Monthly Digest on the AUPSC - October, 2021

2021

Date | October, 2021

In October, Mozambique chaired the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC). In total, nine sessions were convened during the month. While the initial programme of work for the month envisaged seven substantive sessions, there were changes introduced in the course of the month.

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Monthly Digest on the AUPSC - January, 2021

2021

Date | January, 2021

Senegal was the chair of the African Union (AU) Peace and security Council (PSC) in January. A total of four substantive sessions were convened during the month. While two of these sessions were country/region specific, the remaining two were thematic. Although Council’s initial programme of work anticipated a session on South Sudan to take place within the month, the session was postponed to later months.1 In terms of regional coverage, west and central Africa were the two regions that featured in PSC’s agenda during January.

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MONTHLY DIGEST ON THE AUPSC – JANUARY 2021

2021

January, 2021

THE MONTH AT A GLANCE

Senegal was the chair of the African Union (AU) Peace and security Council (PSC) in January. A total of four substantive sessions were convened during the month. While two of these sessions were country/region specific, the remaining two were thematic. Although Council’s initial programme of work anticipated a session on South Sudan to take place within the month, the session was postponed to later months.1 In terms of regional coverage, west and central Africa were the two regions that featured in PSC’s agenda during January.

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Annual Informal Joint Seminar and Annual Joint Consultative Meeting of the PSC and the UNSC

2021

Date | 16 December, 2021

On 16 and 17 December, the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC) and the United Nations (UN) Security Council (UNSC) will convene their 6th annual informal joint seminar and 15th annual joint consultative meeting, respectively. Both meetings are expected to take place virtually.

While the idea of convening an informal joint seminar is relatively new and was first introduced in 2016, the two Councils have been convening a yearly joint consultative meeting since 2007. The informal joint seminar is held ahead of the joint consultative meeting and mainly serves to address issues of partnership between the two Councils. The consultative meeting on the other hand is dedicated to discussing country/region specific peace and security concerns in Africa. As per previous practice, technical experts of the two Councils held informal consultations in New York, during the week of 22 November, ahead of the upcoming informal seminar and consultative meeting. In addition to these consultations, the PSC has also conducted various preparatory meetings.

6th Annual Informal Joint Seminar

The 6th annual informal seminar is expected to start by the opening statement of the PSC Chairperson, Permanent Representative of Ethiopia and UNSC President, Permanent Representative of Niger. It is also expected that Bankole Adeoye AU Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security and Representative of the UN will deliver introductory remarks.

It is to be recalled that the main agenda items addressed at the 5th annual informal joint seminar included reflection on progress made in the implementation of AU’s Master Roadmap for Silencing the Guns in Africa by 2020 and UNSC Resolution 2457 as well as the continued implementation of the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda in Africa, in line with UNSC Resolution 1325. The focus on WPS was also in light of commemoration of the 20th anniversary of UNSC Resolution 1325.

This year’s informal joint seminar will focus on two agenda items. The first one will be predictable and sustainable financing for AU-led Peace Support Operations (PSOs). From the PSC side the lead speaker is expected to be Nigeria. The effectiveness of AU-led PSOs faces serious challenges due to the lack of sustainable and predictable funding. This has been an issue addressed by the PSC at various occasions including a number of its sessions. The AUPSC and UNSC have also deliberated on this topic at previous joint consultative meetings, most recently at the 12th annual joint consultative meeting convened in 2018. At that meeting, the importance of UNSC Resolutions 2320(2016) and 2378(2017) which emphasise the need of enhancing flexibility, predictability and sustainability of AU-led PSOs authorised by the UNSC in line with Chapter VIII of the UN Charter was underscored. Particularly in terms of flexibility of these funds, the need to consider and accommodate fitting responses to the changing nature of security threats in the continent may be highlighted.

The development of a zero draft AU consensus paper on financing of AU-led PSOs using UN assessed contributions may also be welcomed by the two Councils. It is to be recalled that the issue of financing AU-led PSOs was on the draft agenda of the 4th joint informal seminar but removed at the proposal of the AUPSC which opted for the agenda to be considered after the development of an African common position on financing. In line with this decision the PSC has considered the consensus paper on financing of AU-ed peace support operations using UN assessed contributions in October 2021, although no outcome document was adopted after the session.

The second topic to be discussed at the informal joint seminar is enhancing cooperation between the AUPSC and the UNSC, with a focus on working methods of the two Councils. The lead speakers from the PSC side may be Kenya and Egypt. One of the issues that may be noted in this regard is the importance of synchronising the monthly programmes of work of the AUPSC and UNSC on agenda items of common interest. The role of the African members of the UNSC (A3) is particularly important in enhancing coordination between the two Councils and in informing UNSC deliberation on African files.

Another issue that may feature is the need to reach agreement on modalities for joint-field missions of the Councils. This is an issue that has been addressed at previous consultative meetings although agreement is yet to be reached on the formulation of a workable mechanism for the two Councils to conduct joint visits. Doctrinal differences between the two Councils and the inability to agree on a joint approach has affected the conduct of joint filed missions. More particularly the difference that seems to be delaying agreement in this regard is the preference of UNSC member States to engage in such visits as members of the UNSC as opposed to engaging as a unit. The PSC on the other hand prefers engagement of both itself and the UNSC in their capacities as Councils.

15th Annual Joint Consultative Meeting

The 15th annual consultative meeting is expected to start by the opening statement of the PSC Chairperson, Permanent Representative of Ethiopia and UNSC President, Permanent Representative of Niger. It is also expected that Bankole Adeoye AU Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security and Representative of the UN will deliver introductory remarks.

Last year’s joint consultative meeting focused on two country/region specific security situations in Africa. These were the situations in Somalia and the Sahel region. This year’s meeting will also address these two situations in addition to two other agenda items – one being combating terrorism and violent extremism in Africa and the other one focusing on support to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Mission to Mozambique (SAMIM).

The first agenda item to be discussed is AMISOM post-2021. From the PSC side Kenya is expected to be lead speaker. Egypt and Ethiopia are also expected to speak on this specific agenda item. The two Councils are expected to deliberate on the nature of AMISOM after the expiry of the current mandate. There has been a continuous consultation and negotiation between the two Councils on the outcome of the meeting and one of the points of disagreement is around language related to Somalia and the issue of predictable and sustainable financing of AMISOM.

