PSC Program of Work for the Month of March 2018

2018 Program of Work

Date | 12 March, 2018

Following consultation between the Peace and Security Council (PSC) Secretariat and the incoming chair of the PSC, the draft provisional program of work of the month for March 2018 was considered and adopted at the 13th February 2018 session of the PSC. The provisional program is relatively light with only six sessions of which only four focusing on specific peace and security situations. As the 10 members of the PSC serving for the past two years conclude their tenure by the end of the month, time has also been assigned in this month’s program of work for the induction of the newly elected and returning members of the PSC. Niger, whose two-year term comes to an end at the end of the month, assumed the Chairpersonship of the PSC today. For Niger, the G5 Sahel joint force featuring in this month’s program of work is the main item of most direct interest.

When the Council started its program of the month this morning, it had two items on its agenda. One of these is the draft provisional program of work of the PSC for April 2018. It is the first time that the program of work for the next month is tabled for consideration on the very first day of the preceding month. The other is review of the preparation for the AU-PSC and EU-Political and Security Committee (PSC) joint mission to the Central African Republic. For ten years, the main mechanism in the partnership between the AUPSC and EU-PSC has been the annual joint consultative meeting that rotates between Addis Ababa and Brussels.

The two sides held their most recent consultative meeting in November 2017. With the joint mission, the two entities have established an additional mechanism that opens avenues for shared understanding and coherent and complementary policy approaches. The joint filed mission is scheduled to take place from 6 to 9 March 2018. The Council will meet just over a week later the 15th of March to discuss and adopt the report of the joint mission.

On 13 March, the council will examine the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). With the authoritarian drift of the government amid mounting opposition against the president over the delay in holding general elections, the political and security situation has become worrisome. This situation is marked by sporadic clashes between protesters and security forces in the capital Kinshasa and recurring fighting between proliferating armed militias and government forces in several other areas of the country. For the region and the AU, there are two major concerns. First, there is ever mounting fear over the impending relapse of the country back to major national scale conflicts. Second, the uncertainty over the holding of the general elections scheduled for December 2018, already postponed two times since 2016. The proliferation of armed fighting and rising tension between opposition groups and the government has made the situation dire.

In its last meeting on DRC on 7 November 2017, the PSC discussed the report of its field mission by its members to the DRC from 22 to 26 October 2017. The meeting emphasized on the importance of the agreements signed by political stakeholders on a free, fair, peaceful, credible and transparent elections in the DRC, as a vehicle to a democratic transition, which failed to materialize as the electoral calendar was postponed for yet another one year.

One of the standing annual thematic agenda of the PSC relate to women and children in armed conflict. Following its annual schedule, the PSC will convene an open session on 13 March on the plight of women and children in Conflict situations. Apart from the expected role of the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the AU Commission on Women and Peace and Security, the open session will involve, among others, the participation of representatives of RECs, embassies accredited to the AU and civil society organizations.

On 23 March, the council is scheduled to consider the situation in Mali and the Sahel and the G5 Sahel Joint Force. The Council will receive the report of the Chairperson of the Commission on Mali and the Sahel. The AU High Representative for Mali and the Sahel and Head of the African Union Mission for Mali and the Sahel (MISAHEL), former President Pierre Buyoya will brief the Council on the political and security situation in Mali. As part of the renewal of the mandate of the G5 Sahel Joint Force, the Council will also consider the status of operationalization of the Force. The last time the council discussed the Sahel on 21 November 2017 it expressed its frustration on the slow progress in the implementation of the elements of the Algiers Process. It also expressed its concern on the worsening security situation in parts of Mali and the Sahel.

The three days between 26 to 28th March are dedicated to the induction of the new members of the council elected at the AU summit that took place at the end of January 2018. The induction moved to be held in Djibouti covers briefings on the PSC Protocol, the mandate of the PSC, the working methods of the PSC and the roles, among others, of its member states, the monthly rotating chairperson of the Council and the PSC Secretariat. Of the ten members of the PSC whose two-year term will start on 1 April 2018, only three countries namely Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Togo are current members re-elected for another two-year term. The induction will in particular be useful for the new members (Liberia and Morocco) that have no previous representation in the PSC. Guinea Bissau will be the last item on the agenda of the PSC for the month of March. On 29 March the council will receive a briefing on the situation in Guinea Bissau. The country, which has been passing through a security and political crisis, last featured on the agenda of the PSC on 13 February 2018. The meeting noted the continued political standoff and the ‘paralysis affecting the government institutions and the People’s National Assembly’ as the biggest concern for stability. It called on civilian oversight of the security and armed forces and refrain from political intervention. The planned meeting on 29 March will review the political and security situation in the country and the status of the ECOWAS mission present in the country.


