CAN THE AU DO MORE TO SAFEGUARD THE HORN OF AFRICA FROM THE FALL OUT OF THE CRISES IN THE MIDDLE EAST?

2017

Date |  July, 2017

INTRODUCTION

As the Horn of Africa gets dangerously entangled in the unfolding crisis between Saudi Arabia (and its allies) and Qatar, this policy brief examines why and how the African Union (AU) needs to pursue the implementation of its security architecture in the coast of greater Horn of Africa. It in particular looks at the case for AU to promote a collective security regime in this part of Africa.

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Financing Peace and Security in Africa: Breakthrough in Increased African Ownership?

2017

July, 2017

The report by President Paul Kagame regarding the AU reform process is a major agenda item during the 29th AU summit to be held on 3‐4 July 2017 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The financing of the AU including peace and security is at the heart of the reform agenda. An aspect of the financing of the Union attracting interest is the initiative on securing predictable and sustainable financing for peace in Africa, led by former African Development Bank President Dr Donald Kaberuka.

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Seizing Africa’s New Moment for the Reform of the African Union

2017

July, 2017

In his report, ‘The Imperative to Strengthen our Union: Proposed Recommendations for the Institutional Reform of the African Union’, President Paul Kagame of Rwanda observed that ‘it has always been Africa’s moment’. He went on to state that the ‘question at any given time is whether we choose to be present and develop the institutional capacity … to seize the available advantages.’ In adopting the report and its recommendations at the 28th AU Summit in January 2017, the African Union (AU) Assembly presented itself a new moment for the reform of the AU. As leaders of African States descend on Addis Ababa for 29th AU Summit to discuss the reform of the AU, once again the question is whether member states would seize this new moment and ensure the implementation of the reform agenda.

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PEACE AND SECURITY COUNCIL 682ND MEETING

2017

Date | 25 April, 2017

COMMUNIQUE

The Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU), at its 682nd meeting, held at ministerial level, on 25 April 2017, adopted the following decision on Maritime Security and Safety and Peace, Security and Development of the Blue Economy, “After Lomé”:

Council:

1. Takes note of the statements delivered by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and African Integration of the Republic of Togo, H.E. Prof. Robert Dussey, in his capacity as the Chairperson of the PSC for the month of April 2017, and the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, H.E.

Ambassador Smail Chergui. Council also takes note of the presentation made by the AU Commissioner for Trade and Industry, H.E. Ambassador Albert Muchanga, as well as by Ambassador Amoko Kouvahe and Justice Kokou Humado, both from Togo. Council further takes note of the statements made by representatives of Member States, the Regional Economic Communities and Regional Mechanisms for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution (RECs/RMs), as well as by the representative of the United Nations (UN) and European Union (EU) ;

2. Recalls the 2050 Africa’s Integrated Maritime (2050 AIM) Strategy and its Plan of Action adopted by the 22nd Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly in January 2014. Council also recalls Assembly Decision Ext/Assembly/AU/Dec.1 (VI) by the AU Extraordinary Summit, held on 15 October 2016, in Lomé, Togo, which adopted the Charter on Maritime Safety and Security and Development in Africa;

3. Expresses deep concern over the persistence of threats to safety and security in the maritime domain, including piracy, armed robbery at sea, illegal, unreported and unregulated/illegal fishing, dumping of toxic waste, illegal arms, drug and human trafficking, money laundering, smuggling of migrants and terrorism. In this regard, Council underscores the importance of the adoption of stringent measures to combat these threats;

4. Emphasizes the link between peace, security and development with regard to the maritime domain as integral elements for Africa’s overall economic growth and integration process. In this respect, Council underlines the importance of the Lomé Charter as an African instrument for promoting peace, security and safety in Africa’s maritime domain, which are the necessary conditions for the development and growth of the blue economy for the benefit of the continent and its people;

5. Welcomes the appointment of President Faure Essozimna Gnassingbe of the Republic of Togo as AU Champion for issues related to maritime security and safety and commends his tireless efforts towards the promotion of maritime security and safety in Africa, as a contribution to enhance peace and security in the continent;

6. Recalls the request made by the Extraordinary Summit to the Commission to take all necessary measures in order to convene extraordinary sessions of the relevant Specialized Technical Committees (STCs) which were not involved in the elaboration process of the Charter namely: the STC on Trade, Industry and Minerals, the STC on Transport, Infrastructure, Energy and Tourism, the STC on Monetary Affairs, Economic Planning and Integration and any other relevant STCs to enable them to consider issues falling within their respective mandates and submit their contributions to the African Charter, in the form of annexes, to the Assembly for consideration in July 2017. In this regard, Council recognizes the progress made in the implementation of this decision and requests the Commission to expedite the finalization of the draft annexes to the Lomé Charter, with a view to enabling the earliest convening of the meeting of the relevant STCs for their elaboration;