It is to be recalled that the UN Independent Assessment team recommended a reconfigured AMISOM. On the other hand, the AU Independent Assessment team recommended the establishment of an AU-UN Multidimensional Stabilization Mission in Somalia. Although this recommended option was rejected by the Government of Somalia over concerns that it lacked adequate consultation with the government and that it deviates from the terms of the Somalia Transitional Plan (STP), it was however endorsed by the PSC at its 1037th session. Moreover, the PSC, during its 1042nd session has reiterated its previous call for consultation on modalities for transitioning to an AU-UN joint mission and it mandated the AUC to ‘elaborate the framework of the AU understanding of the Concept of the Hybrid Mission and submit to Council’.

During PSC’s field visit in November, representatives of the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) and other international partners have expressed their disagreement to the establishment of an AU-UN Multidimensional Stabilization Mission in Somalia. In order to address the stalemate and towards building consensus there was a proposal of holding technical discussions to identify possible alternative options. The field mission report was considered by the PSC at its 1053rd meeting where the PSC while underscoring that Option 1 previously endorsed at its 1037th session remains the best option to ensure predictable and sustainable financing for the mission, it however recognized the preference of FGS, the UN as well as international partners. To this end, it required AUC’s continued consultations with the UN on the Joint Report and Concept of Operations for AMISOM post-2021 follow on mission. This decision is expected to inform and guide the consultative meeting.

As these differences persist, the deadline for AMISOM’s mandate is fast approaching. In line with that, the PSC has requested at its 1037th for the UNSC to consider a technical roll-over of the mission’s mandate, while consultations between the AU, the FGS and other relevant actors to reach mutually agreeable position on the future of AMISOM continue.

In addition to AMISOM’s future, the continued deterioration of the country’s security with upsurge in Al-Shabaab insurgency and the fragility of the political situation are also expected to feature as points of discussion.

On the Sahel region, from the PSC members Algeria is expected to be the lead speaker and Kenya is also expected to speak. The Councils are expected to deliberate on the concerning continuity of instability in the region. As Chad and Niger continue to deal with Boko Haram threats, the border area between Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger also remains the focal area of terrorist activities. Over the past few months, Burkina Faso has been experiencing the deadliest jihadist attacks in the country’s six years long fight against extremist militants. The attacks have so far claimed the lives of civilians and members of the country’s security forces. In addition to insecurity brought by terrorism and violent extremism, political instabilities have also had serious implications against the security of particular States in the region as well as the Sahel at large. Mali and Chad, both currently undergoing political transitions, have recently experienced coups which have raised serious condemnation from the international community.

France’s announced drawdown of Operation Barkhane from 5,100 troops to about 2,500 troops following Mali’s coup – a second one in less than a year after the August 2020 coup – and its potential implication to the security and stability of the region has in particular been cause for concern. Chad has also recalled 600 of the 1,200 forces it contributed to the G5 Sahel Joint Force earlier in the year, intensifying these concerns. Having regard to the dire security situation in the region, the two Councils may call on the international community to redouble its support to the G5 Sahel Joint Force as well as the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF). They may also draw attention to the insecurity-induced humanitarian situation in the region and urge the international community to strengthen its support to affected communities.

The third agenda item will be focusing on combatting terrorism and violent extremism. From PSC members Egypt is expected to be the lead speaker. Algeria and Cameroon are also expected to speak. The thematic agenda on terrorism has received increased attention of the PSC over recent years. So far, the theme has been addressed at the summit level three times (at PSC’s 455th, 571st, and 749th meetings), making it a theme most addressed at summit level. In 2021, the PSC has convened two sessions on the topic, both of which were convened at the ministerial level. As the findings of the AU Commission Chairperson’s report on ‘Continental Efforts in Preventing and Combating of Terrorism and Violent Extremism in Africa’ presented at PSC’s 1040th session demonstrate, there is a concerning spread in terrorism as well as extremist ideologies in the continent, warranting the increased attention by the PSC. The two Councils will thus likely emphasise the importance of addressing underlying root-causes of extremism which is conducive for terrorism. They may also address factors facilitating terrorism and violent extremism in Africa, including terrorism financing and the link between terrorism and transnational organised crimes, as well as the spill over effect of terrorism in the middle-east and its contribution to the prevalence of foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs) in Africa, particularly Libya. As the deadline for withdrawal of foreign fighters from Libya in line with the October 2020 Ceasefire Agreement approached, the impact of such withdrawal on the rest of the continent, mainly the Sahel region imposed a serious concern leading to discussions both by the PSC and UNSC.

While the PSC committed its 1035th ministerial session to address this concern, the UNSC also convened an Arria-formula meeting on 18 June on the same topic. In that regard, the Councils may welcome the signing of a Plan of Action on 08 October 2021 to ensure a “gradual, balanced, and sequenced” withdrawal of foreign forces and mercenaries from Libya and urge all relevant actors to ensure its timely and proper implementation. With regards to terrorism financing in Africa, the two Councils may discuss ways of stemming financial sources of terrorists, including transnational criminal organisations, through coordination and collaboration among organs such as AFRIPOL and INTERPOL. Measures highlighted in the Communiqué of PSC’s 1040th session including the expedited development of African list of persons and entities associated with terrorism and the development of an African Arrest warrant are also crucial measures that will require the collaboration of the international community, including the UNSC.

The last agenda item will focus on SAMIM and Lesotho is expected to be the lead speaker from the PSC members. The Councils are likely to focus on identifying areas of support and engagement with the mission. Since its mandating and deployment by SADC in mid-July 2021, SAMIM has been able to register important milestones in its fight against terrorists in the Cabo Delgado province of Mozambique, including the recapture of key villages and dislodging of terrorist bases. Nonetheless, studies indicate that the force faces various complex challenges ranging from limited understanding of the landscape, to major intelligence deficits.

The most pressing challenge however relates to limitations in funding. The mission’s deployment was financed through SADC contingency funds and member States’ contributions for the initial three months period of its mandate. Following SADC’s renewal of the mission’s mandate for another three months as of early October, there have been concerns that external funding will be required for its continued operation provided that the funds availed for the initial three months were already insufficient. In light of that, the Councils may explore ways of collaborating with SADC in proving technical and financial support to SAMIM and also call on the international community and SADC partners to provide assistance in this regard, particularly in the area of SAMIM’s mandate to collaborate with humanitarian organisations in the provision of humanitarian relief to populations affected by terrorist activities.

