PSC Program of work for April 2018

Date | 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.