Insights on the PSC Update on PSC’s April Program of Work

2018 Program of Work

Date | 17 April, 2018

The Amani insight on the monthly program of work of the Peace and Security Council was produced on 2 April 2018. Since then the arrangement for the sessions anticipated in the monthly
program has been changed. Most notably, as preparations for facilitating the visit had to be finalized, the PSC plan for a field visit to South Sudan from 9 to 13 April was shifted to the following week.

Since 15 April, the PSC has been in South Sudan for its field visit and this field visit is anticipated to run until 20 April. This presents members of the PSC to have first hand engagement on the ground and interaction with the various stakeholders in the South Sudan peace process. Apart from conveying the continental body’s message for ensuring that the national dialogue is inclusive and complements the High Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF) of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), this visit galvanizes the push for committed participation of South Sudanese parties in the peace revitalization process of the HLRF expected to take place from 2 to 6 May 2018 in Addis Ababa.

Accordingly, some of the sessions of the PSC planned for the week of 16 April were brought forward to the week of 9 April. Accordingly, the PSC held its briefing on the effective take off of the AU Humanitarian Agency on 9 April. The following day, the PSC held its briefing on ‘Nuclear energy, non-proliferation and disarmament’.

The open session on corruption and conflict resolution, initially planned for 24 April, took place on 12 April. Our pre-session insight on this agenda is here. On 13 April, the PSC held the briefing on peace support operations in Africa focusing on the highlevel joint field visit by the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security and the UN Under Secretary for Peacekeeping Operations. The major highlights of this session as covered in our pre-session insight is here. This was also the session where the PSC considered and adopted the provisional program of work for May 2018.

On its return to Addis Ababa next week, the PSC will continue with its program of work. A second open session that was initially scheduled to take place before the field mission to South Sudan is now planed to take place on Tuesday 24 April. The focus of this open session is ‘Africa’s peace and security landscape by 2023 (end of the first ten year plan of AU agenda 2063): A prospective analysis of peace and security challenges. Representatives of various organizations including the Institute for Security Studies and International IDEA are expected to present briefings at this session.

On 25 April, the PSC will have a briefing on the operationalization of the African Standby Force (ASF). While much of the agenda in the monthly program of work came from Nigeria as chair of the month and a few from the Peace and Security Department, this agenda came from a member of the PSC. AU Peace Support Operations Division and Regional Economic Communities and/or Regional Mechanisms are expected to brief the PSC.

The PSC is scheduled to hold a session on the situation in South Sudan, the only country situation on the agenda of the month, on 26 April. This is also the session where the PSC would consider the Report of its field mission to South Sudan. Briefings are also expected from the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the AU Commission, the UN Panel of Experts on South Sudan and IGAD.

On 30 April, the PSC may hold a briefing on sustainable financing of AU peace operations and the Peace Fund, although this could be shifted to the next month program of work under Rwandan
presidency of the PSC. Two footnotes in the monthly program envisage plan on the establishment of the PSC Sub-Committees on Counter-Terrorism and Sanctions and for informal consultative meeting with the AU Commission Chairperson.


Provisional Program of Work of the PSC for May 2018

2018 Program of Work

Date | 29 April, 2018

Rwanda assumes the role of the monthly chairpersonship of the Peace and Security Council (PSC) for the month of May when the monthly program of work of the PSC commences on 2nd of May. As
in April, the May program is relatively heavy with the PSC expected to hold nine sessions and a field
mission to Darfur, Sudan. A wide range of thematic peace and security issues dominate the program
of the month, with two open sessions. The monthly program also envisages ministerial level session,
which will consider two of the nine agenda items on the monthly program.

The program of the month starts with a briefing on the African Union (AU) Peace Fund. This is the first session on the Peace Fund since the adoption by the PSC of the proposed governance structures and the organization of the Peace Fund at its 30 May 2017 session. It is anticipated that the AU
Special Envoy on the Financing of the Union and the Peace Fund, Donald Kaberuka, will provide updates on the status of operationalization of the Peace Fund.

The first open session is scheduled to take place on the 8th of May on the ‘Principles of Protection of Civilians in Conflict Situations in Africa’. The Department of Peace and Security (PSD) and the UN Office to the AU are expected to brief the PSC on the principles highlighting their importance, status and use in the operationalization of the African Standby Force. It is also in this same session that the PSC is expected to consider and adopt the provisional program of work of the PSC for June. On the 10th of May, the PSC is scheduled to have a session on the situation of African migrants, an update and impediments for the continental free movement of peoples in Africa. It is a follow up to the 21 July 2017 session of the PSC on the same. The PSC is expected to receive briefings from the Committee of Intelligence and Security Services of Africa (CISSA) and the Departments of Political Affairs and Peace and Security. Others expected to make statements include representatives of Regional Economic Communities (RECs)/Regional Mechanisms (RMs).