Based on previous practice, it is expected that the Councils will issue a joint-communiqué highlighting the main points of their deliberation. The draft communiqué has been under negotiation and it is expected to be adopted at the end of the annual consultative meeting. It is however worth noting that last year’s joint-communiqué has been rather brief as compared to those issued in previous years, which provided more details of issues discussed. Negotiations regarding the contents of the joint-communiqués have also at times been challenging, resulting in considerable delays including the ones for the annual consultation in 2016 and 2017. In other instances, the two Councils were not able to adopt the communiqué in 2019.


Ministerial session on the interdependence between peace, security and development

2021

Date | 14 December, 2021

Tomorrow (14 December), the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC) will convene its 1055th session at a ministerial level to address the issue of the interdependence between peace, security and development.

Tomorrow’s session is expected to proceed in open and closed segments. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, is expected to preside over the meeting as the Chairperson of the PSC for the month. In the open session, following opening remark by Demeke Mekonnen, AU Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security (PAPS), Bankole Adeoye, is expected to make presentation. The representatives of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), the African Development Bank, as well as the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General to the AU and Head of the United Nations Office to the African Union (UNOAU), Hanna Tetteh are also scheduled to present.

The Council’s first dedicated session on the theme was held at a ministerial level on 27 September 2019, at its 883rd meeting. In that session, the Council requested the Chairperson of the AU Commission to submit annual report on the measures taken towards enhancing collaboration and coordination between departments within the AU Commission and AU Specialized Agencies on account of its recognition of the interdependent nature of peace, security and development.

The second session on the theme was convened at a summit level during its 975th meeting that took place on 27 January this year. The session addressed issues on how best to finance peace, security and development in the continent and ways to factor in security challenges in development financing. The deliberations during the session reflected on trends in which funds originally committed to financing development efforts are at the risk of being diverted to address security challenges in the context of growing threats of terrorism and violent extremism. Among other, the PSC called on the international community for ‘debt relief, cancellation and restructuring’ in light of the financial burdens resulting from the multi-dimensional threats imposed by terrorism, violent extremism, climate change and the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic. As noted in the concept note, tomorrow’s session presents the Council the opportunity to ‘continue with the discourse on the inextricable link between peace, security and development from a policy perspective and advance its messaging on current efforts in the Continent and what needs to be done further in this regard’.

A major concern in the conceptualization of the security-development nexus is the risk of shifting the focus from addressing the structural underlying causes of insecurity (such as poverty, unequal distribution of wealth, marginalization, human right abuses, and governance deficits) towards strengthening the security apparatus of member states. While addressing the Council during its last session on the theme, Comfort Ero, Crisis Group Africa Program Director, noted this concern stating that ‘the full spectrum of insecurities leading to violence is often overlooked’ though states often ‘give a nod to addressing the root causes of conflict’. As security sector assistance will not resolve the broader sources of insecurity, it is worth heeding to Comfort Ero’s call for the AU to focus on ‘overall “sustainable security” strategy that links hard security to broader development and human security concerns’. The presentations from the representatives of NEPAD and African Development Bank may particularly highlight the role these institutions play in addressing the deeper socio-economic challenges and set the continent on the path of sustainable development.

Furthermore, the idea of prioritizing and sequencing security and development in the sense that security issues need to be first addressed to pursue development goals has its own limits at least in three respects. First, it may divert meagre national resources towards maintaining stability as opposed to national development. Second, it raises the question of ‘securitization of aids’, having implication on the type of programmes funded by donors and prioritization of ‘fragile states’ in aid flows. Third, it may also encourage military approach over political solution in response to conflicts arising in the continent though holistic approach has been promoted on paper. The last concern, for instance, has been flagged up by the Council during its 975th session when it urges for capacitating national armies as a quick fix to address security threats while emphasizing the need to ‘supplementing’ military approach with preventive diplomacy and political solutions to promote and sustain peace.

Evidences also show the close link between peace, security and development. According to World Bank, a civil conflict costs the average developing country roughly 30 years of GDP growth, and countries in protracted crisis can fall over 20 percentage points behind in overcoming poverty. It further estimates that by 2030, up to two-thirds of the world’s extreme poor may live in fragile and violent conflict settings. It is against such link between security and development that the Constitutive Act of the AU maintains security as a ‘prerequisite’ for the implementation of the development and integration agenda. The concept of security-development nexus is also rooted in the understanding of security as a precondition for development. As violent conflict is often associated with weak and fragile state institutions, it is argued that efforts should be geared towards building or rebuilding the capacity of state institutions (particularly the security sector) to address security concerns, which in turn create a conductive environment for development.

Given the cyclical nature and mutually reinforcing relations between peace, security and development, tomorrow’s session may stress the need for a balanced and simultaneous security and development responses instead of a siloed or sequenced approach towards achieving sustainable peace and development. As highlighted in the PSC’s 883rd session, the interdependent nature of peace, security and development requires not only the cooperation and coordination of different departments within the AU Commission but also developing mechanisms that underpin ‘integrated, inclusive, holistic and multidimensional’ approach with the view to achieving sustainable peace and development in the continent. One of the available mechanisms likely to receive attention in tomorrow’s discussion within this framework is AU’s Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development (PCRD) framework. The latter plays pivotal role in contributing towards strengthening the capacity and resilience of state institutions as well as addressing underlying root causes of violent conflicts. While AU’s PCRD initiative gets impetus with the establishment of PCRD Centre in Cairo, it remains critical to avail the necessary resources for the Centre to effectively discharge the envisaged role. The full implementation of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) and the African Governance Architecture (AGA) are also worth mentioning as important step in addressing the imperatives of peace, security and development in an integrated and holistic manner.

Over the last decade, not only violent conflicts have spiked but also their nature have changed fundamentally with conflicts becoming increasingly internal, intense and protracted. In its most recent session (1014th) on early warning and Africa’s security outlook, the PSC has expressed its concern over the continental security landscape dominated by the growing influence of armed groups and non-state actors, the expansion of terrorists’ territory and theatre of operation, increasing convergence of terrorism and transnational organized crimes, as well as increasing political and social tension with the rising incidence of violent inter-communal conflicts. Foundational instruments including the AU Constitutive Act, the protocol establishing the PSC and the Common African Defence and Security Policy clearly recognize instability due to these multi-dimensional threats to peace and security as the major impediment to the realization of development aspirations of the continent.

The outcome of tomorrow’s session is expected to be a communique. Among others, the Council may reiterate its 883rd session in emphasizing that AU’s efforts towards conflict prevention, peacekeeping and the consolidation of peace are informed by the link between peace, security and development. While acknowledging the importance of strengthening the security sector, the Council is expected to stress on the need for addressing the structural root causes of violent conflicts in order to transform exiting conflicts, avoid relapses, and consolidate durable peace. The Council is likely to highlight the imperative of an integrated and holistic approach while tackling the interlinked challenges of security and development in the continent. In this respect, the Council may further reiterate its 883rd session that urged the Commission to enhance ‘the collaboration and coordination between the different departments within the AU Commission and AU Specialized Agencies’. Given the unique role that AU’s PCRD initiative plays in tackling the underlying fundamental root causes and drivers of violent conflicts in an integrated and holistic manner, the Council is likely to urge the Commission to support the PCRD Centre in undertaking its mandate.


Briefing on the situation in Somalia and the status of AMISOM Post 2021

2021

Date | 07 December, 2021

Tomorrow (7 December), the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC) is expected to consider the situation in Somalia and receive updates on the status of the discussion on the future of AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) post 2021.

Following the opening remark by Tesfaye Yilma, Permanent Representative of Ethiopia and the Chairperson of the PSC for the month of December, Bankole Adeoye, AU Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security (PAPS), is expected to make statement. Mohamed Omar Gad, PSC Chair for the month of November is expected to present the report of the PSC Field Mission to Somalia conducted last month. Francisco Caetano Madeira, Special Representatives of the Chair of the Commission for Somalia and Head of AMISOM will also make a presentation. The Representative of the Federal Government of Somalia is also expected to make a statement.

This meeting comes after the field mission by members of the AUPSC to Somalia, which took place from 8-10 November 2021. The mission was undertaken in the context of the ongoing discussion between Somalia and the AU on the future of AMISOM and the impending mandate renewal of the mission in December. Members of the AUPSC took the opportunity to demonstrate solidarity with Somalia as it continues to hold its electoral process and strives to consolidate its peace, security and stability.

The last time the Council met in October, the Somali political scene was dominated by a public row between the President and the Prime Minister in relation to a controversy surrounding the disappearance of a Somali cyber security expert who used to work for the Somalia National Intelligence and Security Agency. The tension has now been somewhat eased and the two leaders have reached a compromise on the appointment of senior security officials. However, the country continues to face so many challenges and the disagreements between the president and the prime minister and the federal government and the federal member states continue to stir political tension in the country, as members of the AUPSC observed during their recent visit.

Regarding the delayed Somali electoral process, some progress has been made recently in completing the election of members of the upper house of the Somali federal parliament. Election of members of the lower house, the House of Peoples, has also started and the process is expected to be concluded before the end of the year. This will then pave the way for the holding of the presidential elections. In a statement issued on 26 November, “International partners urge[d] the completion of inclusive and credible House of the People elections acceptable by all electoral stakeholders and the Somali people according to a published timetable, by 24 December 2021”. However, Somali opposition groups who organized themselves under the Union of Presidential Candidates are reportedly saying that they will not accept results of the ongoing parliamentary elections citing lack of transparency and widespread irregularities. The Spokesperson of the group was quoted by the media as having said on 1 December that “The Union of Presidential Candidates declare[d] that it does not condone, accept, and will not be part of the ongoing looting that destroys peace and the state-building process”. During its visit in Somalia, the Council underscored the need for the effective, comprehensive and expedited implementation of the September 2020 and May 2021 agreements concerning elections’ modalities”.

Recently, there have been series of engagements on the future of AMISOM post-2021. It is to be recalled that, through its Communique adopted at its 1042th meeting on 28 October, the AUPSC had requested the AU Commission to immediately resume consultations with the Somali government and the relevant international partners with a view to reaching a mutually acceptable and workable agreement on the nature, strategic objectives, mandate, size, composition and financing of the AU-UN Multidimensional Stabilization Mission in Somalia, which should include transition benchmarks for the handing over of responsibility for security to the Somali Security Forces.

During the field mission to Somalia, members of the AUPSC engaged with the representatives of the Somali federal government and other international partners. What came out clearly during these discussions was their disagreement with Option 1 of the AU Independent Assessment Report—endorsed by the AUPSC in October—that proposed the establishment of an AU-UN Multidimensional Stabilization Mission in Somalia. International partners underscored the need to take into account the views of the Somali government which they believe is critical in garnering the necessary support from the UN and the EU. In this regard, they have proposed the holding of technical discussions to identify possible alternative options that would help in building consensus and eventually guarantee the support of all key stakeholders, including in the Security Council.

The issue was discussed during the 12th consultative meeting of the UN-AU Joint Task Force held virtually on 5 November involving senior officials of the relevant departments of the UN Secretariat and the AU Commission. Subsequently, it was also discussed at the Fifth UN-AU annual conference between the leadership of the two institutions held on 1 December. Divergence of views were said to have been reflected by the two organizations during the discussion on the issue but agreement was reached to establish a joint technical team to engage with key stakeholders on the Somalia Transition Plan and to develop a joint proposal to be submitted to the Security Council in line with resolution 2568 (2021). Furthermore, the issue is on the agenda of the upcoming joint annual consultative meeting between the UNSC and AUPSC scheduled to take place on 17 December 2021. The experts of the two Councils have been negotiating on the outcome of the meeting and one of the points of disagreement in this negotiation appears to be a language related to Somalia and the issue of predictable and sustainable financing of AMISOM.

The mandate of AMISOM is due to expire this month but these discussions apparently require sometime to allow the host country, the AU, the European Union and the United Nations to agree on a common way forward on the future of AMISOM. The Secretary-General had already written a letter on 29 September to the President of the Security Council explaining the ongoing consultations among the key stakeholders pursuant to resolution 2568 (2021) and requested additional time to finalize these consultations and submit an agreed proposal by the end of the year. Through its Communique adopted at its 1037th meeting on 7 October, the AUPSC also requested the Security Council to consider a technical roll-over of the AMISOM mandate, while discussions continue on the details and modalities for transition towards the post-2021 arrangement. Therefore, there seems to be a possibility for the UNSC to agree on a short extension of the mission’s mandate to allow these discussions to be finalized.

