Provisional Programme of Work for the Month of December 2022

Provisional Programme of Work for the Month of December 2022

Date | 1 December 2022

In December, Nigeria will assume the chairship of the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC). PSC’s Provisional programme of work for the month envisages four substantive sessions addressing country/region specific situations and thematic issues. All meetings are expected to be held virtually except the 16 December session.

On 1 December, PSC will convene its first session of the month to consider two agenda items. The first is update on the operationalization of the African Standby Force (ASF) and regional forces, which can be considered as a signature event of Nigeria’s PSC chairship. The session is also in line with PSC’s decision, during its 1007th meeting held on 8 July 2021, for the AU Commission and regional economic communities and regional mechanisms (RECs/RMs) to report on the implementation of the ASF on a quarterly basis. The last time that PSC received an update on the operationalization of the ASF was at its 1069th meeting held on 10 March 2022, which adopted a Summary Record as the outcome document of the meeting. PSC is therefore expected to take stock of progresses made in the operationalization of ASF since its 1069th session in March.

The second agenda item is the consideration of the outcome of the Inaugural Lessons Learned Forum on AU Peace Support Operations and the African Standby Force. The forum was organized by the AU Commission Department of Political Affairs, Peace and Security (PAPS) from 1 to 3 November 2022 in Abuja, Nigeria to assess how implementation of AU PSOs have been facilitated, ascertain the various ways in which the ASF have been utilized since its establishment, and identify key lessons that can contribute towards the full operationalization and utilization of the ASF. In this session, PSC is expected to consider and adopt the outcome report of the forum.

On the same day, PSC Committee of Experts (CoE) will meet to prepare for the Annual High-Level Seminar on the Peace and Security in Africa (ORAN Process), which is going to take place from 7 to 9 December 2022.

On 5 December, PSC’s Military Staff Committee (MSC) will meet to follow-up on the implementation of the outcome of the Inaugural Lessons Learned Forum on AU Peace Support Operations and the African Standby Force.

From 7 to 9 December, PSC will hold the 9th Annual High-Level Seminar on the Peace and Security in Africa (ORAN Process) at the ministerial level in Oran, Algeria. The ORAN Process is a yearly forum which has been convened since 2013, with the main purpose of enhancing cooperation between the PSC and the African members of the UN Security Council (A3 States) in advancing Africa’s voice within the UN Security Council. It is to be recalled that the previous Seminar took place in Oran, Algeria, from 02 to 04 December 2021.

On 9 December, PSC will consider and adopt the monthly provisional programme of work for January 2023 via email exchange.

The second substantive session of the month is scheduled to take place on 12 December with two agenda items. The first agenda item is an update briefing on the situation in Guinea Bissau. The last time that PSC received a briefing on the situation in Guinea Bissau was during its 905th meeting held on 27 January 2020. One of the focuses of the briefing is likely to be on the Stabilisation Support Mission in Guinea Bissau (MASGB) – an Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) mandated PSOs which the regional bloc decided to deploy at its 3 February 2022 extraordinary summit following the 1 February 2022 attempted coup d’Etat in Guinea Bissau. The mission was deployed in June for one year (renewable) comprising troops and police from Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, and Senegal with the view to ensuring the stability of the country. The financial situation of the mission and AU’s support in that regard could be the focus of the discussion.

The second agenda item will be consideration of the mandate of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) against the Boko Haram. The session is in accordance with the PSC request of the Commission, in coordination with the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) Secretariat, to report to Council regularly on the activities of the MNJTF, in line with the relevant provisions contained in the Communique PSC/AHG/ COMM.2(CDLXXXIV) of 29 January 2015, as well as in light of the upcoming mandate expiry of the Task Force early February. The PSC last renewed the mandate of the MNJTF at its 1057th session convened on 14 January 2022 for additional one year effective from 1 February 2022.

On 16 December, PSC will convene the third substantive session of the month, which is expected to happen in-person. Two items are placed on the agenda of the PSC in this session. The first item is a briefing on the activities of the African Commission on Nuclear Energy (AFCONE) and Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO). It is to be recalled that the PSC received AFCONE’s briefing on the implementation of the African Nuclear-Weapon Free-Zone Treaty (Treaty of Pelindaba) and on its activities during its 1071st session on 31 March 2022. In that meeting, PSC expressed its ‘deep concern’ over the possible use of nuclear weapons in the world and appealed to ‘those concerned to find amicable means of resolving their differences and protecting the populations from the impact of nuclear weapons’. PSC’s increasing attention to the issue is not only an indication of PSC’s concern over the rising risk of use of nuclear weapons and backsliding in commitments towards the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons in current geopolitical rivalry but also could show Africa’s agency in the global nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation efforts.

The second item is an update on the deployment of 3000 troops to the Sahel region. Discussion on this item was postponed two times in August and November this year. The decision to deploy 3000 troops to Sahel was made by the AU Assembly at its 33rd Ordinary Session [Assembly/AU/Dec.792(XXXIII)] in February 2020. While PSC discussed the situation in Sahel several times this year including during its 1087th session in June and 1116th session in October, the last time that PSC dedicated a stand-alone session on the deployment of the 3000 troops was its 950th meeting that took place on 30 September 2020. In that meeting, PSC endorsed the Revised Strategic Concept Note on Planning Guidance for the Deployment of 3000 Troops to the Sahel and requested the AU Commission together with the G5 Sahel and the ECOWAS to develop and submit the Concept of Operations (CONOPS) for the deployment of the troops. More recently, at its 1087th session of 1 June 2022, PSC also requested the Chairperson of the Commission to ‘intensify consultations with the concerned stakeholders, inclusive of ECOWAS, ECCAS, and G5 Sahel Joint Force’ on the deployment and ‘promptly brief the PSC on the outcomes of the consultations for due consideration’. While the upcoming session presents members of the PSC to follow-up on progress made in that regard, deteriorating security situation in the Sahel as well as the unfolding challenges that bilateral and multilateral security arrangements are facing have added further impetus to the need for the deployment of the troops.

The last substantive session of the PSC will take place on 19 December. It is expected that PSC will receive a briefing on the maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea. PSC’s last dedicated session on the theme was at its 1090th session in June 2022 where PSC requested the Commission, in close collaboration with RECs/RMs and other relevant regional bodies, for a regular briefing. It is also to be recalled that PSC discussed the state of maritime security in Africa during its 1112th session in July last year under the chairship of Nigeria. While the convening of the upcoming session on maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea could be seen within the framework of PSC’s request for a regular briefing on the same, it also shows the weight that Nigeria attaches to the issues of maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea.

On the same day, PSC is also expected to consider the Conclusions of the 14th PSC Retreat on its working methods and Conclusions of the 9th High-Level seminar. The 14th PSC Retreat happened in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, from 17 to 19 November while the 9th High-Level seminar is expected to take place from 7 to 9 December.

On 20 December, PSC will meet at the level of Committee of Experts to consider the Report on the Activities of the Peace and Security Council and the State of Peace and Security in Africa; and the Report on the implementation of the AU Master Roadmap on Practical Steps on Silencing the Guns in Africa.


Provisional Programme of Work for the Month of November 2022

Provisional Programme of Work for the Month of November 2022

Date | 1 November 2022

In November, Namibia will assume the role of chairing the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC). The month’s programme of work envisages six sessions with eight substantive agenda items, out of which four will focus on country/region specific situations while the remaining four will address various thematic issues. One of the sessions taking place in November will be convened at ministerial level while the remaining sessions will be held at ambassadorial level. During the month, Council is also expected to undertake two retreats – the PSC’s annual joint retreat with the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) and the annual PSC retreat on its working methods.