On the 15th of May, the second open session of the month is expected to take place focusing on climate-induced conflicts. The PSD and the Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture are expected to provide briefings on the theme.

From the 16th to 19th of May, the PSC is expected to undertake a field mission to Darfur Sudan. This is expected to provide the PSC the opportunity to review for itself the conditions in Drafur and the arrangements that ensure smooth transition in the context of the draw down of UNAU Mission in Darfur (UNAMID). As a follow up to this field mission, the PSC will convene a session on UNAMID on the 22nd of May. During this session the PSC will consider the Special Report of the Chairperson of the AU Commission and the Secretary General of the UN on the Strategic Review of UNAMID, its field mission report and renewal of the mandate of UNAMID. Apart from the PSD, Jeremiah Mamabolo, the Joint Special Representative of the UN and the AU are expected to provide briefings.

On the 21st of May the PSC will hold a briefing on the Continental Results Framework for Monitoring and Reporting on the Implementation of the Women, Peace and Security agenda in
Africa. In this session the PSC is expected to consider a report on the theme and Bineta Diop, the Special Envoy of the Chairperson of the Commission, is set to provide briefing to the PSC.

The PSC is expected to have a briefing session on ‘illicit flow and financing of arms in Africa’ on the 24th of May,. The theme of this session forms part of the areas specifically singled out for action in the AU Agenda on Silencing the Guns. The Regional Centre on Small Arms (RECSA) and the PSD are expected to provide briefings to the PSC. All members of the UN Security Council are expected to participate in the closed session. In addition to examining the trends and dynamics in the illicit flow of weapons, this session is expected to take stock of the impact of the proliferation of the establishment of military bases on the continent by various non-African countries.

The last session scheduled for the 31st of May will take place at ministerial level focusing on two themes. The first is on the ‘role of Africa in the harmonization of initiatives and operationalization of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) in the Sahel’. Moussa Faki Mahamat, the Chairperson of the AU Commission is expected to brief the Council. The second expected to take place in the afternoon is on the ‘status of repatriation of migrants from Libya’. Mahamat is expected to present a report on conditions of migrants including updates on the AU and international responses to the plight of African migrants.


Insights on the PSC Update on PSC’s May Program of Work

2018 Program of Work

Date | 21 May, 2018

The PSC program of work for the month of May 2018 saw major restructuring of the sequence of the agenda items, and included some new additional themes since Amani published the Insight on the
program on 29 May 2018.

The second week of the PSC saw the most changes as the PSC shifted its field mission to Darfur from the 16th to 19th of May to from 5 to 9 May 2018. The PSC session on African Migrants Crisis, Imperative for Expediting Free Movement Policy in Africa was held on 11 May instead of the provisional slot on the 10th. The 11 May meeting also considered and adopted the Draft Provisional Program of the PSC for the Month of June.

The Report on the Continental Results Framework for Monitoring and Reporting on the Implementation of the Women Peace and Security Agenda in Africa has been brought forward from
21 May to 16 May. A new agenda was also added to the 16 May session of the PSC. The PSC had a briefing on the Regional Cooperation Initiative for the Elimination of the LRA (RCI-LRA) and the renewal of the RCI-LRA.

On 18 May, the PSC considered the report on its field mission to Sudan and the status of implementation of UNAMID’s downsizing and reconfiguration. The open session on ‘Climate Induced Conflicts: Sources of Insecurity in Africa’, initially planned for 15 May, now takes place on 21 May. The second open session on the ‘Principles of Protection of Civilians in Conflict Situations in Africa’ initially scheduled for 8 May will take place on 22 May.

On 24 May, the PSC briefing session on ‘Illicit Flow and Financing of Arms in Africa’ will be held as initially planned. The theme of this session forms part of the areas specifically singled out for action in the AU Agenda on Silencing the Guns.

On 31 May, the last session of the month will also go as planned. The session which will take place at ministerial level will focus on two themes. The first is on the ‘role of Africa in the harmonization of initiatives and operationalization of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) in the Sahel’. Moussa Faki Mahamat, the Chairperson of the AU Commission is expected to brief the Council. The second item will be on the Chairperson’s ‘Report on Security and Migration in Africa’.


Provisional Program of Work of the PSC for June 2018

2018 Program of Work

Date | 31 May, 2018

Sierra Leone assumes the role of the monthly chairpersonship of the Peace and Security Council (PSC) for the month of June when the monthly program of work of the PSC commences on 1st of June. Compared to the last two months and owing to the African Union (AU) summit, the June program is relatively light. The plan includes six substantive sessions and other sessions for consideration of the report on the activities of the PSC to be submitted to the AU summit, taking place from 25 June.