The expected outcome is a communiqué. The PSC based on the recommendations of its field mission report may reiterate its previous decision particularly as relates to the establishment of AU-UN Multidimensional Stabilization Mission in Somalia while considering the position of the Federal Government of Somalia and international partners. It may call on the AU Commission to continue discussion with the Federal Government of Somalia on Concept of Operations for a follow-on mission to AMISOM. The PSC may also underline the importance of continuing consultation between the AU, Federal Government of Somalia, the UN and partners to have a common understanding of AMISOM post 2021. To this end, it may request the UNSC for a technical rollover of AMISOM’s mandate to allow more time to reach consensus on the way forward. It may urge Somali political actors to address their differences and ensure that free and fair elections are conduced within the set timeframe.


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

2021

Date | 30 November, 2021

In December, Ethiopia will be the Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC). The PSC’s provisional programme of work for the month envisages two country specific sessions, one thematic session and the 15th annual joint consultative meeting between the PSC and United Nations Security Council (UNSC), which is expected to be preceded by the informal joint seminar. A joint retreat of the PSC and the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) is also scheduled to take place in Durban during the course of the month.

The first session of the month is expected to take place on 7 December and will assess the situation in Somalia and the status of the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) post-2021. At its 1037th and 1042nd sessions convened in October, Council endorsed option one of the Report of the AU Independent Assessment Team on AU’s Engagement in and with Somalia Post-2021. Option one of the report envisages the transitioning of AMISOM into AU-UN Multidimensional Stabilization Mission in Somalia. While AMISOM’s transitioning into such mission is favoured for providing predictability in terms of financing, the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) has voiced complete rejection of this option, stressing that it does not conform to the original plan envisaged under the Somalia Transitional Plan (STP). Following that, a delegation of the PSC visited Somalia on 9 November to consult with the FGS, representatives of AMISOM and other relevant stakeholders and determine ways for Council’s next steps in its support to Somalia. The upcoming session is hence expected to provide updates on the progress obtained in reaching an agreement between the AU and FGS on the nature and mandates of AMISOM post-2021, among other issues.

On 9 and 10 December, the PSC will consider the annual indicative programme for 2022, through email exchanges. The PSC Committee of Experts (CoE) will also be convening on 9 December to review the implementation of PSC decisions for the second half of 2021.

On 13 December, the PSC CoE will meet to consider the report on activities of the PSC and the state of peace and security in Africa, which is to be submitted to the AU Assembly at the upcoming AU Summit on January/February 2022.

The second substantive session of the month is scheduled to take place on 14 December. The session will be convened at the ministerial level and will address the interdependence between peace and security and development. In 2019, PSC had its first meeting on the same theme, at its 883rd ministerial session. It is to be recalled that at that session Council emphasised the intrinsic link between peace and security and development and called for the coordinated implementation of relevant AU frameworks, particularly the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) and African Governance Architecture (AGA). In light of that, Council requested the Chairperson of the AU Commission to submit annually a report on measures taken to enhance the collaboration and coordination between different departments of the AU Commission and AU Specialized Agencies to support the PSC. Council may follow up on this request at the upcoming session. It may also reiterate the concerns expressed at its 975th session over the growing peace and security threats to development in Africa, including the diversion of development financing to address security threats.

On 16 December, the PSC and UNSC will have their 6th informal joint seminar, ahead of the 15th annual consultative meeting scheduled to take place on 17 December. It is to be recalled that the 5th informal joint seminar took place on 29 September 2020, during which the two Councils discussed strengthening cooperation with a focus on improving working methods as well as Silencing the Guns in Africa. At the 14th annual consultative meeting convened on 30 September 2020 the two Councils considered country/region specific issues including Mali, the Sahel region and Somalia. In addition to following up on developments in these country and region specific situations, the upcoming joint consultative meeting may also consider other emerging peace and security situations.

Between 19 and 21 December the PSC will have a joint retreat with the APRM in Durban. This is in line with previous PSC decision of its 914th and 962nd sessions, which requested the AUC in close collaboration with the APRM secretariat to organize a joint retreat for the two organs.

The last session of the month is scheduled to take place on 28 December. The session will be a briefing on the relationship between South Sudan and Sudan, including the status of Abyei. Since Council’s last meeting on the status of Abyei, which took place on 24 November 2020, some positive developments have been observed in the relationship between the two Sudans. Regarding the contested status of the oil-rich region of Abyei, a significant progress has been the establishment of high-level committees on both sides to review past agreements and pave the way for negotiations aimed at settling the final status of Abyei. Council may take note of this progress at the upcoming session and encourage both sides to continue working towards negotiations. It may also follow up on the decisions of its previous (966th) session, including its request for the AU Commission to develop modalities for releasing the report on the killing of Chief Koul Deng Koul of the Ngok Dinka and to dispatch a sensitisation mission to Abyei to engage the local community on the report, with the aim of facilitating reconciliation.

Council’s provisional program of work for the month also indicates in footnotes the possibility of convening sessions on Chad, Guinea, Mali, and/or Sudan depending on the development of situations in one or more of these States.


Climate Change and Peace and Security in Africa

2021

Date | 26 November, 2021

Tomorrow (26 November), African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC) is set to convene its 1051st session to discuss climate change and security under the theme: ‘Climate Change and Security: the Need for an Informed Climate-Security-Development Nexus for Africa’.

Tomorrow’s session is expected to proceed in open and closed segments. In the open session, following the opening remark by Mohamad Omar Gad, Permanent Representative of Egypt and the Chairperson of the PSC for the month of November, Bankole Adeoye, AU Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security (PAPS), is expected to make statement. Ambassador Josepha Sacko, AU Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment is also scheduled to deliver presentation. Statements by Hannah Tetteh, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office to the AU, and Tanguy Gahoum, Chairperson of the Africa Group of Negotiators on Climate Change, are to follow the presentation. Wael Aboul Maged, Board Member of the Green Climate Fund, and Alastair McPhail, Ambassador of the United Kingdom in Addis Ababa may also deliver statements.

The PSC has increasingly addressed the issue of climate change and security in Africa and has become one of its standing agenda item with the decision of the Council to dedicate an annual session on the theme during its 585th session held on 30 March 2016. The Council has thus far convened about nine sessions including the latest one, 984th session on 9 March 2021 held at summit level. The Council also convened its 1043rd session on 29 October 2021 at the level of Heads of State and Governments specifically on natural disaster and human security. In several of these meetings, the Council not only expressed its concern over the adverse effects of climate change on socio-economic developments and security but also recognized the ‘inextricable link between climate change, peace and security in Africa’. A number of decisions have also been made by the PSC over the past years on climate change and security. Hence tomorrow’s sessions presents an opportunity to take stock of previous commitments including the study on the nexus between climate and security and the appointment of the Special Envoy on climate and security.

