Provisional Program of Work for the Month of January 2022

Program of Work

Date | 30 December, 2021

Ghana assumes the role of chairing the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC) for the month of January. In January, Ghana also starts its two-year term on the UN Security Council (UNSC) as a non-permanent member representing Africa. The provisional program of work for the month includes five substantive sessions—two country/region specific and three thematic sessions.

On 5 January, the Committee of Experts is expected to meet to consider the report on the activities of the Peace and Security Council and the state of peace and security in Africa. On 11 and 13 January, the PSC will convene at Ambassadorial level to consider and adopt the same report, which will be submitted to the Assembly in February.

The first substantive session of the year is scheduled to happen on 14 January to consider the renewal of the mandate of the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF). The PSC last renewed MNJTF’s mandate at its 973rd session held on 18 January 2021, for a period of twelve months, effective from 31 January 2021. Apart from mandate renewal, the Council may receive update on the activities of the MNJTF in line with the relevant provisions contained in the Communiqué PSC/AHG/ COMM.2 (CDLXXXIV) of 29 January 2015. The continued use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) by Boko Haram for reconnaissance operations and capability gaps within the MNJTF were areas of concern to the Council during its previous sessions. In light of this, members of the PSC are likely to hear from the AU Commission about efforts to engage with partners and other stakeholders to mobilize support for the taskforce and mitigate its capability gaps.

On 17 January, the PSC will convene at a ministerial level to hold a general debate of the PSC and the A3+1 on African matters in the UNSC agenda. This session comes not long after the conclusion of the eighth high level seminar on peace and security in Africa that took place in Oran, Algeria, in early December 2021. The high-level seminar serves as a platform to facilitate close interaction and enhance coordination between the PSC and the A3 (the three African non-permanent members of the UNSC). It is to be recalled that the PSC, at its last session on the A3 (983rd meeting convened on 4 March 2021), stressed the importance of providing ‘strategic guidance’ to the A3 on peace and security issues ahead of the UNSC meetings to support their role in advancing a unified African voice at the UNSC. In this context, the upcoming general debate is pivotal to exchange views and forge a common understanding among members of the PSC and A3+1 on African files in the UNSC. Furthermore, the session offers good opportunity to further consolidate coordination between PSC and the A3.

On the following day, 18 January, PSC will consider and adopt its provisional program of work for February through email exchange.

On 25 January, the PSC is expected to receive a briefing on South Sudan. It is to be recalled that the PSC undertook a three-day field mission to South Sudan in March 2021. The report of the field mission was considered during PSC’s 990th session held on 13 April. In that session, while the Council noted the ‘steady progress’ in the implementation of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS), it also urged the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity (R-TGoNU) to work on all outstanding provisions of the R-ARCSS notably Chapter II (transitional security arrangements) and Chapter V (Transitional justice). As the deadline for the transitional period fast approaches—scheduled to end in February 2023—the briefing would allow members of the PSC to take stock of the progresses and challenges in the implementation of the revitalized agreement and discuss the way forward.

On 27 January, there will be an open session on ‘promoting constitutionalism, democracy and inclusive governance to strengthen peace, security and stability in Africa’. At the Council’s 791st session convened in August 2018, it was agreed to dedicate an annual session on the implementation of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, though not followed up. The upsurge of unconstitutional change of government in 2021 and its destabilizing effect however makes this session very timely. The session is expected to highlight the need to deepen democratic culture, constitutionalism and political governance for a peaceful and stable continent. To that end, the contribution of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) and the twin architectures of AGA (African Governance Architecture) and APSA (African Peace and Security Architecture) could also be explored.

The last session of the month is scheduled to happen on 31 January to receive a briefing on elections in Africa. The last briefing was held during the Council’s 1034th meeting in September 2021 where the Council considered the report of the Chairperson of the AU Commission on elections in Africa held between January and June 2021. This briefing therefore follows the previous one, which is expected to cover elections in Africa held during the period from July to December 2021. Like in the previous sessions, the briefing will be based on the report of the Chairperson of the Commission that provides an overview of elections in the continent, in addition to highlighting key trends in governance, emerging patterns in the conduct of elections, AU’s electoral support and interventions as well as policy recommendations.

In addition to the above agenda items, the provisional program of work also indicates in footnote on the possibility of convening a session on the status of AMISOM post-2021 without setting a specific date. This session is likely to happen soon given the most recent milestone reached with the signing of an agreement between the AU and the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) on 29 December 2021, outlining principles and modalities for ‘reconfigured’ AMISOM. The session may also consider the latest dispute between President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed ‘Farmaajo’ and Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble and its implication on the long overdue presidential election and the overall peace and stability of Somalia.


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

Program of Work

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.


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

Program of Work

Date | 29 October, 2021

In November, Egypt 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 four sessions dedicated to thematic issues, one country specific session and a joint consultative meeting with the United Nations (UN) Peacebuilding Commission (UNPBC). As a conclusion to Council’s activities of the month, a press conference by the PSC Chairperson is scheduled to take place on 30 November.