The program of the month starts with an open session on ‘the Delimitation and Demarcation of Boundaries in Africa the way forward to resolve interstate Conflict in Africa’. The meeting
commemorates the Africa Border Day, which is celebrated on 7 June. The African Union Border Program (AUBP) of the Peace and Security Department (PSD) will brief the session. The informal consultative discussions between the PSC Committee of Experts and the UNSC Experts will take much of the first week of the month. The event that will take place in New York from 4-8 June will discuss range of issues including the institutionalization of the relationship between the two bodies and the preparation for the annual consultative meeting between the PSC and the UNSC scheduled for July 2018.

On 11 June the PSC will to hold a session on two agenda items. The first is on the PSC field missions and follow up on implementation of decisions from missions. The second item is consideration and adoption of the provisional program of work for the month of July, this is important considering that the end of June would be taken up by activities of the AU summit.

On 12 June the PSC will have its session on UNAMID and the renewal of its mandate. Building on the early April joint visit to Darfur and UNAMID by Smaïl Chergui, African Union (AU) Commissioner for Peace and Security and Jean-Pierre Lacroix, the United Nations (UN) Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, and the PSC field mission to Sudan that took place from 5 to 9 May 2018, this session will consider the special report of the Chairperson of the AU Commission and the Secretary General of the UN on the Strategic Review of the UNAMID.

The PSC will receive a briefing on the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo on 13 June. Recent events of instability and the status of preparation and the conditions for holding the muchanticipated national elections are expected to dominate the agenda. It is during the course of June that the candidatures for the presidential elections will be known. Following this items, the 13 June meeting will also look at the preparations for the PSC’s 12th Annual Joint Consultative Meeting with the UNSC. This is expected to focus on the agenda for the consultative meeting.

On 18 June, the PSC will meet on two agenda items. The first will consider the Draft Report of the Peace and Security Council on its Activities and the State of Peace and Security in Africa. This report will look at the status and updates of major conflict situations on the continent and the outcome of the various activities of the PSC. The Draft Report of the PSC on the Implementation of the AU Master Roadmap of the Practical Steps to Silence the Guns in Africa by the year 2020. These two reports will feature again on the 21 June meeting of the PSC.

In commemoration of African Refugee Day, the PSC is scheduled to hold the second open session of the month on Refugee Protection, Migration and Human Rights in Africa on 20 June. The last session of the PSC is scheduled to convene on 30 June 2018 on the sidelines of the AU summit in Nouakchott, Mauritania. As a follow up to Heads of State meeting of the High Level Ad Hoc Committee of five African states expected to take place earlier on 30 June, this session will review the situation in South Sudan in terms of the implementation of the PSC Communiqué [PSC/MIN/COMM.(DCCXX) adopted at its 720 meeting held on 20 September 2017.


PSC Program of Work for July

2018 Program of Work

Date | 02 July, 2018

The Peace and Security Council (PSC) provisional program of work for July has a relatively light agenda and includes two major activities that takes the Council away from Addis; the joint consultative meeting with the UN Security Council and the field mission to Guinea Bissau. In a departure from what is recently becoming a culture of the Council to have at least one open session every month, the month will have no open session.

The program of the month started with a presentation by the President of the Republic of Togo of the Report of the Peace and Security Council on its activities and the State of Peace and Security in Africa, and the Report of the PSC on the Implementation of the AU Master Roadmap of the Practical Steps to Silence the Guns in Africa by Year 2020 to the 31st Ordinary Session of the Union.

After a break for a week, on 9 July the PSC will discuss the situation in the DRC. The meeting will receive a briefing on the political and security situation in the country in light of the increasing tension and conflict surrounding the holding of the parliamentary and presidential elections scheduled for December 2018.

The meeting on 10 July is dedicated for the preparation for the 12th Annual Joint Consultative Meeting with the UN Security Council that will take place from 16-20 July 2018 in New York. The same meeting will consider and adopt the draft provisional PSC program for the month of August 2018.

On 12 July, the Council will again discuss and finalize the preparation for the 12th Annual Joint Consultative Meeting with the UN Security Council. The meeting will also discuss the preparation for the PSC Field Mission to Guinea Bissau. On 24 July, the PSC will discuss the situation in Mali/Sahel. The meeting will take place against the background of the latest attacks that targeted the headquarters of the G5 Sahel Task Force. It will discuss the insecurity, the political process and the role of the AU in the G5 initiative. PSC’s field mission to Guinea Bissau, that will take place from 28-31 July 2018 will be the last activity of the PSC month. The field mission will closely examine and talk to stakeholders of the protracted political crisis in the country.


PSC Program of Work for the Month of November

2018 Program of Work

Date | 31 October, 2018

Djibouti takes over the role of the monthly chairpersonship of the Peace and Security Council (PSC) for the month of November. The provisional program of work of the PSC for the month envisages seven occasions during which the PSC plans to meet. The issues to be addressed cover a mix of few country situations, a regional situation, thematic areas and one field mission. The provisional program of work also anticipates one open session on a crucial topic receiving increasing attention in international peace and security.