An important aspect of tomorrow’s session is to also reflect on how the PSC approaches the issue of climate and security. While the relationship between climate change and conflict is not direct, climate change may exacerbate existing vulnerabilities and tensions with an impact on the human and state security. In this sense, climate change is a ‘threat multiplier’ in conflict affected and fragile settings and a ‘potential triggers of inter-communal violence’ as highlighted in the 585th session of the Council.

The framing of the theme captures the mutually reinforcing linkages between climate change, security and development. Climate change threatens to reverse the economic gains made by the continent over the last decade and hinders progress towards realizing the Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As noted in the concept note prepared for the session, climate change affects the delivery of sustainable development plans of African countries, which in turn ‘feed and exacerbate some of the active conflicts, and can contribute to the outbreak of new conflicts and/or the relapse of others’. In this context, PSC’s 585th session, for instance, underscored the need for member states to mainstream climate change in their national development agendas. Furthermore, the Council, in several of its meetings dedicated to the theme including the 984th session, highlighted on the need to mainstream the same in all AU’s activities particularly in early warning and conflict prevention efforts.

The presentations may shed light on the different policy and institutional frameworks as well as initiatives launched with the aim to address climate change and its impact on security and socio-economic developments in Africa. These include: Africa Adaptation Initiative (AAI), the Great Green Wall for the Sahara and Sahel, Africa Blue Economy Strategy, the Bamako Declaration on the Management of Natural Resources, and the three African Climate Commissions (the Island Climate Commission, the Congo Basin Commission, and the Sahel Climate Commission), in addition to Agenda 2063 and Silencing the Guns 2030 initiative. This year also witnessed further steps with the launch of Green Recovery Action Plan in July and Africa Climate Week in September while Libya, the last African country to do so, ratified the Paris Agreement in August.

Also of interest to the Council is the issue of providing predictable and sustainable source of climate financing. Africa bears the brunt of climate change despite producing less than 4% of the emissions responsible for climate change. Yet, the aspiration to build climate resilient and low-carbon development by African countries as outlined in their Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement requires a considerable as well as predictable funding. Despite some progress in terms of mobilizing and scaling up climate finance, the amount of funding flowing to the continent remains limited. Sources indicate that only few countries have been able to access the Green Climate Fund (GCF)—the single largest source of global climate finance—mainly because of the limited institutional and technical capacity to access and manage the available funds. In this connection, Sacko may brief the Council about the support that the Commission provides to member states particularly in relation to developing bankable projects. The other point the Council may need to follow up is its decision, at its 984th session, to establish an AU Special Fund for Climate Change. Most recent positive development Sacko is likely to mention is the launch of the Comprehensive Africa Climate Change Initiative (CACCI), a new partnership between the AU Commission and USAID to ‘reach the Paris Agreement goals of reducing carbon emissions and building long-term adaptation plans’.

Globally, climate and security is increasingly gaining traction. The the UN Security Council, through its Presidential Statement [SC 13189] adopted on 30 January 2018, acknowledged the link between climate change and violent conflicts in the context of West Africa and the Sahel region. Most recently, the UN Security Council convened a high-level open debate on the ‘Maintenance of International Peace and Security: Climate and Security’ in 23 September 2021.

As tomorrow’s session comes at the backdrop of the conclusion of UNFCCC COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, UK, it affords the Council the opportunity to take stock of major outcomes of COP26 and discuss on main priorities for COP27, which Egypt is going to host in 2022. The briefing by Tanguy Gahouma, AGN Chair, is likely to highlight Africa’s position and assessment of the conference. One of the issues high on the agenda for Africa at Glasgow was climate finance and adaptation. The pledge by developed countries decades ago to contribute $100 billion per year by 2020 to help developing countries to support adaptation and mitigation in developing countries was missed (in 2019, the total climate finance was estimated to be $79.6 billion, falling short of the $100 billion target). During the COP26, African negotiators sought to scale up this financing up to $1.3 trillion per year by 2030. Tanguy Gahouma may also highlight on other aspects of the negotiation including climate responsibility as well as transfer of technologies and capacity building.

The expected outcome of tomorrow’s session is a communiqué. Among others, the Council is likely to follow up on four important decisions it previously made. The first is the study on the nexus between climate change and peace and security in the continent pursuant to the decision at its 774th session. The second is on the progress in respect of the appointment of an AU Special Envoy for Climate Change and Security in line with the decision of the Council during its 774th session. The third is on AU Special Fund for Climate Change which the Council agreed to establish at its 984th session held this year in March at the Summit level, while the fourth is on the need to develop a ‘continental framework for proactively responding to the potential and real security threats posed by climate change to the continent’ as agreed during its 774th session. Given the interlinkage between climate change, security and development, the Council may reiterate its call for mainstreaming climate change in AU’s early warning, conflict prevention and Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development undertakings. In this regard, the Council may further stress the need for coordination between the department of Political Affairs, Peace and Security as well as Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment. The Council is also expected to take note of the outcomes of COP26 and may further stress on the need to identify Africa’s priorities for the upcoming COP27 and support the work of the African Group of Negotiators on Climate Change to better amplify African voices in climate negotiations.


Ministerial Session on Countering Extremist Ideology and Radicalization in Africa

2021

Date | 15 November, 2021

Tomorrow (15 November) the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC) is set to convene its 1048th session at ministerial level on countering extremist ideology and radicalization in Africa.

Following the opening remarks of the PSC Chairperson of the month and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Egypt Sameh Hassan Shoukry, the AU Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security (PAPS), Bankole Adeoye, is expected to make a statement. Representative of Al-Azhar Observatory for Combating Extremism, Representative of the Egyptian Money-Laundering and Terrorist Financing Combating Unit (EMLCU) and the Director of the African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism (ACSRT) are also expected to deliver statements.