The first activity the PSC will be undertaking during the month is the meeting between the PSC Chair and the African three elected members of UN Security Council (UNSC) and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (A3+1), scheduled to take place on 1 November. It is to be recalled that at its 983rd session on the unified role of the A3, Council made some concrete decisions aimed at improving the role played by the A3 in advancing common African positions on African peace and security issues which are on the agenda of the UNSC. One of the key decisions emerging from that session was to have monthly consultations between the PSC Troika and the A3, in order to ensure provision of timely updates and guidance to the A3 on African peace and security issues ahead of UNSC meetings. At the 13th PSC Retreat which took place in May 2021 in Mombasa, it was further reiterated that the incoming Chair of the PSC shall convene monthly meetings with the Coordinator of the A3 and that these meetings shall be reinforced with quarterly meetings at the level of the PSC Troika and the A3 as whole. The upcoming meeting therefore takes place within the framework of these decisions and could also contribute to preparations being made for the upcoming joint consultative meeting of the PSC and UNSC.

The PSC Committee of Experts (CoE) will be convening on November 2 to prepare for the planned filed mission to Somalia as well as for engagement with UNSC experts at the upcoming annual joint consultative meeting between the PSC and UNSC.

On 5 November, Council will convene its first substantive session, which will focus on the protection of medical personnel and facilities in armed conflicts. The session is likely initiated in response to the growing trend of attacks against medical personnel and facilities observed in conflict affected areas globally, most of these being concentrated in west and central Africa. Reports signify that in the period from 2016 to 2021, over 1000 reported cases of attacks against health workers and medical facilities have been recorded in west and central Africa. Particularly, in Central African Republic (CAR), Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Nigeria, a concerning surge in such attacks has resulted in suspension of medical activities, constraining peoples’ access to healthcare, an issue compounded further by outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The PSC is scheduled to undertake a field mission to Somalia from 9 to 10 November.

On 12 November the PSC is set to consider three agenda items. In the morning session the PSC will receive a briefing on AU Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development (PCRD). This will be the second session on the theme to take place within this year, in line with PSC’s 2021 indicative annual programme of activities, which envisages convening twice to review PCRD efforts in the continent. It is to be recalled that the first meeting on the theme took place at Council’s 1017th meeting convened in August, with a focus on AU support to member States in political transition and in post-conflict situations. At the upcoming session, Council may follow up on some of its key decisions made at the 1017th session, mainly on the reactivation of the PSC Sub-Committee on PCRD and its request for the Chairperson of the AU Commission to submit a comprehensive report on implementation of PCRD activities in Africa.

In the afternoon of 12 November, Council will convene its joint consultative meeting with the UNPBC. It is to be recalled that the two bodies had their last annual consultative meeting in October 2020, where country specific, regional and thematic peace and security issues of common concern were discussed. The upcoming meeting provides the stage for further reflection on these issues and to exchange ideas on how the AUPSC and UNPBC can further consolidate collaborations on peacebuilding in Africa, particularly taking account of the need to give effect to the contents of the Common African Position on the 2020 Review of the UN Peacebuilding Architecture adopted at Council’s 948th session.

The consideration and adoption of the draft programme of work for the month of December is also expected to take place on 12 November, through email exchanges.

The next PSC session is scheduled for 15 November, although the date is yet to be confirmed. The session is planned to take place at the ministerial level and will be committed to the theme of countering radicalism and extremist ideologies in Africa. In October 2021, Council already convened a ministerial level session to consider the report of the Chairperson of the AU Commission on continental efforts in the prevention and combating of terrorism in Africa. This trend demonstrates that the PSC is giving much needed attention to the interconnected concern of radicalisation, extremism and terrorism, which are intensifying, in some parts of the continent.

On 17 November, Council will be convening to receive a briefing on the situation in Libya. In May 2021, Council convened a ministerial session on Libya (997th meeting) where the AU Commission was requested to provide regular progress reports on the implementation of AU decisions aimed at supporting the Libyan transitional process. The upcoming briefing could therefore highlight, among others, the status of preparations for the planned general elections, particularly regarding finalization of all necessary constitutional frameworks, and more generally, the challenges and progresses in the implementation of the October 2020 Ceasefire Agreement.

The final substantive session of the month will be convened on 26 November, addressing climate change and peace and security in Africa. The session is a timely one provided that the current year has seen increasing impacts of and corresponding concerns over climate change. It is also to be recalled that one of the agenda items of Council’s 984th session convened at the summit level was dedicated to climate change and its effects on peace and security in Africa. At that session, decisions were adopted including establishing an AU special fund on climate change. In addition, the AU Commission was requested to submit a report elaborating the nexus between climate change and peace and security in Africa and also to provide updates regarding the appointment of AU Special Envoy for climate change and security. The upcoming session presents the opportunity to also follow up on these decisions.

As envisaged in the footnotes of Council’s indicative programme of work for the month, meetings may be scheduled as needed, to assess situations in Chad, Guinea, Mali, Somalia and Sudan, countries currently facing pressing peace and security challenges. The footnotes also indicate that the 12th Annual Retreat of AU High Representatives is expected to take place from 1 to 3 November and engagement of PSC CoE with UNSC Experts as well as preparations for the PSC-UNSC annual joint consultative meeting is to continue in New York, from 22 to 24 November.


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

Program of Work

Date | 01 October, 2021

In October, Mozambique will assume the chairship of the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC). The Council’s provisional programme of work for the month envisages six substantive sessions, including two address country specific issues. The program of work also envisages a Ministerial session and a Heads of State and Government level meeting.

On 4 October the Committee of Experts is expected to meet to prepare on four agenda items: the 5th joint retreat and 13th annual joint consultative meeting with the European Union Political and Security Committee (EUPSC), the 6th joint seminar and 16th annual consultative meeting with the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), the 8th High Level Seminar and the PSC Heads of State and Government level meeting expected to be held at the end of October.

The first substantive session of the month is expected to take place on 5 October. Three agenda items are tabled for the Council to consider during this session. The first two agenda items are postponed from the previous month. The first agenda item will be consideration of strategic priorities for the utilisation of the AU Peace Fund. It is to be recalled that the PSC Committee of Experts convened considered this agenda item in August under Cameroon’s chairship. The upcoming session could hence serve to update Council which types of peace and security initiatives the Committee of Experts has identified as priority areas to receive funding through the three thematic windows of the Peace Fund.

The second agenda item is dedicated to the consideration of a zero draft African consensus paper on the financing of AU-led peace support operations (PSOs) using UN assessed contributions. The submission of the draft was requested at Council’s 986th session, where the AU Commission was requested to develop a paper presenting common African position for funding of AU PSOs through UN assessed contributions. Both agenda items are expected to be presented by the Chairperson of the PSC Committee of Experts for August 2021, Cameroon.

The third one is an update on the situation in Guinea. The upcoming session is expected to assess the political developments in Guinea in light of the PSC’s decisions taken at its 1030th session that took place on 10 September 2021. In that session, it is to be recalled that the PSC threatened to impose targeted sanctions against coup plotters upon failing to comply with the demands of the Council for the military to return to the barracks, uphold principle of constitutionalism, and refrain from further political interference. A major development of interest to the Council since its last session on that country is the announcement of a transitional charter by the military junta on 28 September outlining the transitional organs and their respective duties.

On 7 October, the Council will convene its second substantive session to receive a briefing on the situation in Somalia and the activities of African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). This session comes at the backdrop of the latest political turmoil that gripped Somalia after fallout between Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble and President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo over the death of an intelligence agent. As this session will be convened few days before the presidential election which is set for 10 October, it is an opportunity for the Council to assess the political and security context within which the election is to take place with the view to ensuring a credible and peaceful presidential election, as well as preventing electoral violence. In relation to AMISOM, the Council is likely to receive update on the activities of AMISOM particularly in the areas of joint military operations with Somali National Army (SNA), electoral assistance provided to the 2021 elections, as well as support provided to the implementation of the Somali Transition Plan (STP). The Council may also follow up on the progress towards developing the joint CONOPS for the new ‘AU Transition Mission post-2021’.

The PSC Committee of Experts will convene on 11 October, to consider a proposed outline for the PSC Report, which is to be submitted to the AU Assembly during the January/February 2022 AU Summit.

On 12 October, the PSC will consider and adopt its program of work for the month of November, which will be circulated via email to all members of Council for comments and feedback.

The PSC is also scheduled to convene a meeting on 19 October to assess the implementation of its Work Plans of 2020-2021: Achievements, Challenges and Way forward. On the same date, Council will also meet to prepare for the Annual Joint Consultative Meetings with the EUPSC and UNSC.

On 21 October, the Council will meet at a ministerial level to consider the report of the Chairperson of the AU Commission on continental efforts in prevention and combating of terrorism in Africa. The report is in line with the Assembly decision (/AU/Dec.311 (XV)) of its 15th Ordinary Session, held in July 2010, which, inter alia, requested the Commission to submit regular reports on the status of the fight and cooperation against terrorism in Africa. Since then, the Council has been convening annual sessions on the theme including the last one at its 957th meeting that took place on 20 October 2020. The Chairperson’s report is expected to facilitate deliberations of the Council by highlighting an outlook of the state of terrorism in Africa and the continental efforts to address the scourge.

On 26 October, the PSC is expected to hold an open session dedicated to the commemoration of the adoption of UNSC Resolution 1325, a landmark resolution on women, peace and security which underscores the importance of women’s equal participation and full engagement in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security. Over the years, the Council has held annual commemorative sessions on the adoption of this resolution under different themes and this year’s session is expected to take place under the theme: ‘Impact of COVID-19 on Women, Peace and Security Agenda’.

The last session of the month is scheduled to take place on 29 October at the level of Heads of State and Government, the first summit level meeting since 9 March 2021, to address the issue of disaster management in Africa and the challenges and perspectives for human security. The continent is confronted with a surge in the occurrence of many disasters notably climate related disaster, diseases and pandemics, and conflicts that have impacted human security in multiple ways. The disasters, which is further compounded by the outbreak of COVID-19, have caused loss of lives, displacement, and massive damages and destruction of infrastructure. While the convening of the session at a summit level shows the magnitude of the problem and the political weight attached to the theme, it is also an opportunity for the Council to critically reflect on what the increasing trend of disasters mean to human security in Africa, the available institutional and normative frameworks to address the issue at a continental level, and how best to respond to the mounting challenges posed by disasters.

The provisional program of work for the month also indicates in footnotes the possibility of holding a session to consider the report of the AU Assessment Mission to The Comoros at a date and time yet to be confirmed. The footnotes also indicate that there could be a retreat of the PSC Committee of Experts on the status of implementation of PSC decisions, on a date also to be determined.


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

Program of Work

Date | 01 September, 2021

During September, Chad will assume chairship of the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC). Council’s indicative programme for the month envisages seven substantive sessions. Out of these, two are expected to address country/region specific concerns whereas the remaining five will be committed to various thematic topics. All of the planned sessions are expected to be held virtually. Two of the sessions will be open sessions.

The month’s first session is expected to take place on 2 September. The session will be committed to an updated briefing on the situation in Mali and consideration of the report of PSC’s evaluation mission to Mali. The decision to constitute a PSC evaluation mission to Mali was made at Council’s 1001st session, which took place during June. At the session, Council suspended Mali and underscored conditions that shall be met by the current transitional authorities. The upcoming session and the evaluation report may serve to shade light on how far these conditions have been met in addition to providing updates on the general political and security situation in the country.

On 6 September, Council is scheduled to consider and adopt via email exchanges, the draft program of work for October 2021.

The second substantive session of the month scheduled to take place on 8 September will be an open session dedicated to the commemoration of 2021 Africa Amnesty Month. Council has convened annual sessions to commemorate Amnesty Month since 2017, following the AU Assembly’s decision to declare the month of September of each year as amnesty month, until 2020. While 2020 was the last year for the commemoration of amnesty month in line with Assembly/AU/Dec.645(XXIX), the AU Assembly, at its 14th Extra Ordinary Session on Silencing the Guns, extended its commemoration for 10 years, from 2021 to 2030, in line with PSC’s recommendation at its 943rd session that the Assembly extends amnesty month for a further period aligned with the First Ten Year Implementation Plan (FTYIP) of Agenda 2063. The upcoming session hence offers the chance to reflect on how the coming ten years could be best utilised in order to address remaining challenges around surrender and collection of illicit weapons and in curbing the flow of illegal arms.

On 14 September, the PSC will meet to prepare for two of its upcoming joint annual consultative meetings scheduled for October. The first one will be its annual consultative meeting with the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), which has been taking place since 2007. This year’s meeting will mark the 15th consultative meeting between the two Councils. The other annual consultative meeting of the PSC which is expected to take place during October is its joint consultative meeting with the European Union (EU) Political and Security Committee (PSC). This year’s PSC meeting with the EUPSC will be its 13th annual consultative meeting.

On 16 September, Council will convene its third substantive session to receive a briefing on continental and regional activities in the area of mine action in Africa. Council’s 837th session convened in April 2019 highlighted the indiscriminate nature of mines, among other “excessively injurious” weapons and stressed the need for member States to ensure compliance and implementation of relevant instruments such as the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention (APMBC), the Maputo Declaration aiming to achieve a mine-free world by 2025 and the Mine Action and Explosive Remnants of War Strategic Framework. The upcoming briefing may provide updates on the status of implementation of these instruments.

The fourth session of the month is scheduled to take place on 21 September which is also the second open session of the month. The open session is dedicated to the commemoration of International Day of Peace, where Council will also receive briefing of the second edition of the Luanda Biennial “Pan African Forum for the Culture of Peace”. A joint initiative of the AU, UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Government of Angola, the Pan-African Biennale was held for the first time in September 2019, in Luanda, where it was agreed that the forum would be convened every two years. The first edition of the forum served to highlight the importance of strategic partnerships to scale up projects for sustainable peace in Africa, the value of disseminating good practices for the prevention and resolution of conflicts and the need to showcase cultural diversity in Africa and demonstrate the resilience of the people in the face of conflicts. The second edition is expected to be held under the theme “Strengthening the Pan-African Movement for a Culture of Peace and Non- Violence: Towards a Global Partnership”.

Council’s next session, which is scheduled for 23 September, will consider the mid-year report of the Chairperson of the AU Commission on elections in Africa. The report will likely summarise the outcomes of elections in Africa conducted during or scheduled for the first and second quarters of 2021. This session also presents the Council the opportunity to discuss upcoming elections and what the AU can do to help member states prevent violence in contexts of elections.

On 28 September, Council may have, subject to confirmation, a ministerial level session addressing the projected impact of withdrawal of foreign forces and mercenaries from Libya on Sahel region and the rest of the continent. The presence of foreign fighters in Libya has been challenging the implementation of the October 2020 ceasefire agreement and is considered as a threat to the successful conduct of the elections planned for December this year. While the withdrawal of these foreign forces and mercenaries from Libya is critical for the success of the country’s peace process, there is fear that if not properly managed, it will result in the spread of terrorist fighters and arms into the wider Sahel region and the rest of Africa. Council’s session may thus focus on mechanisms that shall be employed for the effective management of the departure of these foreign fighters from Libya.

The last session of the month, which is scheduled to take place on 30 September, will consist of two agenda items. The first one will be consideration of strategic priorities for the utilisation of the AU Peace Fund. It is to be recalled that the PSC Committee of Experts convened during August under Cameroon’s chairship to consider this particular issue. The upcoming session could hence serve to update Council which types of peace and security initiatives the Committee of Experts has identified as priority areas to receive funding through the three thematic windows of the Peace Fund. The second agenda item is dedicated to the consideration of a zero draft African consensus paper on the financing of AU-led peace support operations (PSOs) using UN assessed contributions. The submission of the draft was requested at Council’s 986th session, where the AU Commission was requested to develop a paper presenting common African position for funding of AU PSOs through UN assessed contributions. Both agenda items are expected to be presented by the Chairperson of the PSC Committee of Experts for August 2021, Cameroon.

In addition to its substantive sessions, Council’s provisional programme indicates that the Committee of Experts will be meeting within the month to consider the implementation status of PSC decisions.


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

Program of Work

Date | 02 August, 2021

In August, Cameroon will be chairing the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC). While two of the total sessions will be focusing on country specific issues, the remaining sessions will address various thematic topics. In addition to its substantive sessions, Council will also meet within the month to discuss the 2022 draft budget of the PSC and the department of Political Affairs, Peace and Security (PAPS).