The first session of the month is scheduled to take place on 2 November with two agenda items. The first agenda item will be an update briefing on the situation in Sudan. The last time Council addressed the situation in Sudan was at its 1076th session which assessed developments in countries undergoing political transitions including Sudan. Sudan’s political crisis which unfolded following the 25 October 2021 coup largely remains unresolved having serious security and humanitarian implications on the nation. Despite efforts initiated by the Trilateral Mechanism [consisting of the AU, United Nations (UN) and Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)] to enable negotiations between the military and civilian leadership, concreate agreement is yet to be achieved. On 04 July, the military component announced that it will no longer take part in the negotiations facilitated by the Trilateral Mechanism suggesting instead that this mechanism focuses on facilitating a dialogue among the various civilian components. The coming session is expected to take stock of such key developments that have characterised the situation in Sudan since Council’s previous session.

The second agenda item Council is expected to address on 2 November is a presentation of key messages on the nexus between peace and security and climate change, in preparation for COP 27 [27th Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)] which is scheduled to take place from 06 to 18 November 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. Climate change and security is one of PSC’s standing thematic issues regularly addressed since its 585th session where it decided to hold annual sessions dedicated to this theme. The outcomes of these deliberations are expected to inform the key messages to be presented at the upcoming meeting, including the impact of climate-related displacement in driving up local tensions and setting the stage for the eruption of violent intercommunal conflicts, a point well emphasised at Council’s 1079th meeting. It is also to be recalled that on 18 October Council convened a ministerial session on climate change, peace and security nexus with a focus on the need to build resilience and adaptation for African island States.

The next day, 3 November, Council is set to convene its second session of the month which will be an open meeting dedicated to the theme of Youth, Peace and Security (YPS) in Africa. This will be the third time Council will be addressing YPS in 2022, demonstrating the growing attention it’s receiving and the importance attached to Africa’s youth in contributing to efforts aimed at maintaining peace and security in the continent. Following up from its 1080th session which formed Council’s previous meeting on the theme, the coming session may serve to highlight progress obtained among AU member States in domesticating the AU Continental Framework on YPS, particularly through the development of National Action Plans (NAPs).

On 04 November, the PSC Committee of Experts (CoE) will meet to prepare for the Annual High-Level Seminar on the Peace and Security in Africa. The High-Level Seminar on Peace and Security in Africa is a yearly forum which has been convened since 2013, with the main purpose of enhancing cooperation between the PSC and the African members of the UN Security Council (A3 States) in advancing Africa’s voice within the UN Security Council. It is to be recalled that the previous Seminar took place in Oran, Algeria, from 02 to 04 December 2021.

The third session of the month is planned to take place on 07 November and will be a ministerial meeting on the situation in Mozambique and Operations of Southern African Development Community (SADC) Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM). Since Council’s previous session on Mozambique which took place in January 2022 – 1062nd session – the security situation in the country’s northern province of Cabo Delgado has continued to deteriorate worsening the humanitarian toll. While it has continued its efforts to neutralise terrorist threats in the region, SAMIM has also been experiencing logistical and financial challenges which could impede on its effective response if not well addressed. In addition to receiving updates on these and other key aspects, Council is expected to endorse the Communique of the 42nd Ordinary Summit of SADC Heads of State and Government which extended SAMIM’s mandate.

The fourth session of the month will be an engagement between the PSC and the AU Commission on International Law (AUCIL), scheduled for 09 November. This will be the first time the PSC commits a session to an engagement with the AUCIL, which is an advisory organ of the AU established on the basis of Article 5(2) of the AU Constitutive Act. As provided in the Statutes of the AUCIL, the main objectives of the organ revolve around codification and progressive development of international law in Africa including through revision of existing treaties and conducting studies on legal matters of interest to the AU and its member States. The planned engagement between the two AU organs could serve to discuss challenges and opportunities for advancing international law norms relevant for the maintenance of peace and security in the continent.

On 11 November, Council will consider and adopt the draft provisional programme of work for the month of December 2022.

From 14 to 15 November, the Annual Joint-Retreat of the PSC and APRM will be held in Durban, South Africa. The Joint-Retreat of the PSC and APRM was held for the first time in December 2021 based on the decision of PSC’s 914th session for the AU Commission to work with the APRM Secretariat to organise a joint-retreat of the two organs. This year’s joint-retreat will be held in line with the decision of the inaugural retreat to have the convening on a yearly basis. The coming joint-retreat may address the increasing governance related instabilities in the continent and the value of investing on preventive tools to avert governance issues from becoming security concerns.

The next PSC activity during the month will be the Annual PSC Retreat on its Working Methods. The PSC Retreat is expected to take place in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, from 17 to 19 November. This year’s retreat will constitute Council’s 14th retreat.

On 28 November, Council will convene its fifth session which is expected to address two agenda items. The first one of these will be a briefing on the deployment of the 3000 troops to the Sahel region. Despite the decision of the AU Assembly in 2020 to deploy 3000 troops to the Sahel region [Assembly/AU/Dec.792(XXXIII)] and PSC’s endorsement of the “Revised Strategic Concept Note on Planning Guidance for the Deployment of 3000 Troops to the Sahel” at its 950th session, the deployment of the troops remains pending. Having regard to the situation on the ground, particularly the withdrawal of operation Barkhane from Mali and the potential security vacuum that could result, Council may take note of the important role the 3000 troops could play in managing the security situation in the region and urge all relevant stakeholders to exert efforts towards realising their deployment.

The second agenda item which forms part of Council’s 28 November session is a briefing on Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development (PCRD) efforts in Africa and an engagement with the UN Peacebuilding Commission (UNPBC). It is to be recalled that at its 1047th session where Council last addressed PCRD in Africa, it launched the AU PCRD Awareness Week from 7 to 14 November 2021 and decided it shall be regularly commemorated during November each year. On 11 November 2021 on the side-lines of the AU PCRD Awareness Week, the PSC also held its regular meeting with the UNPBC.

One of the key decisions of the 1047th session was to ensure “urgent review of the AU PCRD Policy Framework in order to ensure that it is re-aligned and adaptable to the emerging challenges in the Continental peace and security landscape”. In line with the decision of the 35th Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly [Assembly/AU/Dec. 815(XXXV)], a High-Level Expert Engagement was facilitated by the AU Commission from 09 to 14 September 2022, to review the AU Policy Framework on PCRD. The engagement which took place in Accra, Ghana served to conduct a comprehensive review of the architecture, mechanisms and processes of AU PCRD. At the coming briefing, the PSC may welcome the High-Level Expert Engagement and hear about some of the key aspects of the review and emerging recommendations.

The last session of the month is scheduled to take place on 30 November. The session will be committed to a briefing on the situation in South Sudan. Since Council’s 1092nd session which was the last time it addressed the situation in South Sudan, some key developments have unfolded in the country’s political transition process, a critical one being the extension of the transitional period by 24 months with effect from 23 February 2023 to 22 February 2025, through consensus reached among parties to the Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS). The decision to extend the transition period was reached in light of the lagged implementation of the R-ARCSS, with some of the agreement’s essential elements still outstanding, including completion of the permanent constitution-making process. The coming session will serve for Council to reflect on this and other developments in the implementation of the peace agreement.

In addition, Council’s provisional programme of work for the month also envisages in footnote, the convening of a Lesson Learnt Forum on AU Peace Support Operation (PSOs) to take place in Abuja, Nigeria, from 01 to 03 November. The footnotes also envisage a Summit on Industrialization with the participation of the Executive Council, from 23 to 25 November.


Provisional Programme of Work for the Month of October 2022

Provisional Programme of Work for the Month of October 2022

Date | 1 October 2022

In October, Kingdom of Morocco will assume the chairship of the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC). Council’s Provisional programme of work for the month envisages five substantive sessions, of which two are set to be held at a Ministerial level. One of the sessions will address country/region specific issues while the remaining four will address thematic topics.

On 3 October, Council will convene its first session of the month dedicated to the commemoration of the adoption of UN Security Council resolution 1325 on women, peace and security – a landmark resolution adopted on 31 October 2000 which underscores the importance of women’s equal participation and full engagement in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security. The session is in line with Council’s practice of holding an annual commemorative open session on the adoption of the resolution, and this year’s convening is expected to take place in a hybrid format where participation will be both in-person and online. The theme of the session is expected to focus on enhancing the protection of women and girls from sexual violence in conflict situations.