7. Takes note with gratitude of the offer made by the Republic of Togo to host the meetings of relevant STCs;

8. Underscores the important role of RECs/RMs in the elaboration, implementation and harmonization of national and regional maritime instruments including regulatory frameworks;

9. Further underscores the need to put in place an appropriate follow up mechanism, in particular within the AU Commission, bearing in mind the cross-sectoral and multidimensional nature of issues relating to Maritime Security and Safety and Development as recognized in the 2050 AIM Strategy and the Lomé Charter ;

10. Further commends Togo for being the only AU Member State that has already signed and ratified the Lomé Charter, and urges all Member States to ratify the Charter, in accordance with their relevant national procedures;

11. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.


PEACE AND SECURITY COUNCIL 678TH MEETING

2017

Date | 11 April, 2017

COMMUNIQUE

The Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU), at its 678th meeting held on 11 April 2017, received a briefing on the prevention of hate crimes and the ideology of genocide in Africa and adopted the following decision:

Council:

1. Takes note of the briefings made by the Director of the Department of Political Affairs at the AU Commission, Dr. Khabele Matlosa and by the Executive Secretary of the Rwanda National Commission for the Fight Against Genocide, Dr. Bizimana Jean Damascene. Council also takes note of the statements made by the representatives of Ethiopia, in its capacity as an African Member of the United Nations Security Council, the United States of America, the European Union and the United Nations ;

2. Recalls the horror of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda and reiterates its commitment to prevent the recurrence of similar mass atrocities, hate crime and ideologies of genocides throughout the African continent. In this context, Council underlines the imperative of early and appropriate responses to credible early warning signs of situations that, if not addressed in a timely and effective manner, could lead to potential genocides. In the same context, Council also underlines the importance of use of clear analysis and proper terminology in order to avoid falling into the problem of denials;

3. Also recalls all international and African instruments on the prevention of genocide, including the 1948 United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide, the 1981 African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, the AU Constitutive Act, the 2006 AU Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development Policy Framework and the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2150 (2014). Council further recalls Assembly decision Assembly/AU/Dec.501 (XXII), in which the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government declared 2014-2024 as the Madiba Nelson Mandela Decade of Reconciliation. In the same context, Council also recalls the 2000 Report of the International Panel of Eminent Personalities that was appointed by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Organization of African Unity to investigate the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda and the surrounding events, which provides a framework of principles, strategies and policies, that, if followed, could create conditions in which genocide will become both, unthinkable and impossible to organize;

4. Acknowledges that deliberate tendencies of discrimination, marginalization, tribalism and manipulation of ethnicity often create conducive conditions for hate crimes and ideologies of genocide to thrive. In this regard, Council urges Member States, which have not yet done so, to establish necessary legal frameworks, in order to prevent violent conflicts, discrimination, hate crimes and genocide. Council also urges Member States to establish effective national infrastructures for peace as part of efforts to prevent mass atrocities. Council further urges Member States to address all root causes of hate crimes and ideologies of genocide;

5. Recognizes that, in the African traditional and cultural settings, most families keep various types of household tools, including spears and machettes, for peaceful use. However, Council deplores and strongly condemns the diversion of use of these household tools to commit organized and systematic violence against particular sections of societies, including genocidal acts;

6. Stresses the importance of promoting civic awareness, consciousness and the culture of peace as well as in preventing hate crimes and genocide. Council also stresses the need for deepening democracy, participatory and inclusive governance which is premised on national dialogue, consensus and, as much as possible, power sharing. In this context, Council re-affirms the importance of working towards an equitable and inclusive socio-economic development, as well as long-term structural transformation aimed at improving the livelihoods of the people;

7. Welcomes the efforts by those Member States, which are investigating and prosecuting individuals who were involved in the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda and calls upon all the other Member States, which have not yet done so, to also investigate, arrest, prosecute or extradite the genocide fugitives currently residing in their territories, including the leaders of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR). In the same context, Council condemns denial and distortion of facts relating to the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda;

8. Acknowledges the important role that the media can play in efforts aimed at promoting social cohesion and nation-building, as well as peace and stability in Member States and stresses the need for responsible and balanced media reporting;

9. Decides to convene, annually in April, a PSC open meeting on hate crimes and fighting genocide ideology in Africa; and

a10. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter