ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, February 3, 2014 – African Press Organization (APO) – The African Union – United Nations Joint Task Force (AU – UN JTF) on Peace and Security held its eighth consultative meeting at the AU Headquarters, in Addis Ababa, immediately after the 22nd Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government.
The AU Commission and the UN Secretariat were represented respectively, by Commissioner Smail Chergui (Peace and Security) and the Under-Secretaries-General Herve Ladsous (Peacekeeping Operations) and Ameerah Haq (Field Support), as well as by Assistant-Secretary-General Taye-Brook Zerihoun (Political Affairs). They were accompanied by other senior officials from the two organizations.
The JTF reviewed the situations in the Central African Republic (CAR), South Sudan, eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo and Somalia. It welcomed the collaborative efforts of the UN and the AU in those countries, and recognized some of the progress and positive developments achieved in the context of Chapter VIII of the UN Charter.
On the situation in the CAR, the JTF expressed deep concern at continued sectarian violence and grave violations of human rights in the country. The JTF commended the successful deployment of the African-led International Support Mission in the CAR (MISCA) and French forces (Operation Sangaris), which has prevented the situation from degenerating further. The JTF agreed on the need to enhance collaboration between MISCA and the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in the Central African Republic (BINUCA). The AU and the UN reaffirmed their collaboration, together with the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), in support of the transition to ensure a quick return to constitutional order. Welcoming the outcome of the Donors Pledging Conference for MISCA, convened by the AU, with the support of the UN, on 1 February 2014, the JTF committed to work jointly to speedily disburse the funds pledged. The JTF reviewed progress in providing technical and expert support to MISCA by the UN Secretariat, in line with Security Council resolution 2127 (2013). The AU and the UN agreed to continue to work together based on their respective mandates and consistent with the provisions of the relevant AU Peace and Security Council (PSC) and Security Council resolutions.
On South Sudan, the JTF recognized that the outbreak of violence was due to political disagreements and emphasized that a lasting solution could only be found through dialogue. In that regard, the AU and the UN would continue to support the mediation led by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), and ongoing efforts to establish a mechanism for the monitoring and verification of the cessation of hostilities agreement, signed in Addis Ababa on 23 January 2014. The UN pledged full support to the Commission of Inquiry into human rights violations being established by the AU as an important tool for promoting accountability, reconciliation and healing.
On the situation in eastern DRC, the JTF commended the effective cooperation between the UN and the AU to address this situation. The JTF commended the efforts of the MONUSCO Force Intervention Brigade in defeating the M23 and encouraged it to pursue operations against remaining negative forces. The JTF also welcomed the adoption, by the third meeting of the 11+4 Regional Oversight Mechanism for the Peace, Security and Cooperation (PSC) Framework, held in Addis Ababa, on 31 January 2014, of the Plan of Action for the implementation of the regional commitments made in the PSC Framework, as an important step forward. The JTF agreed to galvanize efforts to maintain momentum in implementing the commitments. In particular, the AU and the UN agreed on the need to enhance economic development and trade, including through the private sector investment forum launched by the UN Special Envoy and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region.
On Somalia, the JTF welcomed the good collaboration between the AU and the UN, including in the context of their Joint Review of the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and Benchmarking Exercise conducted in 2013. It also commended the cooperation between AMISOM and the UN presences in Somalia to address the asymmetrical threat posed by Al Shabaab. The JTF looked forward to the forthcoming high-level AU-UN retreat that will discuss a comprehensive strategy for AU-UN engagement in Somalia. The JTF reviewed areas that are still outstanding in the implementation of Security Council resolution 2124 (2013), including support to the Somali National Army, and stressed the need for their expeditious resolution.
On the African Standby Force (ASF) and the African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crisis (ACIRC), the meeting was briefed on ongoing efforts to operationalize these tools. The AU and the UN agreed to continue to work together to strengthen capacities to manage emerging and ongoing conflicts in Africa, including through developing innovative and flexible approaches to ensuring predictable and sustainable funding for African-led peace support operations.
On mediation and in support of electoral processes as tools for conflict prevention, the JTF discussed opportunities for better harmonization of approaches. The JTF adopted recommendations to strengthen the exchange of information between the two organizations and promote joint analyses of conflicts, with a view to enhancing a common understanding of the causes and drivers of conflict. The JTF reaffirmed its commitment to promote Joint Assessment Missions by the two organizations.
The next meeting of the JTF will take place in September 2014, in New York, on the margins of the UN General Assembly.
African Union Commission (AUC)
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