The following day, on 4 October, Committee of Experts will meet to prepare for the 9th informal joint seminar and 16th annual joint consultative meeting between the PSC and UN Security Council slated to take place between 13 and 14 October in New York.

On 5 October, the second substantive session is expected to happen to deliberate on ‘prevention of recruitment of child soldiers in conflict situations.’ The issue of children affected by armed conflicts (CAAC) has been a standing agenda item of the PSC since its 420th session of February 2014. This session is also pursuant to Council’s decision to have two sessions per year on CAAC – one open and the other closed session. Council dedicated an open session on 18 August on CAAC where it agreed, among others, that the representatives of children affected by conflict situations shall be regularly invited to attend and share their experiences in all future PSC sessions dedicated to the issue of child protection, and for the AU Commission to urgently develop guidelines for the participation of children in PSC sessions. The upcoming session presents members of the PSC the opportunity to discuss the alarming trend of the recruitment and use of child soldiers, which constitutes grave violation of child rights and international humanitarian law, as well as its status in the continent and ways and means of addressing the situation.

On 7 October, Council is scheduled to hold its third substantive session of the month at a ministerial level to discuss the theme of ‘development and deradicalization as levers to counter terrorism and violent extremism’. This session comes in less than a month since Council’s ministerial level session on terrorism and violent extremism under the theme of ‘strengthening regional organizations for the maintenance of peace and security in Africa: preventing and fighting terrorism and violent extremism in the continent’, held on 23 September at its 1107th session. It is expected that Council will receive a report of the Chairperson of the AU Commission on counter-terrorism efforts based on the decision of the Assembly (/AU/Dec.311 (XV)) at its 15th ordinary session, held in July 2010, which requested the Commission to submit regular reports on the status of the fight and cooperation against terrorism in Africa. PSC, at its 249th meeting convened in November 2010, also requested the AU Commission to submit reports and briefings on the state of terrorism in Africa and the efforts made at continental and international level to address the scourge. Accordingly, Council has been receiving such report of the Chairperson regularly, including its last one submitted to the 1040th session in October 2021. The report is expected to facilitate the deliberation on the topic that has become high on the agenda of the Council by highlighting details on the state of terrorism and violent extremism in the continent, emerging trends, and continental counter-terrorism efforts, as well as way forward to address the scourge.

On 10 October, Council will consider and adopt the draft provisional programme of work for the month of November 2022 via email exchange while Council will proceed with the preparation for the AUPSC-UNSC joint meeting at ambassadorial level.

On 13 and 14 October, the 9th informal joint seminar and the 16th annual joint consultative meeting between the AUPSC and UNSC will be held, respectively. Both meetings are set to be held in-person in New York. 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, rotating between Addis Ababa and New York. 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. Last year’s joint informal seminar and annual joint consultative meeting considered some of the perennial issues such as predictable and sustainable financing for AU Peace Support Operations, combating terrorism and violent extremism, the future of AMISOM post-2021, and the situation in Sahel region, as well as new developments notably the deployment of the Southern African Development Community Mission (SAMIM) in Mozambique. This year, standing agenda items including enhancing partnership between the Councils and the promotion of peacebuilding are expected to feature. The 16th annual consultative meeting is also expected to consider a wide range of country and region-specific issues namely the situation in West Africa and the Sahel as well as the Great Lakes region. Moreover, agenda items on peace support operations in Africa and application of sanctions in conflict situations in Africa are expected to be on the agenda of the consultation.

On 18 October, Council will convene its fourth substantive session of the month at the ministerial level to address climate change, peace and security nexus under the theme of ‘Building Resilience and Adaptation for Food Security in African Island States – towards COP27’. The specific theme on island states is a follow up to the commitment made during COP22 held in Marrakech in 2016 and Morocco’s initiative towards the establishment of Island States Commission. The agenda is also framed in line with AU’s theme of the year: strengthening resilience in nutrition and food security on the African continent. As the 27th UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) is around the corner, slated for 6-18 November in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, this session offers Council a good opportunity to evaluate AU’s preparation towards the conference with the view to ensuring that African interests and positions are taken onboard. It is also an opportunity to follow up on some of the previous key decisions, including the appointment of a special envoy (774th session), finalization of a study on climate-security nexus (774th session), establishment of climate fund (984th session), and elevation of climate change unit into a full-fledged division (1079th session).

On 20 October, Council will convene the last substantive session of the month with two agenda items placed on the table for consideration. The first item is a briefing on the situation in the Sahel region. The last time that Council dedicated a stand-alone session on the situation in the Sahel was during its 1087th session on 1 June 2022. However, it also considered the political transitions in the countries of the region, namely Mali, Burkina Faso, and Chad during its 1076th and 1106th sessions in April and September, respectively. The session comes on the heels of the extraordinary summit of ECOWAS on the situation in Guinea and Mali, held on 22 September in New York, on the margins of the 77th UN General Assembly. On the same day, a High-Level Event on the Sahel was held under the auspices of the UN, AU Commission, ECOWAS, and the G5 Sahel, which saw the formal launch of the Independent High-Level Panel led by former President of Niger, Mahamadou Issoufou to undertake an Independent Strategic Assessment of the situation in Sahel whose findings envisaged to be presented to the 36th ordinary session of the AU Assembly in February 2023. While the security challenge marked by increasing terrorist attacks is expected to remain focus of the upcoming session on Sahel, recent geopolitical dynamics in the region, particularly tension between Mali vis-à-vis Niger and Côte d’Ivoire is likely to receive attention as well. The status of the deployment of the 3000 troops in the Sahel and mandate renewal of the G5 Sahel Joint Force, which expired on 13 July 2022, could be other critical issues worth of consideration.

The second agenda item of the session is an update on the situation in Central African Republic (CAR) and operations of the AU Military Observer Mission in CAR (MOUACA). It is a follow up session to Council’s 1093rd session of 25 July 2022, which requested AU Commission to report back to Council on the outcome of its engagement with the European Union on funding issues to the Mission before 31 October 2022. MOUACA was deployed based on funds from the European Peace Facility where its current funding envisaged to end on 31 July of this year. As the mandate of the Mission also ends on 31 October pursuant to Council’s 936th session of July 2020, the future of the Mission therefore largely depends on whether agreement has been reached on the extension of EU’s funding beyond 31 July.

Finally, from 25 to 27 October, a policy conference, convened by the Peace and Security, Political Affairs (PAPS) department jointly with the department of Economic Development, Trade, Industry and Mining as well as partners, is scheduled to take place in Tangier, Morocco, to deliberate on the nexus between Peace, Security and Development.

The provisional programme of work also envisages in footnote the possibility of Consultations between the AUPSC Chair and the UNSC President on a date to be confirmed.


Provisional Programme of Work for the Month of September 2022

Provisional Programme of Work for the Month of September 2022

Date | 1 September 2022

During September, Ghana will take over chairship of the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC). The provisional programme of work for the month envisages five substantive sessions addressing six agenda items. Three of these are expected to address country/region specific situations whereas the remaining three will focus on various thematic topics. One of the sessions to be convened during the month will also be taking place at Ministerial level while the remaining will be convened at Ambassadorial level. In addition to the various sessions, the provisional programme of work also envisages field missions among the activities planned for the month of September 2022.

On 1 September, the PSC will start the month with a preparatory meeting for the field mission it will undertake in Togo and Niger. The Chair is also expected to provide an overview of the sessions and activities that will be conducted in September.

The first mission of the month will be to Togo and is planned to take place from 5 to 6 September. This field mission has two purposes. The first one is to celebrate Africa Amnesty Month which has been commemorated by the PSC every September since 2017, in line with the decision of the AU Assembly adopted at its 29th Ordinary Session [Assembly/AU/Dec. 645 (XXIX)]. It is to be recalled that Assembly/AU/Dec. 645 (XXIX) declared the month of September each year, starting from 2017 till 2020, as “Africa Amnesty Month” for the surrender and collection of illegally owned weapons and arms. In December 2020, the AU Assembly, at its 14th Extraordinary Session, extended the commemoration and conduct of the Africa Amnesty Month for ten years until 2030 [Ext/Assembly/AU/Dec.1(XIV)]. The Council is expected to commemorate this year’s Amnesty Month through various symbolic activities including collection and burning of weapons and arms. During this commemorative event it is important to also reflect beyond the destruction of weapons, particularly on aspects related to security sector reform, boosting security of arms depots, enhancing the professionalization of security forces and addressing the gaps in states’ security institutions. This approach that focuses on the demand side rather than the supply side is critical in addressing the root causes of illegal circulation of arms.

The second purpose of the field mission to Togo is for the PSC to join the Mali Transition Support Group (GST-Mali) meeting taking place in Lomé on 6 September. The GST-Mali was established in 2020 with the basic purpose of supporting Mali’s political transition after the coup of 18 August 2020. The GST-Mali held its inaugural meeting on 30 November 2020 in Bamako, Mali and its second meeting on 08 March 2021 in Lomé, Togo, under the auspices of the co-chairs of the group – AU, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and United Nations (UN). The upcoming meeting of the GST-Mali will be essential in outlining the areas of support for Mali’s current transition authorities, taking into account changes that have been introduced following the second coup of 24 May 2022.

From 8 to 9 September, the PSC is scheduled to conduct its second field mission of the month which will be a visit to Niger. This field mission will serve as an opportunity to reflect on the increasing expansion of the threat of terrorism in the region.

On 12 September, Council will consider and adopt the draft provisional programme of work for the month of October 2022. On the same day, the PSC Committee of Experts (CoE) is expected to meet in preparation for the 7th Informal Joint Meeting and the 16th Annual Joint Consultative Meeting of the PSC and UN Security Council (UNSC), which is expected to take place during October. Preparation for the 14th PSC retreat and consideration of the draft communiqué of the Ministerial session planned during the month, also form part of the agenda items of the CoE meeting.

On 14 September Council will convene the first substantive session of the month which will be an inaugural annual consultative meeting between the PSC and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs). Although this will be the first time for the PSC to convene a consultative meeting with CSOs, Art.20 of the PSC Protocol sets the framework for the Council’s engagement with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and CSOs. Moreover, at various occasions, the PSC has been briefed by CSOs and it has increasingly recognised the importance of their engagement in advancing the Council’s mandate and in promoting peace and security in the continent. The upcoming inaugural consultative meeting is expected to have a specific focus on engagement between the PSC and CSOs in the implementation of the Accra Declaration on Unconstitutional Changes of Government (UCG) and the Malabo Decisions on terrorism, UCG and humanitarian situation in Africa. The session aims at bringing umbrella organizations and regional focal points focusing on peace and security and governance.

The second substantive session of the month will be taking place on 15 September. The first agenda item of this session is expected to be consideration of the status report on the implementation of the Continental Structural Conflict Prevention Framework (CSCPF) with a focus on Country Structural Vulnerability and Resilience Assessment (CSVRA). The CSCPF was developed by the AU as a strategy aimed at addressing structural issues which evolve overtime with the potential to cause violent conflicts. It aims to deploy preventive measures through operational and direct interventions before structural weaknesses turn into large-scale violence. Within the framework of the CSCPF, the CSVRA is designed to facilitate identification of a member State’s vulnerabilities to conflict at an early stage. It assesses a member State’s performance in areas which are of relevance to the prevention of violent conflicts including socio-economic development, good governance, rule of law, democracy and human rights. It is to be recalled that Ghana volunteered to be the first country to conduct CSVRA and underwent the process in 2017 at national and regional levels. More recently, in November 2021, Zambia also conducted CSVRA. The status report to be considered at the upcoming session could highlight lessons and best practices from the experiences of these and other countries that have undergone the CSVRA.

The second agenda item expected to feature at the session taking place on 15 September is consideration of PSC’s field mission reports to Togo and Niger.

On 19 September Council will convene the third substantive session of the month to receive updates on some countries in political transition. As envisaged in the provisional programme of work for the month, Burkina Faso, Chad, Guinea and Mali will be the four countries that will be discussed at this session. In addition to dedicating separate sessions to address the transitions in these countries, it is to be recalled that updates regarding transitions in each were presented at Council’s 1076th session convened on 14 April 2022. Key developments since then which could feature at the upcoming session include the lifting of economic and financial sanctions imposed against Burkina Faso and Mali by ECOWAS at its 61st Ordinary Summit which took place on 3 July 2022. This was in response to the adoption of 24 months’ transition timetables by the transition authorities of both member States. Guinea’s transition authorities on the other hand continue to uphold the 36 months transition period which ECOWAS declares unacceptable. The authorities are also growingly facing opposition from within as the demonstrations conducted during August indicate. After much delay, Chad’s national dialogue has commenced on 20 August. The dialogue which is expected to last for three weeks will be essential in determining key issues such as reforms of State institutions and drafting of a new constitution. While reportedly over 1,400 representatives from various sectors including rebel groups are taking part in the dialogue, some key oppositions have boycotted the talks.

The fourth substantive session of the month is scheduled to take place on 23 September and will be a Ministerial session on prevention and combating terrorism and violent extremism in the continent. The session will be the third Ministerial level meeting of the year. In 2021, it is to be recalled that of the ten Ministerial sessions convened during the year, three were committed to terrorism and violent extremism, demonstrating the increasing concern and corresponding Council’s attention over the expansion of terrorism and violent extremism in the continent. The upcoming session which will be taking place in the margin of the 77th UN General Assembly is expected to have a focus on strengthening regional organisations in the maintenance of peace and security in the continent. The session will also afford the PSC the opportunity to reflect on a new approach in responding to the threat of terrorism that continues to spread in the continent.

From 26 September to 01 October, the PSC CoE is expected to convene a workshop to discuss the operationalisation of the PSC Sub-Committee on Sanctions and on protection of children in conflict situations.

On 29 September, Council will convene its last session of the month to consider the political and security situations in Abyei region. Since early 2022, intercommunal tensions have been on the rise in Abyei. Clashes between communities in the region were particularly high during February and March, claiming the lives of multiple people and displacing many more. The latest news coming from the region indicates that relative calm has returned to the region following talks among representatives of the disputing community members, mediated by the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA). In addition to discussing these and other recent developments in the region, the coming session will be an opportunity for the Council to reflect on broader AU efforts to resolve the status of Abyei since its last briefing delivered at the 966th session of 24 November 2020.

The provisional programme of work for September also envisages in footnotes, a joint briefing on the AU Peace Fund and consultations between the PSC Chair and UNSC President for the month France, on dates to be determined.


Provisional Programme of Work for the Month of August 2022

Provisional Programme of Work for the Month of August 2022

Date | 1 August 2022

In August, Gambia will be chairing the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC). The Provisional Program of Work adopted on 13 July and updated on 26 July, envisages that PSC will convene nine sessions during the month. Out of these, one will address country/region specific situation, whereas the remaining eight sessions will be committed to various thematic agenda items. All sessions are envisaged to take place at Ambassadorial level and there will be one open session.

On 1 August, the PSC will convene its 1st session of the month to engage for first time, one of the Sub-Committees of the Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC), focusing on the PRC Sub-Committee on Human Rights, Democracy and Governance (SC-HRDG). This session is envisaged to enhance coordination and information sharing between the PSC and the Sub-Committee on the areas on which their respective mandate converges.

The second session of the month is set to take place on 02 August. The session will be committed to consideration of the report the AU Commission Chairperson on election in Africa. This is an agenda carried from June and July programs. Following the previous report of the AU Commission Chairperson on elections in Africa conducted in the period from July to December 2021 – considered at Council’s 1062nd session – the coming report is expected to provide details of elections conducted during the first half of 2022 (January to June 2022) and offers an overview of those expected to be held during the coming months.

On 04 August, the Council will convene its third session of the month which will be committed to a relatively new theme – “Emerging Technologies and New Media: Impact on Democratic Governance, Peace and Security in Africa”. Although this will be the first time for Council to address emerging technologies and new media as they relate to democratic governance and peace and security, it has made reference at its various previous sessions, to the use of new technologies and the media for anti-peace purposes such as the spread of fake news and propagation of hate speech. Council has also dedicated two sessions so far – the 627th and 850th sessions – to the theme of cyber security where the misuse of the cyber space for purposes contrary to peace and security was discussed at length. In addition to reflecting on some of the contemporary trends around emerging technologies whose negative impacts on democratic governance and peace and security has become a growing concern, Council may use the coming session as an opportunity to brainstorm the various ways through which new technologies and media space on the one hand, and democratic governance and peace and security on the other hand can serve for a more comprehensive policy engagement.

During the same session on 4 August, the PSC is scheduled to have an update briefing on the situation in the Horn of Africa. This briefing has been scheduled a number of times in previous months but was cancelled in each of those previous occasions. This briefing is expected to provide update by the AU Commission Chairperson’s High Representative for the Horn of Africa, former Nigerian President Olusegun Obadanjo, on the situation in the conflict in northern Ethiopia since his last briefing to the PSC in February 2022.

The fourth session of the month is set to take place on 8 August and will be committed to the third annual consultative meeting of the PSC and Policy Organs of the Regional Economic Communities and Regional Mechanisms (RECs/RMs). The first consultative meeting between the PSC and RECs/RMs Policy organs was convened on 24 May 2019 where it was agreed to institutionalise the meeting as an annual consultation. Accordingly, the second consultative meeting took place on 26 August 2021, 2020 being missed due to COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to following up on implementation of key decisions adopted at their previous consultative meetings, the third annual consultative meeting could serve to reflect on the practice and experience in how the PSC & RECs/RMs policy organs coordinate their policy responses to crises and conflicts that they are commonly seized with.

On 11 August, the PSC will convene an experience sharing session between the PSC and the members of the African Governance Architecture (AGA) Platform. It is to be recalled that within the framework of Article 19 of the PSC Protocol and taking into account the mandate of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) in responding to human rights issues in conflict and crisis situations, the PSC & the ACHPR have institutionalized annual consultative meeting. This has been held annually since 2018 culminating in communiques that outlined rich modalities for close working relationship & addressing human rights issues in conflict and crisis situations. Instead of displacing this institutionalized engagement, it is expected that tomorrow’s session, during which the Chairperson of the AGA Platform will brief the PSC, will focus on finding ways of enhancing synergy between the AGA & the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA).

On 12 August, Council will consider and adopt the draft provisional programme of work for the month of September 2022.

The sixth session of the month is expected to take place on 15 August, on the topical theme of “Sanctions and Enforcement Capabilities: Deterrence against Unconstitutional Changes of Government (UCG)”. Based on some of the observations made at the Accra Forum on UCG conducted from 15 to 17 March 2022 and the Malabo Summit on Terrorism and UCG convened on 28 May 2022, the session will be aimed at reflecting on the extent to which AU sanctions against UCG are working meaningfully, if they are serving the purpose of deterrence and what needs to change going forward in order to ensure their enforceability.

The seventh session is planned to take place on 18 August and it will be an open session on children affected by armed conflicts (CAAC). CAAC has been a standing agenda item of the PSC since its 420th session convened on 18 February 2014 where the Council decided to dedicate an open session annually to the theme. At the upcoming session, Council may welcome the adoption by the Specialised Technical Committee on Defence, Security and Safety (STCDSS) of two key policies on CAAC – the Policy on child protection in AU Peace Support Operations (PSOs) and the Policy on mainstreaming child protection in the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) – in line with the request of PSC’s 994th Communiqué. Council may also draw attention to some of the emerging concerns with regards to CAAC and start to address records of plight of children in country specific conflict situations.

On 22 August, Council will convene a session on “Lessons Learning session on the Implementation of the AU Transitional Justice Policy: Impact on National Resilience and Democratisation”. Though this is the first time that Council dedicated a session on the AU Transitional Justice Policy since the Policy’s adoption by the AU Assembly in February 2019, the issue of transitional justice has been considered by the Council under the theme of ‘peace, justice and reconciliation’ since at least 2013. It is also to be recalled that the Council, at its 899th meeting held on 5 December 2019, decided to convene an annual session on “experience sharing and lessons learning on national reconciliation, restoration of peace and rebuilding of cohesion in Africa”. The coming session is expected to serve as a platform for member States such as Gambia to share their experiences including successes and challenges in their transitional justice processes. This will be essential to assist those member States who are currently undergoing transitional justice processes, such as South Sudan.

The last session of the month is scheduled to take place on 29 August. The session will be committed to an updated briefing on the deployment of the 3000 Troops in the Sahel. The decision to deploy 3000 troops to Sahel was made by the AU Assembly at its 33rd Ordinary Session [Assembly/AU/Dec.792(XXXIII)]. At its 950th session, the PSC also endorsed the ‘Revised Strategic Concept Note on Planning Guidance for the deployment of an additional 3000 troops to the Sahel’. More recently, at its 1006th session, the PSC also requested the Chairperson of the AU Commission to “continue consultations with the concerned stakeholders on the deployment of the 3000 troops in the Sahel region”. However, despite the decision for deployment having been made, progress in implementation has been slow, mainly owing to lack of clarity on the issue of financing. This challenge of funding is not unique to this proposed deployment but currently affects existing AU missions, including those in Somalia and in the Central African Republic (CAR). Yet, there is a need for revising the deployment of the 3000 troops, given the need for reinforcing counter terrorism operations in the Sahel due to changing regional and geopolitical developments affecting the region including withdrawal of Mali from the G5 joint force.

In addition to these, Council’s provisional programme of work also envisages in footnotes, possible meetings on Chad/Guinea/Mali/Sudan/border situation between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The footnotes also envisage an informal consultation between the PSC and the Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security (PAPS), on 03 August.


Provisional Program of Work for the Month of July 2022

Provisional Program of Work for the Month of July 2022

Date | 1 July 2022

In July, Djibouti will be chairing the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC). Council’s provisional programme of work for the month envisages three sessions addressing four substantive agenda items. One of these will have a thematic focus while the other three will be addressing country/region specific situations. Council is also scheduled to undertake a field mission to Somalia during the month.

On 01 July, the PSC Committee of Experts (CoE) is set to convene a meeting in preparation for two upcoming consultative meetings of the Council. The first one is the 7th Informal Joint Meeting and 16th Annual Joint Consultative Meeting of the PSC and the United Nations (UN) Security Council (UNSC). The second one is the 3rd Annual Consultative Meeting between the PSC and Policy Organs of Regional Economic Communities and Regional Mechanisms for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution (RECs/RMs).

The first substantive session of the month, scheduled to take place on 05 July, is envisaged to have two agenda items. The first agenda will be committed to an updated briefing on the situation in the Horn of Africa. The AU High Representative for the Horn of Africa, Olusegun Obasanjo, is expected to brief Council, mainly on the situation in Ethiopia as he did in his earlier briefings to the Council. This will constitute the second briefing of the High Representative to Council in 2022, the first one having taken place in February. Although a briefing session was planned to take place in May at the request of High Representative Obasanjo, it was later cancelled. The coming briefing is expected to provide Council updates on the High Representative’s activities since his last briefing as well as overall developments regarding the situation.

The second agenda for Council’s session on 05 July will be a briefing on the situation in South Sudan. This session comes at a time when the end of the transitional period is fast approaching before the completion of key transitional activities envisaged in the Revitalised Agreement for the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS).  The coming session is expected to assess where the transitional process stands, what to do with some of the more transitional tasks that could not be completed before the end of the transitional period and whether and how the elections envisaged to take place in early 2023 could be organized. Council may also follow up on the decisions of its previous session on South Sudan – the 1060th meeting – where among others, it mandated the AU PCRD Centre to prioritize South Sudan amongst its priority areas of focus and requested the AU Commission to dispatch a post-conflict needs-assessment mission to South Sudan. The session can also serve as an occasion for considering the conclusions of the Council’s filed mission to South Sudan that took place in February 2022. Although Council planned to convene a session in March to consider the report of its field mission, that did not take place.

On 11 July, Council will consider and adopt the draft provisional programme of work for the month of August 2022.

The third session of the month will be taking place on 21 July and will be committed to the consideration of the report of the Chairperson of the AU Commission on elections in Africa. This is a session which was initially planned to take place in June but later moved into July due to changes to Council’s programme of work for the month of June. Following the previous report of the AU Commission Chairperson on elections in Africa conducted in the period from July to December 2021 – considered at Council’s 1062nd session – the coming report is expected to provide details of elections conducted during the first half of 2022 (January to June 2022).

The last session of the month is expected to take place on 25 July. The session will be committed to a briefing on the situation in the Central African Republic (CAR) and operations of the AU Observer Mission in CAR (MOUACA). It is to be recalled that MOUACA was authorised by the PSC at its 936th session held in July 2020. The mission’s main purpose is to support and monitor the implementation of the Political Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in CAR. The session will be important to draw attention to some of the key factors that continue to limit progress in the implementation of the Political Agreement and impede effective discharge of MOUACA’s mandate. The session may also serve to follow up on the status of implementation of the decisions of Council’s previous –  1011th – session, including its request for the Chairperson of the AU Commission to conduct an assessment on the illegal flow of arms in CAR and submit a detailed report to Council and for the AU Commission to undertake a technical needs assessment mission to the CAR, with a view to mapping out the priority needs of the CAR Government.

From 27 to 29 July, Council will conduct a field mission to Somalia to take stock of the political, security and humanitarian developments in the country. This filed mission comes not long after the end of the long delayed and protracted electoral process that culminated in the election of Hassan Sheikh Mohamud as President of Somalia. It is to be recalled that the PSC played an important role for the electoral process by rejecting the attempt of the former president to extend his term of office and the field mission serves as an occasion for affirming close working relationship with ATMIS and the AU for implementation of the Somalia Transitional Plan and achieve stability in Somalia.

The provisional programme of work for July also envisages in footnotes, the possibility of convening of a session to consider renewal of the mandate of G5 Sahel Joint Force, on a date to be determined. The footnotes also envisage possible PSC informal consultations with the Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security (PAPS), Bankole Adeoye as well as consultations between the PSC Chair and UNSC President for the month, also on dates to be confirmed.


Provisional Program of Work for the Month of June 2022

Provisional Program of Work for the Month of June 2022

Date | 1 June 2022

During June, the Republic of Congo will be chairing the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC). According to Council’s provisional programme of work for the month, seven substantive sessions are planned to take place. These include two sessions dedicated to country/region specific situations, four sessions on thematic agenda items and the Joint Retreat and Annual Joint Consultative meeting of the PSC and the European Union (EU) Political and Security Committee (EUPSC).

The first session of the month will be a briefing on the situation in the Sahel region, scheduled to take place on 01 June. Apart from sessions on specific countries of the region – mainly the political transitions in Mali and Burkina Faso – the last time the Council convened a dedicated session on the security situation in the Sahel region was in 2020, at its 939th meeting. Since then, the security situation in the region has continued to deteriorate with major surge in the number and intensity of terrorist attacks. In addition to receiving updates on the security trends in the region and the humanitarian toll of terrorist attacks, an issue which may take centre stage at the upcoming session is the decision of Malian transition authorities to withdraw from the G5 Sahel and its Joint Force and its consequent impact on regional security. Council may also use the session to discuss ways forward in the deployment of the 3000 troops to Sahel, which remains pending since the 2020 decision of the AU Assembly to deploy 3000 troops to the region (Assembly/AU/Dec.792(XXXIII)) and PSC’s endorsement of the “Revised Strategic Concept Note on Planning Guidance for the Deployment of 3000 Troops to the Sahel” at its 950th session.

On 6 June, the PSC Committee of Experts (CoE) will meet to prepare for the PSC field mission to the Great Lakes Region (GLR) planned to take place within the month. It is expected to finalize the details on the field mission including the destinations for the visit.

The second session scheduled for 07 June will be Council’s annual deliberation on the prevention of the ideology of hate, genocide and hate crimes in Africa. This theme became part of PSC’s annual agenda item following the Council’s 678th session which decided to dedicate annually, an open session to the prevention of hate crimes and genocide. The session is convened in collaboration with the Embassy of Rwanda.

On 9 and 10 June respectively, the PSC will have its 5th annual joint retreat and 13th annual joint consultative meeting with the EUPSC. The AUPSC and EUPSC have held Annual joint consultative meetings in the context of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy, since their inaugural meeting in 2008, although no such meeting was held in 2021. Starting from 2015, the joint consultative meetings are preceded by joint informal retreats aimed at creating the opportunity for an informal engagement to facilitate more constructive dialogue and convergence of approaches. While the agenda is still being consolidated, the proposed topic for the joint retreat taking place on 9 June includes enhancing AU-EU cooperation in multilateral fora: ensuring sustainability of AU peace support operations (PSOs) while the agenda for the annual consultative meeting scheduled for 10 June includes situations in the GLR, Lake Chad Basin (LCB), Libya, Sahel Region and Somalia/AU Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS).

On 13 June, Council will consider and adopt the draft provisional programme of work for the month of July 2022, through email exchanges.

From 14 to 17 June, Council will conduct a field mission to the GLR. This is a follow up to the decision of its 1078th session to ‘undertake a field mission to the eastern part of the DRC and the Great Lakes Region as a whole, as soon as possible.’ The PSC is expected to visit countries including Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Congo, with the possibility of visit to an additional county. This field mission comes at a critical time for the GLR as tensions in the region are raising with the attacks from the militant Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) wreaking havoc in Eastern DRC and the resumption of fighting between the M23 rebel group and the DRC army fuelling regional tension.

On 20 June, the PSC CoE will convene to conduct a review of implementation of PSC decisions. This is a key exercise for improving the decision-making of the PSC and its effectiveness.

A briefing on the situation in Libya is the next item on Council’s agenda for the month, planned to be held on 21 June. This session is expected to be a physical meeting, with the attendance of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Congo as a guest participant. It is expected that the session will discuss the state of the transition in Libya and follow up on various previous decisions on enhancing AU’s role in supporting the transitional process. The last time Council convened a session to address the situation in Libya was in May 2021, at its 997th ministerial level meeting.

On 23 June, the PSC is scheduled to have a briefing by the Panel of the Wise on its activities in Africa.  The last time Council received a briefing on the activities of the Panel of the Wise was in March 2017, at its 665th session. At the upcoming session, Council may welcome the new members of the fifth Panel of the Wise appointed for a three-year term by the AU Assembly at its 35th Ordinary Session (Assembly/AU/Dec. 815(XXXV)). In addition to receiving updates on the engagements of the Panel in the areas of conflict prevention, mediation, reconciliation and dialogue since its previous briefing, Council may also hear about the key outcomes of the inaugural meeting of the fifth Panel of the Wise convened from 28 to 29 March 2022.

Maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea is the focus of the next session of the PSC scheduled for 28 June. At its 1012th session where Council last discussed maritime security in Africa, the growing insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea was one of the issues which took centre stage. Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea continues to be a serious security concern. Council may reflect on the current state of maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea since its last meeting, follow up on earlier decisions on the subject and on enhancing the role that the AU and the concerned Regional Economic Communities (RECs), namely Economic Community of Central African States (ECAS) and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

The last substantive session of the month is expected to take place on 30 June and will be committed to the consideration of the report of the Chairperson of the AU Commission on elections in Africa. Following the previous report of the AU Commission Chairperson on elections in Africa conducted in the period from July to December 2021 – considered at Council’s 1062nd session – the coming report is expected to provide details of elections conducted during the first half of 2022 (January to June 2022).

On 30 June, The Chairperson of the Council is scheduled to brief the Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC) on its activities conducted during the month.

Council’s provisional programme of work for the month also envisages in footnote, consultations between the PSC Chair and the President of the UN Security Council for the month, on a date to be determined.


Provisional Program of Work for the Month of May 2022

Provisional Program of Work for the Month of May 2022

Date | 1 May 2022

In May, Cameroon will assume the role of chairing the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC). According to the provisional program of work, Council is expected to convene eight substantive sessions at ambassadorial level. Council will also have a training of the Committee of Experts (CoE) and a meeting of the Military Staff Committee (MSC) during the month.

The first session of the month, scheduled to take place on 4 May, is envisaged to have two agenda items. The first agenda will be committed to a briefing on the state of humanitarian actions in Africa. Over the years, Council has convened multiple sessions related to the humanitarian situation in the continent, an issue particularly addressed through the International Committee of the Red Cross’s annual briefings to the PSC. This session, coming ahead of the Extraordinary Summit that will take place on 28th May in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea focusing on the humanitarian situation, serves as further opportunity to discuss the humanitarian situation in Africa. During the past few years, the number of people internally displaced and those forced to flee into neighboring countries has continued to significantly increase in various parts of the continent. The challenge is not simply the worsening of the humanitarian situation in Africa. Of equal concern is the declining capacity and increasingly constrained space for delivering humanitarian assistance to people in need. The upcoming session could serve to discuss some of the challenges to humanitarian action in the continent. It may also serve as an opportunity for Council to receive an update on the status of operationalisation of the AU Humanitarian Agency (AUHA) which is expected to play a significant role in addressing some of the challenges and advance humanitarian action in Africa.

The second item on the agenda for the session on 4 May will be a briefing on the situation in the Horn of Africa. High Representative of AU Chairperson for the Horn of Africa, Olusegun Obasanjo, on whose request the session is convened, will be briefing Council mainly on the situation in Ethiopia, as he did in his earlier briefings to the Council. It is expected that the High Representative will give updated on developments on the situation and his activities since his last briefing to the PSC in February. The update could address the status of the dire humanitarian situation, the humanitarian truce declared by the conflict parties and the efforts for initiating peace process.

The second session of the month, planned to take place on 6 May, will be a briefing on transnational organised crimes and peace and security in Africa. The last time Council addressed the specific theme of transnational organised crimes was at its 845th session convened on 25 April 2019. In subsequent sessions addressing terrorism and violent extremism in the continent, Council has also drawn attention to the growing linkage between transnational organised crimes and terrorism in Africa. The upcoming session could serve to capture latest trends in organised transnational crimes in the continent as well as its continued contribution to financing terrorism.

On 9 May, Council will convene an open session on food security and conflict in Africa. The session is planned to take place in line with AU’s theme for 2022 “Building resilience in nutrition on the African continent: Accelerate the human capital and social economic development”. Conflict continues to induce and exacerbate food insecurity in many parts of the continent by displacing food producing populations, destroying agricultural infrastructure and inputs and by pushing food prices up as well as by disrupting humanitarian access. As a result, not only that millions of people in various conflict settings in the Horn of Africa, Lake Chad Basin and the Sahel are facing severe food insecurity. The issues that this session would address could put spotlight on the scale of the crisis, the roles and responsibilities of conflict parties (including their violation of international humanitarian law in using access to food and the destruction of food sources as an instrument of war) and the urgent measures required for addressing this grave situation.

On the same day, the Council will also consider and adopt the draft provisional programme of work for the month of June 2022.

On 11 May, Council will have a preparatory meeting for the 5th Joint Retreat and 13th Annual Joint Consultative Meeting of the PSC and the European Union (EU) Political and Security Commission (EUPSC). It is to be recalled that the 5th Joint Retreat and 13th Annual Joint Consultative Meeting were originally planned to take place in late 2021 but got postponed into 2022.

From 12 to 15 May, training of CoE is planned to be conducted. The training is expected to strengthen the capacity of the CoE in discharging its mandate.

On 17 May, Council will convene an open session on Living Together in Peace, a theme which has formed part of Council’s annual agenda since the 891st session which first addressed the theme. The last time Council addressed the theme was at its 995th session of 13 May 2021 where it expressed concern over the persistence of violent conflicts, the resurgence of hate speech and increase of religious intolerance, radicalization and extremism. At the forthcoming session, Council may reiterate its call for member States to respond to these and other challenges to peace and security in the continent by addressing their underlying root causes.

The next session, scheduled for 18 May, will be committed to a briefing on disarmament and control of illicit small arms and light weapons (SALW) in Africa. The last time Council convened a session on illicit proliferation and trafficking of SALW was at its 860th meeting held on 18 July 2019.  The session serves as an opportunity follow up on the status of implementation of the request made at its 1011th session for the Chairperson of the AU Commission to conduct an assessment on illicit flow of arms in the central African region and submit to Council as soon as possible. In addition, it may follow up on the request made at its 1040th session, for the Commission to conduct the second phase of the Mapping Study on SALW, with a particular focus on the link between illicit arms flow and terrorism and transnational crimes in the continent.

Council will also receive a briefing on civil-military relations as a factor for peace and security in Africa, as a second agenda item of the session on 18 May. This would be the first time for Council to convene a session committed to this specific issue. The resurgence of unconstitutional change of governments (UCG) noted in the continent throughout 2021 and into early 2022 is one of the factors that have inspired the planned session on this particular topic. It is to be recalled that at its various sessions addressing UCG in concerned member States, Council has repeatedly stressed the importance of military non-intervention in politics. In terms of addressing military coups in particular and the fracturing of militaries leading to armed conflicts, the focus on civil-military relationship draws attention to the issues of the politicization of the military by politicians for their narrow political ends, thereby inducing the interest of the military to interfere in politics, the professionalism of the military in terms of, among others, adherence to code of conduct and respect for human rights and international humanitarian law and its constitutional obligations.

The PSC MSC will also be meeting on 19 May to conduct an evaluation of the functioning, proposed structure and capacity of the Continental Logistics Base in Douala, Cameroon. The operationalization of the African Standby Force and the status of the CLB are among the major issues on which the MSC has been engaged in over the years.

On 28 May, the AU Extraordinary Summit on terrorism and unconstitutional changes of regime in Africa will be held in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea in line with Assembly/AU/Dec. 828(XXXV).

The last session planned to take place on 31 May will be an update on the situation in the Lake Chad Basin (LCB). The session presents an opportunity for the PSC to consider the various security threats and humanitarian situation in the region.  In addition, Council may be updated on the challenges and progresses experienced in the implementation of the Regional Strategy for the Stabilization, Recovery and Resilience of the Boko Haram affected areas of the LCB, since its 1010th session when it was last briefed on the implementation status of the Regional Strategy.

On 31 May, Council will also brief the Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC) on its activities conducted during the month.

Council’s provisional programme of work for the month also envisages in footnote, consultations between the PSC Chair and the President of the UN Security Council for the month, on a date to be determined.


Provisional Program of Work for the Month of April 2022

Program of Work

Date | 1 April 2022

Burundi assumes the role of chairing the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC) during April. The provisional program of work for the month, envisages seven substantive sessions including two on country situations.

On 1 April, the PSC receives a briefing on mine action, ahead of the commemoration of International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action, which is observed annually on 4 April. The meeting is convened through physical presence of participants. Last time the theme of mine action was discussed by Council was September 2021, at its 1032nd meeting. In addition to reflecting on the latest developments in mine action on the continent, the briefing serves to outline and follow-up on the status of implementation of some of the key decisions of Council’s 1032nd session, including its request for the AU Commission to integrate mine action within the AU Master Roadmap of Practical Steps to Silencing the Guns in Africa by 2030.

On 6 April, Council is scheduled to receive a briefing on continental early warning and security outlook. It is to be recalled that at its previous session on the theme – the 1014th session held in July 2021 – Council comprehensively highlighted the major peace and security challenges in the continent, drawing particular attention to the growing rate of terrorism. Accordingly, it requested to be updated on the status of development of a 5-year strategic roadmap for prevention and combating terrorism and violent extremism, a request initially made at its 687th session. One key area of focus at the upcoming session could therefore be a follow-up on the development of this strategic roadmap.

On 8 April, the PSC will consider and adopt the draft provisional programme of work for the month of May 2022, via email exchange.

On 12 April, Council is scheduled to receive a briefing on the activities of AU Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) and operational cost of the Mission, which has replaced the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). In 2022 alone, the Council has dedicated two sessions to discuss the reconfiguration of AMISOM. The mandate of ATMIS started on 1 April and the session on 12 April will be the first one to consider the new mission. At its 1068th session convened on 8 March, Council adopted key decisions with regards to the transition of AMISOM, including the authorization of ATMIS in replacement of AMISOM, effective as of 1 April 2022. Critical issues that may be discussed at the forthcoming session include establishing sources of financing of ATMIS, such as through the support from the European Peace Facility and UN assessed contributions.

An update on countries in transition including Sudan, Chad, Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso is scheduled for 14 April. The session presents the PSC an opportunity to reflect on the various developments in the countries and to also follow up on its previous decisions on the respective country specific situations. The session will also take place as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has set new deadlines for Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso to hold elections and restore civilian rule.

On 19 April, the PSC is scheduled to have a meeting to follow up on the February 2022 Great Lakes Summit which was convened in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The Summit was the 10th in a series convened with the central purpose of assessing the status of implementation of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework (PSCF) and general efforts in stabilizing the region, with a particular focus on eastern DRC. The session can also serve as an opportunity to address recent developments in the eruption of fighting between the Congolese army and M23 which has led to the displacement of nearly 36,000 people within the country according to UNHCR figures.

On 21 April, a session dedicated to a debate on climate change, peace and security in Africa is scheduled to take place. The last PSC session dedicated to the theme of climate change was the 1051st session convened in November 2021. The planned session serves to follow up on some of Council’s calls and requests from the previous session including the status of establishment of the Climate Change Fund and the Continental Civil Capacity for Disaster Preparedness and Response, as well as the finalization of a climate-related security risks assessment study. Council may also once again welcome Egypt’s presidency of the 27th Conference of the Parties (COP) to United Nations (UN) Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to be held in November 2022 and encourage member States and all other relevant AU actors to take the opportunity to advance African priorities in the global climate change forum. The session may serve to highlight the need for a common African position and an approach in which African states speak in one voice in various climate related forums.

The reflection meeting on Youth, Peace and Security in Africa scheduled for 25 April will be held in Burundi with the participation of the second cohort of African Youth Ambassadors for Peace (AYAPs) and Evariste Ndayishimiye as the guest of Honor. The session presents the opportunity for Council to engage with the new cohort of AYAPs, on key AU frameworks and initiatives on the YPS agenda and ways through which they can contribute to continental peace and security efforts. Moreover, Burundi wishes to use the forum to showcase its experiences and lessons learned in relation to youth, peace and security.

The next session scheduled for 26 April will be a preparatory meeting regarding two agenda items. The first one will be a preparation for the Extraordinary Summit on Terrorism and Unconstitutional Change of Government (UCG), which is planned to take place by the end of May 2022, in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. The decision to convene an Extraordinary Summit on Terrorism and UCG was made by the AU Assembly at its 35th Ordinary Session (Assembly/AU/Dec. 828(XXXV)), considering the spread of terrorism and the surge in UCG in the continent during the previous year. The second agenda item will be preparation for the PSC meeting on working methods (14th PSC Retreat), also planned to be held in May 2022.

Council will conclude its activities for the month with a briefing on 29 April to be delivered by the PSC Chairperson to the Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC), on the Council’s activities for the month of April 2022.

It is also indicated in footnote that consultations may be held between the Chair of the PSC and the UN Security Council (UNSC) President at a time and date to be determined.


Provisional Program of Work for the Month of March 2022

Program of Work

Date | 28 February, 2022

Lesotho assumes the role of chairing the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC) in March. The provisional program of work for the month envisages six substantive sessions, out of which one will address a country specific situation while the remaining will revolve around various thematic topics. In addition to its substantive sessions, Council will also undertake other activities including the induction of new PSC member States and the conduct of a reflection forum on unconstitutional changes of government (UCG).

The first session of the month is scheduled to take place on 3 March and will be an open session dedicated to the theme of youth, peace and security in Africa. The session is expected to take place within the framework of Council’s 807th session convened in November 2018, which decided to institutionalise and regularise the annual open session dedicated to the theme.

On 4 March, the Committee of Experts (CoE) is expected to meet to prepare for the induction and orientation of incoming members of the Council.

The second substantive session is expected to be held on 8 March. The session will be dedicated to the consideration of the joint AU-UN proposal on the reconfigured mission to replace AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). Following the development of a framework document for reconfiguring AMISOM through AU-FGS consultations, both the PSC and the UNSC convened sessions on 15 February to discuss the document which provides the mandate, composition, size and structure of the proposed transition mission – the AU Transitional Mission to Somalia (ATMIS). As the deadline for the expiry of AMISOM’s mandate renewed under UNSC Res2614/2021 approaches, the upcoming session is expected to provide an overview on AU’s and UN’s joint position on the proposed mission (ATMIS).

The third session of the month will be dedicated to consider the draft Conclusions of the first Joint Retreat of the PSC and the APRM (eThekwini Conclusions), which is planned to be held on 10 March. It is to be recalled that the PSC had its inaugural consultative meeting with the APRM in Durban, South Africa, from 19 to 21 December 2021. The draft Conclusions are expected to capture some of the key issues addressed at the retreat including the role of early warning and preventive diplomacy in averting governance related crisis in the continent.

The fourth session of the month, also scheduled to take place on 10 March, will focus on the status of operationalization of Africa Standby Force (ASF). The last time Council received updates on the subject was at its 1007th session convened in July 2021. The upcoming session presents the opportunity for the Council to follow up on some of the key decisions adopted at the 1007th session including its request for the AU Commission to “set up a multi-agency strategic working group chaired by the AU Commission, to coordinate efforts amongst all the relevant stakeholders on the full operationalization of the ASF”.

On 14 March, the PSC will consider and adopt the draft provisional programme of work for the month of April 2022.

From 15 to 17 March, the PSC will convene a reflection forum on UCG, which will be hosted by the Government of Ghana. Council decided to convene the forum at its 1061st session on “Promoting Constitutionalism, Democracy and Inclusive Governance to Strengthen Peace, Security and Stability in Africa”, as a brainstorming seminar between the PSC and other relevant actors, in response to the resurgence of UCG in Africa observed in 2021 and early 2022.

On 21 and 22 March, induction/orientation of incoming member States of the PSC will be held at the level of CoE, in Maseru, Lesotho. Council will then conduct the induction of new member States in Maseru, at ambassadorial level, from 23 to 25 March.

On 29 March, Council will convene to consider policies on child protection in AU PSOs and mainstreaming child protection in APSA. At its 994th session convened in May 2021, Council took note of a study by the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC), providing areas for the integration and mainstreaming of child protection within the various phases of AU’s peace and security interventions. The initiative to institutionalize a child protection architecture within APSA emanated from the recommendations of this study. The upcoming session is expected to follow up on the level of implementation of Council’s request at its 994th session, for the AU Commission to develop a policy aimed at mainstreaming child protection at all phases of intervention within the framework of APSA.

The last substantive session of the month will be convened on 31 March, which will be a briefing by African Commission on Nuclear energy (AFCONE) on the implementation of the Pelindaba Treaty. The Pelindaba Treaty, or the African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty, was adopted in 1996 and entered into force in July 2009. The treaty has the central purpose of banning the development, acquisition, use or testing of nuclear weapons. In addition to providing updates on the implementation of the Pelindaba Treaty, AFCONE may also brief Council on the level of adoption and implementation of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) in Africa, as highlighted by the PSC at its 837th session convened in April 2019.

On 31 March, the Chairperson of the PSC will also be convening a press conference. Increasingly PSC monthly chairs are holding press conference at the end of their chairship, it’s a practice observed more regularly particularly after mid 2021.