The first session of the PSC for the month will be on 7 November. The focus of the session is on the situation in Somalia, where Djibouti, chair of the month, deployed personnel as part of AMISOM. The PSC program of the month envisages that the PSC will receive a report on Somalia. The last time the PSC discussed Somalia was at its 782nd meeting held at the level of ministers in Nouakchott, Mauritania in the
context of the consideration of the report of the Chairperson of the AU Commission on the African Union-United Nations joint review of the African Union Mission in Somalia. Since then, the situation in Somalia witnessed significant developments. Somalia political actors including the Federal government have become increasingly entangled into the destabilizing rivalry among the Arab Gulf countries, creating divisions in Somalia. With the division between the Federal government and the member states deepening, the federal member states of Somalia have severed their ties with the Federal Government. In the security front, recent months also witnessed resurgence of Al Shabaab attacks in Mogadishu.

During the same session, the PSC is scheduled to consider preparations for the PSC field mission to Somalia anticipated to take place during the course of the month. The other item for discussion is the preparation for the 6th high level seminar expected to take place in Nairobi, Kenya.

On 8 November, in the first and only open session of the month, the PSC is scheduled to deliberate on the theme of youth, peace and security, marking the celebration of African Youth Day. Following the UN sponsored study on youth, peace and security and UN Security Council Resolution 2250(2015), the issue of youth, peace and security has become an area of increasing interest. This session of the PSC presents an opportunity for highlighting the importance and necessity of examining peace and security situations vis-à-vis the role of youth, including in and for the search for solutions.

During the next session on 12 November, the monthly provisional program envisages a session on the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). For the last several months despite indications for holding such a session, the PSC did not in the end hold one. If this session happens as planned, it helps not only in reviewing the current state of the political and security situation in the DRC including preparations for the much-anticipated elections but also in signaling the need for close monitoring of the situation in DRC.

During that session, the PSC is anticipated to consider the draft provisional program for the month of December.

On 20 November, the PSC is scheduled to hold a session on the situation in Madagascar. While the AU has remained seized with the situation in Madagascar, it is the first time that the situation in that country features on the agenda of the PSC since its 545th session held in September 2015. This session offers the PSC an opportunity to review the political situation in Madagascar in the light of the impending electoral process in the country, which witnessed heightened tension related to the preparations for the national elections.

Review of the preparations for the field mission to Somalia is another item that the PSC will address during this same session.

On 21 November, the PSC is expected to hold a session on the situation in the Horn of Africa, a region that witnessed major geo-political developments in the course of 2018. Apart from the intensification of rivalry between various powers over parts of the region, the exportation of the rivalries involving Gulf countries into the region is not only adversely affecting the fragile relationships between the countries of the Horn of Africa but it is also exacerbating existing conflicts, particularly in Somalia. The program of work for the month envisages that the AU High Level Panel (AUHP) will brief the PSC on the latest developments in the Horn of Africa and the Red Sea in line with in line with PSC Communiqué PSC/AHG/COMM/2.(CCCXCVII) enlarging the mandate of the AUHIP to the Horn of Africa.

On 23 November, the PSC is expected to consider two issues. The first of these is consideration of the report of the AUC Chairperson on counter-terrorism and violent extremism in Africa. This will provide update on the current state and dynamics of the threat or actual manifestations of acts of terrorism in Africa and the various measures being taken within the framework of the AU including the follow up to the September 2014 PSC summit on this theme.

The second item on the agenda is a briefing by the Committee of Intelligence and Security Services of Africa (CISSA) on the state of peace and security situation in Africa. In addition to these agenda items that are confirmed, the provisional program of the month also envisages in a footnote two items that may be added. The first of this is the presentation of the conduct and discipline policy and the policy on the prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse adopted during the meeting of the Special Technical Committee on Defense, Safety and Security held earlier in October 2018. The second is a briefing on the situation in Sudan.


PSC Program of Work for the Month of October

2018 Program of Work

Date | 30 September, 2018

Congo assumes the role of the monthly chairpersonship of the Peace and Security Council (PSC) for the month of October when the monthly program of work of the PSC commences on 1 October. The provisional program of work does not include any agenda on specific country situation. It envisages one open session and a retreat of the PSC. Much of the substantive agenda of the provisional program reflect sessions from the AU Commission.

The October PSC program of work starts on 1 October with a briefing on the continental framework for structural conflict prevention in line with the 502nd meeting of the PSC that took place on 29 April 2015. Proposed from the AU Commission, the meeting will look at developments with the Country Structural Vulnerability and Resilience Assessments (CSVRAs) and Country Structural Vulnerability Mitigation Strategies (CSVMS) elements of the framework.

The second agenda item on 1 October is dedicated to the discussion on the preparation for the annual joint consultative meeting between the AU PSC and the EU Committee on Peace and Security (EU CPS) that will take place from 22-24 October in Brussels. On 2 October 2018, the PSC has three agenda item. In the first agenda of the session from the AU Commission, the PSC will hold a briefing session on the establishment of a Mediation Support Unit in the AU Commission. The session will examine the mandate, capacity and structure of the support unit and its working relations with the Panel of the Wise (PoW), the mediation component of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA).

Under the second agenda item, the PSC will consider and adopt the draft provisional program of work of the PSC for November 2018. The third item of the session will review the preparation for PSC retreat scheduled from 29-31 October 2018. After a week-long absence, the PSC will convene
again on 10 October to receive a joint briefing from the Smail Chergui, AU Commissioner for Peace and Security and Jean-Pierre Lacroix, UN Under Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations.

The briefing by Chergui and Lacroix will follow their joint visit to South Sudan planned for 9 October. This joint filed mission builds on the precedent that the joint field visit that the two AU and UN senior leaders had to CAR and Darfur in mid-April in an attempt to enhance collective action.

Following the joint briefing, the session will also consider the reports of the PSC field missions to Guinea Bissau (28-31 July 2018) and Lesotho (26 to 29 of August 2018) to examine the political and security developments in the two member states. On 15 October, the PSC will receive a briefing on the Joint Summit of Heads of States of ECCAS and ECOWAS held in Lomé on 30 July 2018. This is a session that the PSC Chairperson of the month, from the ECCAS region, initiated. The meeting will also evaluate the agenda and the preparation for the annual joint consultative meeting between the AU PSC and the EU CPS (Brussels).

On 17 October, the Council will receive a briefing on the situation in the Great Lakes Region. The session is expected to focus on peace and security dynamics in the region with attention on Burundi and DRC. The only Open Session of the month will take place on 19 October on the Celebration of the Resolution 1325, the landmark resolution on Women, Peace and Security of the United Nations Security Council. Initially proposed in August and


PSC Program of Work for the Month of December

2018 Program of Work

Date | 01 April, 2018

April 2018 PSC Program of Work

The Chair of the month for April started preparations on the program of work as early as February holding a preparatory meeting with the PSC Secretariat. When the PSC commenced its program of work for March 2018 on 1 March, the agenda for April was tabled for its consideration and adoption. The April program is relatively busy with the PSC expected to hold some ten sessions in addition to a filed visit to South Sudan. While the agenda items that the sessions cover are diverse, only one country specific session is planned. A wide range of thematic peace and security issues dominate the program of the month, with two open sessions.
Although the program of the month as adopted by the PSC was scheduled to start on 3 April with an open session that will preview Africa’s peace and security landscape by 2023, this program is now postponed. The program scheduled for 5 April will now be the first session of the month.

Nigeria will assume the chairpersonship of the PSC, under Ambassador Bankole Adeoye, when the program of the month starts on 5 April. Although no date is assigned to it as formal sessions, Ambassador Adeoye is scheduled to host an informal consultation luncheon with a focus on the establishment of the PSC Sub-Committees on Counter Terrorism and Sanctions. As the State leading initiatives on the stabilization of the Lake Chad Basin region, one session of the Council that is also of major interest to Nigeria is the ‘Briefing on Saving the Lake Chad: Enhancing Environmental Sustainability and Human Security in West and Central Africa’.
On 5 April, the PSC will hold a briefing session on a comprehensive approach towards ‘the prevention of the ideology of hate, genocide and hate crime.’ Established to mark the annual commemoration of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide, this agenda item is a follow up to the decision of the 678th meeting of the PSC to have the theme as standing agenda of an open session annually in April. Despite the clear statement of the PSC decision, in this month’s program the session is not envisaged to be open. Apart from a representative of Rwanda’s National Commission for the Fight Against Genocide, the Special Advisor of the Secretary General on the Prevention of the Genocide Adama Deng is expected to brief the Council. The same session will consider and adopt the draft PSC program for the month of May 2018.

The PSC field mission to South Sudan will take place from 9-12 April 2018. The filed mission could indicate a more visible role of the PSC and the AU in efforts to resolve the South Sudan conflict. During this field mission, the PSC will get to see first hand the political, security and humanitarian situation in South Sudan. Apart from meetings with the government and other South Sudanese stakeholders, the PSC is expected to visit protection of civilian sites in Juba and in Malakal.

