Provisional Programme of Work of the PSC for the Month of June 2021

Date | 01 June, 2021

In accordance with the monthly rotation of the role of Chairperson of the PSC in the English alphabetical order of members of the PSC, Burundi will assume the role for the month of June 2021. The provisional program of work of the PSC for the month prepared under the leadership of Burundi envisages that there will be five sessions to be held via video teleconference. Two of the sessions deal with country/region specific situations. There will also be one open session focusing on one of the two thematic sessions planned for the month. The program of work also envisages that the PSC will undertake a field mission to the Central African Republic (CAR).

On 1 June, the PSC will hold its first session of the month focusing on the situation in The Comoros. It is to be recalled that the much-contested 2018 referendum in Comoros abolished the system of rotating presidency among the main islands of Grande Comore (Ngazidja), Anjouan, and Mohéli. With the new Constitution allowing two consecutive term of five years each, President Azali Assoumani, who assumed office in 2016, run for the March 2019 presidential election, in which he was re-elected for a second term, despite reports by African observers of major irregularities and rejection by the opposition of the election. In January 2020, President Azali’s party – Convention for the Renewal of the Comoros (CRC) – won the legislative election, which was boycotted by opposition parties. In the context of failed dialogue and lack of consensus on the system of governance, most recently, there is mounting tension with opposition groups calling for a nation-wide protest calling for the resignation of President Azali and a return to the presidential rotation system in adherence to the 2001 constitution. PSC’s session seeks to receive update on the situation and initiate measures for preventing further escalation and searching for resolution of the recurrent political crisis.

On 8 June, the PSC will hold an open session dedicated to the annual theme of the plight of refugees, internally displaced persons (IDPs) and the phenomenon of forced displacement in Africa. In various parts of the continent, forced displacement continues to uproot large numbers of people from their homes. While much of the displacement on the continent is a result of violent conflicts, natural disasters, such as the recent volcanic eruption in the Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and climate change result in increasing levels of displacement. PSC’s session presents an opportunity for highlighting the nature and trends of the flow of IDPs, refugees and asylum seekers and the various challenges facing IDPs, refugees and asylum seekers on the continent.

The PSC is scheduled to consider and adopt via email exchanges the draft program of work for July on 10 June.

On 15 July, the PSC, at its third session of the month, is expected to receive a briefing on the situation in the Great Lakes Region. As the PSC noted in its 974th session, the peace and security situation in the region remains a concern due to, among others, the presence of numerous non-State armed groups. The armed group, Allied Democratic Forces, continues to orchestrate attacks in Eastern DRC. The spike in violence over recent months involving various armed groups, particularly in Ituri and North Kivu provinces has deepened the humanitarian and displacement crisis in the country, necessitating declaration of emergency by the government. The implementation of the Peace and Security Framework for the region is also expected to be addressed. Other issues that may receive attention include, transnational illegal activities particularly the illegal exploitation of natural resources, which continue to hamper peace and stability of the region.

On 17 June, the PSC will consider and adopt the Conclusions of its recent retreat convened from 27 to 29 May. The Conclusions are expected to formulate updates relating to the working methods of the PSC, priorities for the Peace Fund and the monitoring and evaluation mechanism for the ten-year AU Roadmap on Silencing the Guns.

The monthly program also envisages a consultative meeting between the PSC and the African Court on Human and Peoples Rights (ACtHPR) to be held on 22 June. The last time the PSC held a consultative session with the African Court was at its 540th session held in 2015.

The last activity of the PSC for the month will be its field mission to CAR. This is scheduled to take place from 28 to 30 June. The PSC took a decision to undertake a field mission to the CAR during its last session on the situation in the CAR, at its 979th session held on 16 February 2021. In addition to its substantive sessions on 15 and 22 June, the PSC will also be dedicating time to prepare for this field mission. PSC’s monthly programme also indicates in footnote that Council may receive a briefing on the deployment of the 3000 troops in the Sahel.