electoral violence, addressing potential risks in some countries that are prone to election-related violence. Moreover, the Chairperson’s report is anticipated to include recommendations for improving electoral processes and outcomes.

Aside from these substantive sessions, the program of work for July indicates in the footnote the convening of the 3rd Policy Session of the African Union Inter-Regional Knowledge Exchange (I-RECKE) on 20 July 2024 in Accra, Ghana with a theme, ‘Joint Resource Mobilisation for Regional and Continental Conflict Peace and Security Initiatives’ 20 July 2024, Accra, Ghana. The program also anticipates a meeting of the MSC on 8 July, scheduled for a discussion on the proliferation of mercenaries and its impact on peace and security in the continent. The CoE is also scheduled to meet on 12 July for the preparation of the 18th Annual Joint Consultative Meeting between the UNSC and AUPSC, in preparation for the induction of the newly elected members of the PSC.

The field mission to Mozambique is expected to be the last activity of the PSC for the month of July 2024. The field mission is scheduled to be held from 29 to 31 July. The mission is expected to enable the PSC to engage with the Government of Mozambique on developments related to the security situation in the country. Given the field mission is coming after the 15 July 2024 deadline for the withdrawal of SAMIM, during the field mission, the PSC will also assess the measures being put in place to avoid the emergence of a security vacuum post-SAMIM.