PSC Program of Work for the Month of November

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.