After a week-long mission to South Sudan, the PSC will convene on 13 April with a briefing on ‘Saving the lake Chad; Enhancing Environmental Sustainability and Human Security in West and Central Africa.’ It is expected that the Executive Secretary of the Lake Chad Basin Commission would brief the Commission on the environmental threat facing the Lake Chad and its implications to the security of the people of the region. The session aims at discussing and determining the role that the AU is expected to play in supporting the regional initiative for addressing the threat facing the Lake Chad. This meeting is a result of the increasing recognition of a comprehensive approach to conflict prevention and resolution responses in Africa, and the acknowledgment to the role environmental degradation and desertification play in instigating insecurity and conflict.

On 16 April, the PSC is scheduled to have a briefing session on the ‘Effective takeoff of the AU Humanitarian Agency’. The African Union Humanitarian Policy Framework, which was developed by the Humanitarian Affairs, Refugees and Displaced Persons Division at the AU Department of Political Affairs in November 2015, recognizes the linkages between peace and security and natural and human-induced disasters. The document and the Common African Position on Humanitarian Effectiveness envision the establishment of the African Union Humanitarian Agency (AUHA) by June 2018. Reviewing the efforts and preparations for the effective launching and operationalization of AUHA will be one of the three agenda items for the 16 April meeting of the PSC.
The 16 April meeting will also look at ameliorating the impact of terrorism and armed conflict on Africa’s social fabric.

The last item of the session on 16 April will be on peace support operations in Africa. The Council will receive a briefing by the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security Amb Smail Chergui and Jean-Pierre Lacroix UN Under Secretary General for peacekeeping operations.

The next day, 17 April, the PSC will discuss nuclear energy, non-proliferation and disarmament. The session will also discuss the prohibition of nuclear weapons on Africa, and the status of the Palendaba Treaty, an African legal and political regime for non-proliferation. The treaty that was adopted in 1996 entered force in 15 July 2009. To date it is signed by 52 members of the AU and ratified by 41 member states.

On 19 April, the PSC will receive a briefing on the status of the operationalization of the ASF and will assess the progress of the Draft Maputo Strategic Work Plan (2016-2020), a five-year work plan for the ASF. The increasing trend in the use of ad-hoc regional security and deployment arrangements and alliances, and the 2013 introduction of the African Capacity for Rapid Intervention in Crises (ACIRC) have raised questions on whether the ASF as it stands now will remain relevant. In 2016, the PSC declared ASF fully operational following the Amani II exercise in South Africa. However, the structure of the force, and its place in the APSA is a matter of ongoing conversation at the PSC.

On 24 April, the PSC will have an open session on the nexus between corruption and conflict resolution. More than anything else this is a reflection of the theme of the AU for 2018. It also forms part of the effort of Nigeria to implement the role that the AU Assembly entrusted to President Buhari of Nigeria for championing the theme ‘Winning the fight against corruption: A sustainable path to Africa’s transformation’.

On 25 April, the PSC will have a briefing on the status of the AU Peace Fund, one of the pillars of the African Peace and Security Architecture. The PSC is expected to receive update on the progress being made towards the establishment of the various structures required for the operationalization of the Fund.

On 26 April 2018, the Council is scheduled to listen to the report on the field mission. The dynamics between regional and continental efforts to resolve the South Sudan conflict, and role of individual member states in the conflict and negotiation has in the past put the principle of subsidiarity to test. The IGAD Council of Ministers which held its 61st Extra-Ordinary Session on 26 March 2018 in Addis Ababa decided to impose targeted sanctions against individual violators of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement (CoHA). The meeting also referred the case to the PSC for ‘appropriate punitive measures’. The PSC will receive a report from the Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring Mechanism (CTSAMM) and will discuss the issue of the targeted sanctions and the status of the High- Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF).

The month finale will be a briefing by the Chair of the PSC for the month of April, Nigeria, to members of the Permanent Representatives Council (PRC) on the activities of the PSC during the month.


The 2018 Elections of the PSC

2018 Program of Work

Date |  January, 2018

Introduction

The election for the 10 members of the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU) was held on 26 January 2018 at the meeting of the Executive Council of the AU. This brief provides an update on the conduct and result of the elections.

Candidacy and conduct of the elections

As shown in the table below, there were 13 AU member states in the list of candidates. Of the thirteen candidates, Rwanda, Algeria, Sierra Leone and Togo are current members of the PSC seeking re-election. Liberia and Morocco run for PSC membership for the first time.

13 candidates for the 2018 PSC election and their previous membership in the PSC

Region Available Seats in the 2018 Election Candidates Years Previously Served on the Council
Central Africa 2 Equatorial Guinea and Gabon Equatorial Guinea served for two consecutive three-year tem in 2010 and 2013 and Gabon served similar terms in 2004 and 2007.
East Africa 2 Djibouti, Ethiopia and Rwanda Djibouti was member for two consecutive two-year terms in 2010 and 2012; Ethiopia served for two consecutive three-year terms (2004 and 2007) and for a two-year term in 2013; Rwanda, a member of the current PSC, served for three consecutive two- year terms in 2006, 2008 and 2010.
North Africa 1 Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia Algeria served trice for three- year term (2004, 2007 and 2013) and for a two-year term (2016); Morocco is the newest state party to the PSC standing for election for the first time; and Tunisia served for once (2008).
Southern Africa 2 Angola and Zimbabwe Angola served once for two-year term (2012) and Zimbabwe was a member for a three-year term (2010).
West Africa 3 Liberia, Sierra Leone and Togo Liberia is running for the first time; Sierra Leone is ending its first membership; and Togo served for two-year term twice (2004 and 2016).

The dynamics in the regional processes for candidacy for the PSC elections vary from region to region. While any member state fulfilling the requirements for membership of the PSC may submit its candidature, the rules on the election suggest that the selection of member states shall be conducted at the regional level. Yet, the level of follow up of this rule varies across different regions. While Southern Africa and West Africa have generally followed the process of regional consultation and selection of candidatures, as the 2016 elections showed consensus on selection of candidates have been lacking in the three other regions. In this year’s elections, the level of contestation for seats allotted for the different regions has been less intense than previous years. As reflected in the table above, only East and North Africa presented more candidates than the available seats for those regions.

Withdrawals

When the elections were held on 26 January, three candidates from these two regions have withdrawn their candidacy. Ethiopia communicated its withdrawal through a note verbal of 23 January 2018 conveyed via Djibouti as Dean of the East Africa region. This withdrawal was in favor of Djibouti. Similarly, Algeria withdrew its candidacy through a 24th January 2018 Note Verbal deposited with the Office of the Legal Counsel. This withdrawal came following the withdrawal of Tunisia, which withdrew in the 2016 elections following an arrangement with Algeria.

Due to these withdrawals, there was the same number of candidates as the number of seats for the different regions when Executive Council conducted the elections on 26 January 2018.

Conduct and outcome of the elections

The elections were held in line with the modalities on the elections of the PSC and on the basis of the five regions of the AU. In the election for the two seats slotted for the Central Africa region, the two candidates namely Equatorial Guinea and Gabon (which was unsuccessful in the 2016 elections) received 50 votes and 49 votes respectively. During the elections for the two seats of the Central Africa region, two member states registered their abstention.

In the election for the two seats available for East Africa, Djibouti and Rwanda received 50 votes and 49 votes respectively. As with the elections for the Central Africa region, three abstentions were registered.

For the one seat allotted for Northern Africa, with both Algeria and Tunisia withdrawing from the election, Morocco run as the only candidate and received 39 votes and 16 abstentions.
Since there were only two candidates for the two seats slotted for Southern Africa, Angola and Zimbabwe received 48 and 49 votes respectively to win the election for the two-year membership in the PSC. Similarly, the three countries that were running for the three seats available for the West Africa region namely Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Togo also garnered 51, 48 and 45 votes respectively to win the election and join the PSC for the 2018-2019 two-year term. No abstention was registered with respect to the elections for these two regions.
PSC members elected for 2-year term in January 2018 and the membership of the PSC from April 2018 are those represented in the map below.

The elections of Liberia and Morocco to the PSC for the very first time has brought the number of states that have so far served on the PSC to 40 countries. As envisaged in the figure below while there are 15 member states of the AU that never served on the PSC, not all of them are parties to the PSC Protocol. Of those states that are parties to the PSC Protocol, those who attempted to join the PSC and did not succeed include Comoros and Eritrea.

In terms of the criteria for the PSC elections, those that seem to apply fairly well relate to regional representation and, albeit unevenly, rotation. While there are a number of countries that served on the PSC more frequently since it has come into operation in 2004, Nigeria is the only country that has been on the PSC from 2004 to date.

Implications of the elections on the dynamics in the PSC

The result of the 2018 election of the 10 members of the PSC shows that the two countries that run for the first time, namely Liberia and Morocco, received the highest and the lowest votes respectively in this year’s PSC elections. Three countries namely Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Togo are reelected to the PSC, the remaining five countries are returning to the PSC after a few years of absence as reflected in the table above. From the countries that will handover their seats to the new members, South Africa’s and Algeria’s absence is expected to be particularly felt both in general terms and in respect of specific conflict situations.
In terms of the dynamics of the PSC, Morocco’s election is most notable. This is sure to affect how the PSC would keep the Western Sahara conflict on its agenda and how this affects other issues on the PSC agenda. The signs for this have clearly come out during the debate on the report of the PSC on the state of peace and security in Africa and its activities considered on 29 January 2018. Morocco particularly expressed its strong objection and reservation to paragraph 15 of the decision of the Assembly on the report of the PSC relating to the Western Sahara conflict. Yet, the presence of PSC members such as Zimbabwe with strong support for the current AU approach on this conflict is anticipated to counter balance Morocco’s position.