From April to June 2018 the PSC held meetings on broad thematic issues such as preventing the ideology of hate, free movement of people, corruption, non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, illicit flow of funds, climate change and borders. It renewed the mandates of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and of the United Nations/African Union Mission to Darfur (UNAMID) for 12 months and that of the Regional Task Force against the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) for three months.
Preventing ideology of hate and genocide
On 5 April the PSC held its 761st meeting on preventing the ideology of hate and genocide in Africa. At its 678th meeting on 11 April 2017 the PSC had committed itself to holding a meeting on this subject every April. The PSC condemned all forms of hate speech and urged member states to develop early warning mechanisms and laws to prevent situations that fuel conflict and genocide. This included investigating and prosecuting perpetrators of hate crimes and genocide. The PSC also decided to designate 7 April each year as the African Union (AU) Day of the ‘1994 genocides against the Tutsi in Rwanda’.
The PSC condemned all forms of hate speech and urged member states to develop early warning mechanisms Tweet this
AU Humanitarian Agency
The PSC’s 762nd meeting on 9 April explored the value of the AU Humanitarian Agency (AUHA), which is expected to be functional by January 2019. The AUHA is meant to increase the AU’s visibility in humanitarian situations, where its presence thus far has been limited, if not absent. The PSC urged the AU Commission to expedite the development of the mechanisms for the AUHA, including outlining the structural, financial and legal implications. The PSC also called on member states to implement the AU decision to grow the humanitarian fund from 2% to 4% of member states’ assessed contributions.
Fight against corruption
At its 764th meeting on 12 April, the PSC discussed the implications of corruption for peace and security. It called for the development of accountability and good governance mechanisms at all levels. The PSC also urged member states to contribute to developing a Common African Position on Asset Recovery as a flagship initiative of the African Anti-Corruption Year.
Peace process in South Sudan
From April to June the PSC held two sessions on South Sudan. The first session followed its field visit to South Sudan from 4–9 April. The PSC held its 768th meeting on 26 April and called on the transitional government and all armed groups to end the violence, adhere to the ceasefire deal and cooperate with the Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring Mechanism (CTSAMM). While providing full support to the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) mediation, the PSC noted concerns regarding the IGAD-led peace process and decided to begin engagements with IGAD and the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Committee (JMEC) in order to exchange views on the peace process. The PSC also appealed to the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU), the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and the troop-contributing countries to finalise outstanding processes to ensure the successful deployment of the Regional Protection Force.
The PSC noted concerns regarding the IGAD-led peace process and decided to begin engagements with IGAD Tweet this
The second meeting at the level of heads of state was held on 30 June at the sidelines of the 31st AU summit in Nouakchott. The PSC urged the CTSAMM and JMEC to be vigorous and provide verifiable evidence in order to allow appropriate punitive measures against persistent violators of the ceasefire agreements.
Somalia transition plan
The PSC held two meetings on Somalia in this period. The Somalia transition plan was the focus of the 769th PSC meeting on 30 April. The PSC endorsed the plan, including a timeframe for the transition of security responsibilities from AMISOM to the Somali National Security Forces. The transition plan also envisages bilateral cooperation between the AU and Somalia through the AU–Somalia Task Force towards the achievement of the transition plan.
The second meeting was held on 27 June on the sidelines of the summit in Nouakchott. The PSC urged the international community to support Somalia in building the capacity of its security forces and institutions. It also called for a comprehensive review of AMISOM’s multidimensional capacities and capabilities to enhance the capacity of the civilian component. The PSC also renewed the mandate of AMISOM to 27 May 2019 and called for the development of a new Concept of Operations to support the implementation of the Somalia transition plan.
The PSC renewed the mandate of AMISOM to 27 May 2019 Tweet this
Free movement policy in Africa
At its 771st meeting on 11 May, the PSC urged expediting the free movement policy in Africa. It called on member states to develop a coordinated information-sharing strategy and deploy the latest technologies to dismantle the organised criminal and terrorist networks controlling and promoting irregular migration.
The PSC urged African countries to make use of their respective security services for joint tactical and operational measures along borders to curb illegal migration and transnational organised criminal activities. It also endorsed the African Migration Observatory, to be set up by Morocco, and called for its close collaboration with other regional mechanisms.
Implementation of the women, peace and security agenda
On 16 May the PSC held its 772nd meeting on women, peace and security. The council adopted the Continental Result Framework for monitoring and reporting on the implementation of the women, peace and security agenda in Africa. It called on the AU Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security to sensitise member states to the framework and the steps needed to implement it, including the provision of annual reports to the PSC on the status of implementation. The PSC also urged AU member states to strengthen the capacity of their ministries in charge of gender and women’s affairs through budget allocations and training.
Fight against the Lord’s Resistance Army
The fight against the LRA was the focus of the 772nd PSC meeting on 16 May. At the meeting, the PSC extended the mandate of the regional cooperation initiative fighting the LRA for three months to 22 August 2018.
Towards the withdrawal of UNAMID
Two meetings were held on the situation in Darfur. Following its field visit to Darfur from 5–9 May, the PSC held its 773rd meeting on 18 May and called for UNAMID’s gradual withdrawal, to ensure civilians are protected. The PSC also called on the UN to place Darfur on the list of the Peace Building Commission and asked the AU Commission to send an assessment mission to Darfur to identify areas for post-conflict reconstruction and reconciliation.
The second meeting was on 11 June, when the PSC adopted the Special Report of the AU Commission Chairperson and the UN Secretary-General on the Strategic Review of UNAMID. The PSC renewed UNAMID’s mandate for 12 months and urged the government of Sudan to investigate reports of sexual violence, and to ensure that returning communities do so voluntarily, in safety and dignity.
The PSC urged the government of Sudan to investigate reports of sexual violence in UNAMID Tweet this
Impact of climate change on peace and security
At its 774th meeting on 21 May, the PSC explored the linkages between climate change and conflict in Africa. While calling on member states to adhere to relevant international frameworks, it also urged them to partner with the private sector for a multinational and integrated approach to boosting climate change resilience. The PSC also called on the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to provide capacity-building support to implement climate change-smart agricultural programmes, including diversification of food crops and afforestation using indigenous species.
The PSC asked the AU Continental Early Warning System to include a section on the impact of climate change in its regular briefings to the PSC. It also asked the AU Commission to appoint a Special Envoy on climate change and to undertake a study on the nexus between climate change and peace and security on the continent.
Delimitation and demarcation of boundaries
The PSC held its 778th meeting on 1 June on the delimitation and demarcation of boundaries in Africa. It called on member states to make all necessary efforts to meet the 2022 AU deadline for the delimitation, demarcation and reaffirmation of all African borders.