The first session of the month, scheduled to take place on 3 August, will be a consideration of report on the progress of implementation of the political transition in Chad by the African Union Support Mechanism (AUSM). The report is based on the Council’s request at its last session on Chad for the Chairperson of the Commission to report to it by the end of June on the work of the Support Mechanism and the progress in the implementation of the decisions taken by the Council during its 996th session, as well as developments in the country.

On 5 August, the second session for the month is planned to take place focusing on AU support to countries in transition and post-conflict, an agenda postponed from the previous month. At its 958th session dedicated to PCRD in Africa, Council emphasised the need to consistently identify, initiate and promote PCRD initiatives in order to allow rebuilding of resilience and to consolidate peace in countries emerging from conflict situations. This session will present an opportunity, among others, to follow up on this.

The third session scheduled for 6 August is on the PSC and Department of Political Affairs, Peace and Security 2022 final draft budget. This signifies the increasing active role that the PSC has come to assume in the peace and security budget of the AU.

On 9 August PSC Committee of Experts is scheduled to meet to consider the priorities on utilisation of the AU Peace Fund. The last time Council convened a meeting on the AU Peace Fund was in 2018 at its 770th meeting, where it underscored some of the concrete steps that need to be taken in order to fully operationalise the fund. Since then, there was extensive deliberation on the issue of the AU Peace Fund at the 13th PSC retreat held in Mombasa in May 2021, within the context of its utilization for the priority activities of the Council. The main focus of this session is thus likely to follow up on the outcomes of the Conclusions of the Mombasa retreat, particularly the identification of priority activities by the Committee of Experts together with the PAPS Department. It is expected that the Committee of Experts would consider the specific types of peace and security initiatives that are planned to benefit from financing availed through the three thematic windows of the Peace Fund.

The next session of the PSC, planned to take place on 10 August, will be on the annual consultative meeting between the PSC and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR). This will be the third consultative meeting between Council and the ACHPR since their inaugural meeting convened in 2019.

PSC’s next session planned to be held on 12 August will be dedicated to consideration of the mid-year report of the Chairperson of the AU Commission on elections in Africa. The report will likely summarise the outcomes of elections in Africa conducted during or scheduled for the first and second quarters of 2021. This session also presents the Council the opportunity to discuss upcoming elections and what the AU can do to help member states stave off violence in context where there are already looming signs.

On 13 August, Council is scheduled to consider and adopt via email exchanges, the draft program of work for September 2021.

On 17 August, the PSC will receive a briefing from the International Red Cross Committee (ICRC) on its activities in Africa. The session is to be convened within the context of Council’s regular engagement with the ICRC, in line with Art.17 of the PSC Protocol. Such briefing has been taking place almost every year since 2007, the last being at the 904th session of the Council convened on 16 January 2020. The President of ICRC is expected to brief members of the Council on ICRC’s activities in Africa highlighting works undertaken towards humanitarian assistance and the respect and promotion of international humanitarian law, as well as the challenges encountered by ICRC while discharging its tasks.

On 19 August, Council may convene a ministerial level meeting, to consider the activities of the African Union Border Programme (AUBP). This meeting comes at the backdrop of the statutory commemoration of the 11th edition of the African Border Day by the Council on 7 June 2021, which was convened in the context of the implementation of the AUBP. It is expected that the AU Commission will present a progress report on the Implementation of the AUBP since March 2020, highlighting the major developments in the implementation of the Program at the national, regional and continental levels and its contribution towards promoting peace and security on the continent, as well as its role in facilitating regional and continentalintegration. One of the major breakthrough likely to be highlighted in this regard is the launch of a Continental Strategy for Better Integrated Border Governance.

On 24 August, PSC’s session will focus on proposed finalization and operationalization of the AU Humanitarian Agency. It is to be recalled that the Assembly of the AU in its Decision 604 of 30 January 2016 decided to establish an African Humanitarian Agency (AfHA) to ‘streamline humanitarian action on the continent’. With the aim to address the ever-growing humanitarian crisis in the continent, the agency is designed to serve as part and parcel of the new humanitarian architecture adopted by the AU as enshrined in the Common African Position on Humanitarian Effectiveness in January 2016. In addition to the discussion on the finalization of the instruments relating to the Agency and its operationalization, the session is expected to deliberate on ways to ensure complementarity and strong coordination with other mechanisms such as the Africa Risk Capacity, Africa CDC, and Special Emergency Assistance Fund (SEAF). The Council may also reflect on the different options that can be explored to realize the commitment taken by the AU to primarily fund the agency through Africa’s own resources in the spirit of Pan-Africanism.

The second annual consultative meeting between the PSC and the Peace and Security Organs of the Regional Economic Communities/Regional Mechanisms (RECs/RMs) is planned to take place on 26 August. It is to be recalled that at the inaugural meeting which took place in 2019, Council and Policy Organs of the various RECs/RMs reflected on issues relating to the division of labour on their decision-making processes as well as the need to have strengthened coordination between the regional and continental level in the implementation of the frameworks of African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) and African Governance Architecture (AGA). In addition to following up on the implementation of the various decisions taken at the inaugural consultative meeting, members of the Council may also deliberate on some of the critical issues facing the PSC-RECs relations. The recent decision by Southern African heads of state to deploy a Southern African Development Community (SADC) mission to support Mozambique’s fight against violent extremists in its northern province could be among various developments that may be addressed at the upcoming consultative meeting.

On 31 August, Council may convene a ministerial session to celebrate and commemorate African amnesty month. The session is to be an open session convened in a hybrid format – partially virtual and partially physical. The commemoration of amnesty month has been regularised within Council’s thematic agenda items since 2017. While 2020 was the last year for the commemoration of the amnesty month in line with Assembly/AU/Dec.645(XXIX), the AU Assembly, at its 14th Extra Ordinary Session on Silencing the Guns, extended its commemoration for 10 years, from 2021 to 2030, in line with PSC’s recommendation at its 943rd session that the Assembly extends amnesty month for a further period aligned with the First Ten Year Implementation Plan (FTYIP) of Agenda 2063. The upcoming session hence offers the chance to reflect on how the coming ten years could be best utilised in order to address remaining challenges around surrender and collection of illicit weapons and in curbing the flow of illegal arms.

Although the date for the session is yet to be fixed, the PSC is expected to hold a session on the situation in Mali as well. Apart from the security situation in the country, it is expected to receive update on the transitional process since the PSC’s last session and on steps taken towards the restoration of constitutional order within the 18 months transitional period.

Council’s indicative programme of work for the month also indicates in footnote that a session could be convened to continue consideration of the report on the AMISOM Independent Assessment on the Future of AMISOM, at a date and time to be determined.


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

Program of Work

Date | 01 July, 2021

In July, Nigeria 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 eight substantive sessions. As has been the case since April 2020, all the sessions are scheduled to take place virtually. Five of these sessions will be focusing on thematic issues. From the remaining sessions, two relate to peace operations and one relate to region specific situation.

The first session of the month, on 6 July, is scheduled to focus on the renewal of the mandate of the G5 Sahel Joint Force. It is to be recalled that the PSC renewed the mandate of the G5 Sahel Joint Force at its 939th session for one year period starting from 13 July 2020. It is expected that the Council will also review the current situation in Mali and the Sahel. In this session, the Council may also receive update on the status of the 3000 troops deployment, which was decided by the AU Assembly during its 33rd Ordinary Session held in February 2020 in order to degrade the terrorist groups in the Sahel.

On 8 July, the PSC will hold its session on a status report on the full operationalisation of the Africa Standby Force (ASF) and the AU Continental Logistics Base (CLB). It is to be recalled that the AU Assembly, during its 14th Extra Ordinary Session held in December 2020, declared that the ASF is ‘fully operational’ and directed the Council to ‘utilize its framework in mandating and authorizing AU peace support operations’. In addition to following up on the implementation of these decisions, the PSC may reflect on the key challenges and the steps that should be taken towards the full operationalization of the ASF that serves as the ‘framework for the planning and rapid deployment of PSOs to conflicts and crises in Africa’. The Council is further expected to discuss on means of supporting the operational capacity of the AU Continental Logistics Base in Douala, Cameroon, and regional bases.

On 13 July, the PSC is scheduled to have a briefing session on the implementation of the ‘Regional Stabilisation, Recovery and Resilience Strategy for Areas Affected by Boko Haram in the Lake Chad Basin Region.’ It is to be recalled that this was adopted in August 2018, at a Ministerial conference of the member States of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) with support of the AU, including the PSC. On the same date, Council will consider and adopt the provisional programme of work for August 2021. Apart from reviewing the progress and challenges in the implementation of the strategy, the Council may also emphasise the heightened importance of addressing emerging humanitarian and stabilisation needs in the region and mobilizing the requisite AU support for the implementation of the strategy.

During its session on 15 July, the PSC is set to consider the report on the AU Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) independent assessment on the future of the mission. As indicated at its 994th session, AU’s engagement in and with Somalia post-2021 is to be guided by the report of the independent assessment team. Although relative stability has been restored in the country following agreement on the resolution of the recent political stalemate over the elections, the intensity of the insecurity exacerbated by the impasses and the immediate clan- based division observed within the Somalia army are reasons to consider an appropriately calibrated AU engagement post-2021.

On 19 July, the PSC is expected to address the state of maritime security in Africa. When the PSC met last time on this theme at its 858th meeting, the session had a central focus on the finalisation, signature and ratification of the draft Annexes to the African Charter on Maritime Security, Safety and Development in Africa (Lomé Charter). In the session on 19 July, the Council is likely to pay attention to the continued rise of maritime security incidents in Gulf of Guinea (accounting for 43% of all reported piracy incidents in the first three months of 2021) and the looming threats in the Mozambique Channel due to Cabo Delgado crisis.

On 22 July, Council’s sixth session is envisaged to focus on the common African position on financing AU-led PSOs through UN assessed contributions. At its 986th session, Council emphasised the importance of burden sharing between the AU and UN including by ensuring UN’s predictable, sustainable and flexible financing of AU-led or authorised PSOs through the UN assessed contributions, and requested the Commission to develop a paper presenting common African position for funding of the AU PSOs and accessing UN assessed contributions. It is also to be recalled that at the celebration of its 1000th session, Council reiterated its request for the Commission to finalise development of the common African position on access and use of UN assessed contributions to AU PSOs, and submit for Council’s consideration. As emphasised by the AU Assembly at is 14th Extraordinary session, the articulation of a common position by the PSC will be important to guide the African Members of the UN Security Council (A3) in promoting support within the UNSC for resuscitating the consideration of a resolution which would endorse AU’s access to UN assessed contribution for AU peace support operations authorized by the UNSC.

On 27 July, Council is set to receive a briefing on “early warning and security outlook”. One of the steps identified by the PSC (during its 360th meeting held in March 2013) to enhance the objectives of conflict prevention on the continent is a periodic review at least biannually of the state of peace and security using horizon-scanning approaches. This session, therefore, offers the Council the opportunity to practically apply the horizon scanning approach as part of the effort to enhance its capacity for operationalizing its conflict prevention role. In addition, the PSC is likely to deliberate on ways of reinvigorating the early warning system and strengthening its linkage with early response.

The last session of the PSC on 29th session will be a briefing on AU support to member States in transition and post-conflict situations. At its 958th session dedicated to PCRD in Africa, Council emphasised the need to consistently identify, initiate and promote PCRD initiatives in order to allow rebuilding of resilience and to consolidate peace in countries emerging from conflict situations. This session will present an opportunity, among others, to follow up on this.

The provisional program for July also mentions in footnote the possibility of a briefing on elections in Africa, which is to take place at a date and time to be determined.


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

Program of Work

Date | 01 June, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Program of Work

Date | 01 May, 2021

The Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council for May will be Algeria. The program of work of the PSC for the month shows that the PSC is scheduled to have five substantive sessions. Out of three country/region specific sessions planned for the month, two will be convened at the ministerial level. There is one session covering two agenda items, namely mandate renewal and the annual thematic session on protection of children in conflict situations. The fifth session will be at a ministerial level with a focus on access to COVID19 vaccine in Africa. Although no specific date is assigned, PSC may also convene a session on the situation on Chad as a follow up to the decision of its 993rd session.

PSC is also scheduled to have an anniversary session on the occasion of reaching the convening of its 1000th session. The PSC retreat initially proposed for February is now scheduled to take place at the end of the month as the last activity of the PSC for May.

On 6 May, the main agenda item focuses on AU’s role on the fight against terrorism in Mozambique. The recurrence, scale and geographic spread of terrorist attacks have alarmingly expanded in Mozambique’s northern province of Cabo Delgado. The most dramatic deadly incident took place in late March when armed terrorists attacked the town of Palma, which led to displacement of more than 40,000 people. Civilians bear much of the brunt of the atrocious attacks, with displacement nearing the 1 million mark. In a statement issued on 31 March, the AU Commission Chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat, expressing utmost concern about the situation, called for urgent and coordinated regional and international action. PSC’s session serves as an initiative for enabling the AU to play a more active part. The second agenda item focuses on preparation for the retreat of the PSC planned to take place at the end of the month.

The next session, scheduled to take place on 11 May, has two substantive agenda items. The first one will be on the protection of children in conflict situations in Africa, which is one of the annual standing thematic agenda items of the PSC that is usually convened in May. Among the increasingly concerning trends in the continent, one is the illicit trafficking of children, particularly in post- conflict settings and in countries with fragile and weak security apparatus. Another major concern that may be addressed by the PSC is the continued abduction of children and their use either for fighting or for sexual slavery by extremist groups such as Boko Haram. As repeatedly emphasised by various humanitarian agencies, targeting of schools in armed conflicts in contravention of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) also remains to be a worrying trend in Africa. Another issue expected to receive PSC’s attention during this session is the situation of refugee children and the protection needs of such children.

The second agenda item of the session will be PSC’s consideration of AMISOM’s mandate renewal. During this session, the PSC is expected to discuss the future of AMISOM, including its financing having regard to the political crisis in Somalia and the ensuing heightened threat for Al Shabaab’s expansion. The PSC will also receive update on the revised Concept of Operations and AU’s independent assessment. It is to be recalled that on 12 March 2021, the UNSC reauthorized AMISOM until 31 December 2021, through the unanimous adoption of Resolution 2568 (2021), maintaining AMISOM’s overall 19,626 uniformed personnel level, which is in accord with the PSC’s request at its 978th session for the UNSC not to change the current troop ceiling of the mission. This has become even more important following the current political instability and ensuing insecurity in the country, as well as the continued threat posed by Al- Shabaab.

On 13 May, the PSC will consider and adopt programme of work for June via email exchange.

Although no session is planned to discuss the theme, the PSC is also expected to issue a Press Statement on the commemoration of the “Day of Living Together in Peace”, which is celebrated on 16 May of each year.

On 18 May, Council will convene its second country specific session focusing on Libya, which is envisaged to be the first ministerial level session of the month. While a Permanent Ceasefire Agreement signed on 23 October 2020 between the conflicting parties brought some hope for the resolution of the Libyan conflict, foreign military backing, illicit export of petroleum and the presence of foreign terrorist fighters are still challenging the successful implementation of the agreement and hindering an effective resolution to the conflict. The UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) has also recently expressed concern over the halt in oil production at the National Oil Corporation’s (NOC) eastern facility, which could further destabilise the country. The PSC may reflect on these major outstanding issues and how the AU could play a more substantive role in supporting the implementation of the peace agreement and the preparation for elections.

On 22 May, the PSC is scheduled to convene a ministerial session on Africa’s access to vaccines against the COVID19 pandemic as a human security issue. Thus far, Africa only accessed 2% of COVID19 vaccine and remains to be the continent least vaccinated. The current approach to the production and distribution of the COVID19 vaccine is one in which a handful of pharmaceutical companies decide the amount of vaccines produced, the countries for which those vaccines are sold and the price at which the vaccines are sold for different countries, leading to what President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa called vaccine apartheid, which entails grave consequences to human security in Africa in particular. It is to be recalled that the AU Assembly adopted a decision during its 34th ordinary session held in February 2021 calling for the temporary waiver of patents relating to COVID19 vaccines to enable the generic production of the vaccine for equitable access by all. PSC’s ministerial session serves as an opportunity for following up on this decision and on other avenues for the manufacturing of COVID19 vaccines on the continent.

PSC’s third ministerial level session of the month is expected to take place on 24 May, focusing on the situation in Mali. Since the formation of the Malian Transitional Government which was welcomed at PSC’s 954th session, some progresses have been noted such as the establishment of the National Transitional Council (which serves as the interim parliament) and the holding of a meeting on 11 February 2021, by the Monitoring Committee of the 2015 Peace and Reconciliation Agreement, which brought together Malian ministers, leaders of armed groups signatory to the 2015 Agreement and international mediators. The Transitional Government’s announcement that it will honour its promise to hold the presidential and legislative elections by determining a specific timeline (27 February 2022) has also been a commendable step. Regardless of such progress in the political situation, Mali’s security and stability is still seriously impeded as a result of the continued terrorist attacks, including the recent attack on MINUSMA’s base that killed four peacekeepers.

On 25 May, which marks the 17-year anniversary of the official launch of the PSC, the Council is scheduled to mark the convening of its 1000th meeting. Expected to take place partially in person, the session will discuss the activities of the PSC since its establishment with high- level speakers including from heads of state and government expected to deliver statements. It is an occasion for taking stock of the 17 years journey of the PSC and reflect on progress achieved and challenges facing the PSC.

The retreat planned to take place from 27 to 29 May will be the last activity that Council will undertake during the month. This presents an opportunity for the PSC to, among others, review working methods issues that have emerged during the past year. These include rotation of the monthly chairperson of the PSC as it relates, among others, to implementation of Article 5 of the PSC protocol and the convening of virtual sessions of the PSC.


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

Program of Work

Date | 01 April, 2021

In April, Djibouti will be the interim chair of the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC). As indicated in the monthly programme of the PSC, four substantive sessions are planned to be convened during the month. Three of these will be country/region specific, whereas one will be a thematic session. One of the sessions will be an open session. As has been the norm since the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic, all PSC meetings during April will be conducted virtually.

The first session of the month, scheduled to take place on 12 April, is expected to be an open session on the theme “hate crimes and fighting genocide ideology in Africa”. This will be Council’s fourth session on the same theme, the last one having taken place in 2019, at its 836th meeting. It is to be recalled that at its 761st session, Council decided to designate 7 April of each year as the African Union Day of Commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, in line with UN General Assembly Resolution 72/550. The coming session represents a follow up to the 678th session of the PSC of April 2017, in which Council decided to convene, annually in April, a PSC open session on the prevention of the ideology of hate, genocide and hate crimes in Africa.

The second session is expected to take place on 13 April and will be committed to consideration of reports of PSC’s field missions to South Sudan and Sudan. The PSC conducted its field visit to South Sudan from 24 to 26 March, and to Sudan from 30 March to 1 April. In addition to reflecting on the elements of the reports, Council may also highlight key developments such as the signing of the Declaration of Principles between the Transitional Government of Sudan and SPLM-North, and the increasing reports of attacks in various provinces in South Sudan, particularly Eastern Equatoria where 14 civilians were killed only as of last week.

On 15 April, PSC will consider and adopt its programme of work for May, which will be circulated via email to all members of Council for comments and feedback. The PSC programme of work also envisages that Council members will have a meeting on the 15th of April to prepare for PSC retreat expected to take place in May. It is to be recalled that the PSC planned to conduct its retreat virtually, from 25-26 February which was then postponed.

The next meeting scheduled to take place on 20 April will focus on a preparation for Council’s activities and budget for the year 2022. The meeting is also envisaged to include a discussion on the agreement of strategic priorities on the utilisation of AU Peace Fund. This will be conducted in the context of a follow up to the Joint PSC Board of Trustees Retreat of January 2020.

On 22 April, the PSC is expected to convene its third substantive session which will be consideration of the situation in Abyei and the future of the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA), in light of UNSC Resolution 2550(2020). Resolution 2550(2020) renewed the mandate of UNISFA until 15 May 2021. At its 966th session where the PSC last considered the situation in Abyei, it underscored the importance of the continued presence of UNISFA, in light of the security fragility and increasing incidents of violence in the area. Having regard to the approaching deadline for UNISFA’s expiry of mandate, the session presents an opportunity for the PSC to provide guidance to the A3 on the consideration by the UNSC of UNISFA’s mandate in May. In addition, the upcoming session may also serve the PSC to follow up on some of the key decisions adopted at its previous session, such as its request for the AU Commission (AUC) Chair to despatch a sensitisation mission comprising representatives from AUC; AU High- Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP); UN & UNISFA to Abyei, in the context of developing modalities for the release of the report on the killing of Chief Koul Deng Koul.

The last session of the month and the fourth substantive session of the PSC is scheduled to take place on 27 April and will be committed to a discussion on the AU Human Rights and Military Observers Mission in Burundi. The last time the PSC addressed the situation in Burundi was in 2018. At its 808th session, Council expressed its plan to maintain the Human Rights and Military Observers Mission in Burundi in order to ensure support to the Government and the people of the country, particularly as the 2020 election approached. Following the 2020 election in Burundi which was concluded peacefully, the UNSC has struck off the country from its political agenda. The session will take stock of the work of the Human Rights and Military Observers Mission in Burundi and decide on next steps.