Provisional Program of Work for the Month of February 2022

Date | 31 January, 2022

In February, the role of chairing the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC) goes to Kenya. PSC’s indicative programme of work for the month envisages five substantive sessions, one of which will be convened at the level of Heads of State and Government addressing two agenda items – one country specific and one thematic. Three of the other sessions will address country specific concerns and one will be a Ministerial meeting on a thematic issue.

On 7 February, the PSC Committee of Experts (CoE) will meet to prepare for the ministerial meeting of the month planned to take place on the next day.

The first session of the month scheduled to take place at Ministerial level on 8 February will be an open session committed to the women, peace and security (WPS) agenda, a thematic issue which has been part of PSC’s standing agenda items since 2010. This year’s session on the theme is expected to address the nexus between urbanisation and WPS. The positive contributions and negative impacts of urbanisation on the implementation of the WPS agenda as incorporated in key normative frameworks including United Nations (UN) Security Council (UNSC) Res1325/2000 could be expected to be the central focus of the session.

On 10 February, the Council will convene two sessions. First, the PSC will consider the situation in Sudan. The last PSC session addressing the situation in Sudan was the 1060th session convened on 25 January, which will make the upcoming session the second one since the beginning of the year, an indication of the Council’s intensified engagement on the unfolding political crisis in the country. In addition to receiving updates on the prevailing political and security situation, Council may also follow up on the decisions of its previous meeting, particularly its request for the AU Commission to establish an AU mechanism aimed at supporting Sudan’s transition.

The second session expected to take place on 10 February is an update on the situation in Guinea. At the 1036th session where Council last considered the situation in the country, it urged Guinean authorities to adhere with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)’s demand for urgent restoration of constitutional order within six months, through a civilian-led transitional government. While Guinea’s transitional authorities established the National Transitional Council (CNT), the deadline for the transitional period and for the conduct of elections is yet to be announced. The briefing would allow the Council to take stock of the existing challenges and deliberate on areas for AU support to Guinean’s transition.

On 11 February, the CoE will convene again to prepare for the month’s Heads of State and Government meeting as well as for the induction of the new members expected to join the Council in April 2022. The Council will also consider and adopt the provisional programme of work for the following month (March) on the same day.

The next session is scheduled to take place on 15 February and will serve for the PSC to receive updates on the status of consultations regarding post-2021 AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). Following continuous consultations between the AU and the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS), an agreement was reached between the two on a framework document for reconfiguring AMISOM following a week-long consultation which ended on 22 January. Following this latest consultation, AMISOM is to transition to ‘AU Transitional Mission to Somalia (ATMIS)’ which is planned to be operational for a period of 33 months until it hands over security responsibilities to National Armed Forces of Somalia. At the upcoming session, the PSC is expected to be briefed on the outcomes of the consultations and deliberate on the specific contents of the agreed framework document.

The last PSC session of the month will be held on 16 February, at the Heads of State and Government level. The first agenda item of the meeting will be consideration of the situation in Western Sahara. It is to be recalled that at its 984th session the PSC adopted decisions aimed at addressing the resumption of military confrontations between the Kingdom of Morocco and the Sahrawi Republic. Key among the decisions adopted at that session were Council’s undertaking to conduct a field mission to the region; the commencement of processes for re-opening the AU Office in Laayoune, Western Sahara and the revitalisation of the AU Troika’s engagement with Morocco and Saharawi Republic. The upcoming session may serve as an opportunity to follow up on the progress in implementing these decisions.

The second agenda item of to be addressed at the Heads of State and Government meeting of 16 February will be a follow up on the implementation of the Nairobi deliberations on terrorism and violent extremism in Africa. The agenda is expected to be a follow up of the progress in implementing the outcomes of the ‘African Regional High-Level Conference on Counter Terrorism and Prevention of Violent Extremism Conducive to Terrorism’ which took place on 10 July 2019, in Nairobi, Kenya.

In addition to its substantive sessions, the PSC is also scheduled to conduct two field missions, one to South Sudan (from 23 to 24 February) and another one to Sudan (from 27 to 28 February).