The report of the Chairperson of the AU Commission on ‘Continental efforts in preventing and combating terrorism and violent extremism in Africa’ which was considered by the PSC at its 1040th session convened at the ministerial level indicates the growing rate of extremism in the continent manifested through terrorist attacks, kidnappings for ransom (KFR) and other transnational organised crimes. As captured in the report, in central Africa, over 595 attacks leading to 1758 deaths were recorded, whereas in western Africa, 253 attacks were recorded which have resulted in 1538 deaths, only during the first half of 2021. So far into 2021, there have also been 82 recorded cases of KFR throughout the continent. The attacks carried out during the same period also demonstrate that an overwhelming majority of the targets of terrorist acts are civilians. This concerning trend has prompted Council’s much needed attention to tomorrow’s session which aims to explore means of countering radicalism and extremist ideologies which are at the bottom of the spread of terrorist acts.

The AU Commission Chairperson’s report further highlights that international terrorist groups such as Al Qaida and Daesh (the Islamic State) continue to seek alliances with domestic terrorist sects in Africa, battling for dominance over one another. As these groups fortify efforts to spread and establish strongholds, radical and extremist ideologies serve as their main weapons for mobilising and recruiting local communities. As various examples of counter-terrorist missions demonstrate, efforts aimed at preventing and fighting against radicalism and extremism fail to go beyond security responses and military approaches which are ineffective in addressing underlying root causes of the problem. In that regard, Council’s note at its 749th session that member States need to adopt holistic approaches, which address root causes of terrorism, and violent extremism has been significant in emphasising that military responses alone cannot achieve the needed success in counterterrorism efforts.

As studies into trends of terrorism and violent extremism in various parts of Africa indicate, local grievances due to inequality, marginalisation, poverty, injustice, corruption and poor governance, lack of socioeconomic opportunities and high rate of unemployment, oppression and subjugation of minority groups, and violations of human rights and freedoms are widely manipulated by terrorist groups to convert and recruit local communities, particularly the youth. To some extent, the very formation of extremist and radical ideologies is also the result of such socioeconomic challenges which are left unaddressed, prompting affected and aggrieved members of society to explore less than peaceful means of seeking their societal quests. The misuse and distortion of political opinions and religious and cultural identities and the lack of proper and timely management of resulting disputes in society also lay a fertile ground not only for the radicalisation of affected individuals and their manipulation into joining existing terrorist groups, but also for the creation of extremist ideologies. However, most of the conversation regarding terrorism and violent extremism is centred around radical religious and cultural ideologies and security-centred measures to counter them, while the background and underlying causes for the creation of such ideologies is mostly ignored. This curtails the prevention and effective response to radicalism and violent extremism.

Understanding the unique contexts under which extremist ideologies develop is also important as opposed to adopting a one-size-fits-all approach. The factors and circumstances that make individuals vulnerable to radicalisation may vary considerably from one geographic location to another. To prevent, mitigate and ultimately eradicate violent extremism therefore, identification of the specific local causes and dynamics and engaging with community members in an all-inclusive manner to find solutions to these causes is essential. The importance of early education of children and sensitisation of youth and adults on the culture of peace, peaceful resolution of disputes and respect for diversity should also not be overlooked or underplayed and should be supported with concrete government policies.

The growing linkage between terrorism and transnational organised crimes including human and drug trafficking could also be considered as factors significantly contributing to the spread of radicalism and extremist ideologies. Particularly, with poverty and lack of employment serving as push factors, individuals, especially the youth, are driven to identify with extremist ideologies and to join groups that advance them, in hopes of making a living and supporting themselves and their families. Therefore, in addition to strengthening national efforts aimed at creating economic opportunities and ensuring inclusive development, member States should also reinforce local, regional and continental initiatives designed to address transnational organised crimes in order to stem the finances it provides to advance radicalism and extremist ideologies. It is also to be recalled that at its 1040th session, Council underscored the need to expedite the establishment of an African list of persons, groups and entities associated with terrorist acts, including those sponsoring terrorism. This, followed with appropriate action from concerned member States and the international community such as freezing accounts of persons sponsoring terrorism, will also contribute towards reducing the spread of radicalism and extremist ideologies.

Another concerning factor which could further exacerbate radicalism and extremist ideologies in Africa is the existence of substantial number of foreign terrorist fighters in the continent, particularly in Libya and the Sahel region. At its 1035th session, Council addressed the growing security concern the projected withdrawal of foreign forces from Libya imposes upon the Sahel region and the rest of the continent and stressed the importance of developing and implementing a plan for their withdrawal. In addition to the direct security consequences, a mismanaged withdrawal of foreign forces from Libya also entails the possible spread of extremist ideologies to the rest of the continent. Therefore, in addition to disarming these forces, it is also important to develop withdrawal and relocation plans with an element of deradicalisation.

The manipulation of modern technologies and misuse of the cyber space to spread extremist ideologies, motivate and radicalise targeted groups, as well as to recruit and incite violence has also been a concerning trend. Hence, while ensuring and respecting freedom of expression, the right to privacy and other relevant rights, it also important for member States to regulate the use of social media and cyber space in general to restrict the flow and dissemination of inflammatory content.

The expected outcome of tomorrow’s session is a communiqué. Council may express grave concern over the growing rate of violent extremism and terrorist attacks in the continent and emphasise the need to strengthen existing response mechanisms while adopting measures to address underlying root causes of radicalism and extremist ideologies. It may call on member States and Regional Economic Communities and Regional Mechanisms (RECs/RMs) to enhance collaborations in securing and managing borders in order to effectively control the illicit flow of weapons and to combat transnational organised crimes, which serve to finance the spread of radicalism and extremism. The PSC may reiterate the decision of the 14th extraordinary session of the Assembly on Silencing the Guns and its previous decision on the development of a comprehensive strategy for countering terrorism in Africa; the urgent need to operationalize AU Special Fund on the prevention and combating of terrorism and violent extremism in Africa; the establishment of a special unit on counter-terrorism within the African Standby Force (ASF); and the reactivation of the Council’s sub-committee on counter-terrorism. Council may also highlight the need to update relevant AU instruments on counterterrorism, including the OAU Convention on the Prevention and Combating of Terrorism and its 2004 Protocol, to ensure that the issue of extremist ideologies is also well reflected.


Briefing on the African Union Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development

2021

Date | 12 November, 2021

Tomorrow (12 November), African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC) will convene its 1047th session on AU’s efforts on Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development (PCRD) in Africa.

Following the opening remarks of Permanent Representative of Egypt and PSC Chairperson of the month, Mohamed Omar Gad, the AU Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security (PAPS), Bankole Adeoye, is expected to make a statement. Representatives of selected Regional Economic Communities and Regional Mechanisms (RECs/RMs) as well as countries in political transition and post-conflict situations may also make statements.

This session is convened as part of the maiden PCRD awareness week on 7-13 November 2021, which is launched with the aim to increase awareness about AU projects, policies, mechanisms and achievements on post-conflict recovery and reconstruction efforts. The session also comes on the heels of other events of the awareness week such as the African Defence Attachés Forum to celebrate the first Annual African Flag Day and a virtual High-Level Seminar on PCRD in Africa to review the AU PCRD Policy framework and its implementation over the last 15 years.

As the session coincides with the 15th anniversary of the PCRD Policy Framework, it provides the Council a unique opportunity to take stock of progress in the implementation of the Policy since its adoption in 2006 and reflect on the challenges and implementation gaps.

Despite AU PCRD forms part of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) and the African Governance Architecture (AGA), PSC’s 670th session noted that the PCRD aspect remains the ‘weakest link’ within the implementation of these frameworks. Since recently, there has been a deliberate effort by the Council in mainstreaming the PCRD in the context of its consideration of countries in political transition and post-conflict situations.

The PCRD Policy Framework was adopted in Banjul, The Gambia, in 2006 to serve as a guide for the development of comprehensive policies and strategies that seek to consolidate peace, promote sustainable development and prevent relapse of violence. The Policy Framework is anchored on six pillars upon which all PCRD efforts should be developed and sustained. These are: security; humanitarian/emergency assistance; political governance and transition; socio-economic reconstruction and development; human rights, justice and reconciliation; and women, gender and youth.

While the Policy Framework has proved to be an authoritative document in providing strategic guidance to address the needs of communities emerging from conflicts, there is a question of its adaptability to the new security dynamics in Africa as marked by the emergency of new threats notably climate change, environmental degradation and public health emergencies. This issue was particularly highlighted during the Council’s 1017th meeting where the Council requested the Chairperson of the Commission to review the policy framework in a manner that ‘it is adaptable to the contemporary dynamics in Member States in political transition and post-conflict situations’.

One of the issues likely to be highlighted in tomorrow’s session is progress made towards the operationalization of the policy framework over the last 15 years. In this respect, the establishment of an inter-departmental Task Force on PCRD in May 2016 is worth noting given its role as a platform for coordination and synergies in the work of the AU and the RECs/RMs in the implementation of the PCRD Policy. Though the Council agreed to establish PSC sub-committee on PCRD at its 230th session with the envisaged role of providing political leadership and oversight on the implementation of the Policy, this has not materialized as of yet. However, the establishment of the PCRD Centre, headquartered in Cairo, Egypt, pursuant to the decision of the Assembly (Decision Assembly/AU/Dec.351 (XVI)) is expected to be a breakthrough in the operationalization of the Policy Framework. It is to be recalled that the PAPS Department of the Commission held an assessment mission to Cairo in August this year with the objective of preparing for the official launch of the Centre as well as to enhance its operational tasks and capacities.

The briefing is also likely to provide a review of AU’s PCRD interventions and mechanisms deployed in support of countries that are in political transition and post-conflict situations. While political missions, peace support operations (PSOs), and AU Liaison Offices (AULOS) remain main modalities of AU’s engagement in such countries, the practice of establishing support mechanisms has also emerged over the years. Notable in this regard is AU Technical Support Team to The Gambia (AUTSTG) and most recently, the AU-led Support Mechanism (AUSM) for Chad to support the reform process in these countries through the deployment of multidisciplinary technical experts. In relation to AULOS, there is a clear trend of increasing emphasis by the Council on the need to enhance institutional capacity of the Liaison Offices in recognition of the critical role they could play in the areas of PCRD. Implementation of Quick Impact Projects (QIPs) and Peace Strengthening Projects (PSPs) in Somalia; the development of Regional Stabilization Strategy for the Lake Chad Basin and the Stabilization Strategy for the Sahel; and AU’s support in the areas of reconciliation and healing (e.g. South Sudan), Disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR), as well as Security Sector Reform (SSR) as in the case of CAR can be cited as some of the best practices in terms of AU’s PCRD interventions.

The AU has made significant strides in its PCRD undertakings, but the persistence of some conflicts and conflict relapse in other cases still highlight the remaining challenges. Resource constraint remains one of the most critical challenges in this regard. In a number of its meetings (e.g. 958th, 670th, and 593rd sessions), the PSC not only flagged up the resource challenge but also underscored the importance of ensuring sustainable and predictable funding for an effective PCRD response. Range of options have been explored to address the resource challenge that include the launch of African Solidarity Initiative (ASI); the establishment of an African PCRD Fund (this was considered by the Council during its 528th meeting); and dedicating a percentage of the AU Peace Fund for PCRD activities as suggested by the Council at its 593rd and 958th sessions. Despite the initiatives, the aspiration for creating self-reliant mechanism to mobilize adequate, sustainable and predictable funding for AU’s PCRD activities remains a long way off.

As noted in Amani Africa’s previous ‘insights on the PSC’, the other challenge relates to the prevalence of political fluidity in countries that are in political transition and conflict situations, as well as absence of nationally owned or led coherent strategy that limit effective delivery of PCRD related support. The third challenge is ensuring coordination and complementarity among the diverse actors involved in the field of PCRD, notably the AU, RECs/RMs, the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission (UNPBC).

The expected outcome of tomorrow’s session is a communiqué. Among others, the Council may commend the progress made in the operationalization of the PCRD Policy Framework since its adoption in 2006. While taking note of the establishment of the PCRD Centre and its significant contribution in reinforcing the implementation of the PCRD Policy, the Council may reiterate the call for the activation of the sub-committee on PCRD. In relation to mobilization of resources, the Council may once again urge for the revitalization of the African Solidarity Initiative further underscoring the need for tapping into and enhancing the engagement of actors such as the African Development Bank (AfDB), international financial institutions, the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Peacebuilding Commission, and the private sector. In addition, the Council may consider providing capacity building in terms of PCRD within the framework of window 2 of the Peace Fund as agreed during the latest PSC Retreat held in Mombasa in May 2021. Furthermore, the Council may highlight the imperative of strong coordination and policy coherence between the AU and RECs/RMs as well as other stakeholders to ensure complementarity and avoid duplication of efforts. Given the central role of national stakeholders including women and youth for PCRD efforts to succeed, the Council may also stress the importance of inclusivity and national ownership.