Partnership on Peace and Security – 13th Africa EU Joint Task Force Meeting

AU/EU The meeting of the Africa-EU Joint Experts Group was held on 18 October 2011, at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The meeting which was co-chaired by the AU and EU, was attended by members of the JEG from Africa and EU, and representatives from the following Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and Regional Mechanisms for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution (RMs): Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN- SAD), Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA), East African Community (EAC), Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), the Eastern Africa Standby Force Coordinating Mechanism (EASFCOM) and the North Africa Regional Capability (NARC).

The meeting discussed the three priority areas of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy, Partnership on Peace and Security, namely Political Dialogue, Operationalization of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA), and funding for African-led Peace Support Operations (PSOs).

A.    Political Dialogue Under the Political Dialogue, the meeting received a briefing on the developments in Northern Africa, particularly in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya.

The meeting acknowledged the existing concerns related to the situation of migrant workers in Libya, the re-integration of those returning to their countries of origin as well as the proliferation of weapons. A planned Pledging Conference will be convened by the AU very soon to develop a strategy in support of neighbouring countries. The EU is ready to work together with the AU in order to bring its contributions towards the stabilization of Libya and the Sahel-Saharan region, on the basis of the partnership and African ownership.

The meeting also emphasized the need for sustained economic and financial support to facilitate the ongoing transitions in North Africa. The AU and the EU should intensify their dialogue in this respect and identify concrete actions to be jointly undertaken.

On Terrorism in the Sahel Region, the meeting stressed again the importance of continued and close cooperation between the AU and the EU in fighting this phenomenon, especially with regard to the new threats posed by the proliferation of weapons. It noted the ongoing efforts by the countries of the region and the AU to effectively address the problems in the region, in particular, the scourge of terrorism, within the framework of the relevant AU decisions, instruments and strategies. In this regard, the meeting was informed of the importance and promising results of the conference of the countries of region held in Algiers on 7 – 8 September 2011 with extra partners, including the EU, and welcomed this outcome

Also in this context, the EU presented the key elements of its Strategy for Security and Development in the Sahel. The EU will formally brief the AU PSC on this Strategy at the beginning of next year, as part of the consultations with the AU.

On Sudan and South Sudan, the meeting was informed on the ongoing efforts by the AU High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) to address issues pertaining to the relations between the two states, including the resolution of the Abyei crisis, finalization of post- secession arrangements, promotion of security along the border and Darfur. The AU underlined the need for continued political and financial support to the work of the AUHIP. The EU confirmed its continued support for the work of the AUHIP and other initiatives in the two countries.

B.    Operationalization of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA)

The meeting was informed of the APSA assessment study that was undertaken by the AU in conjunction with the RECs/RMs and the EU from July to October 2010, and subsequent efforts that led to the development of an exhaustive Roadmap outlining the steps to be taken for the full operationalization of the ASF. This Roadmap covers the period 2011-2013, and includes an Action Plan, which implementation is being supported inter-alia by a 40 million euro Support Programme financed by the African Peace Facility, as well as bilateral contributions. The meeting underlined the need for close monitoring of the implementation process and enhance coordination among all stakeholders under the guidance of the AU

C.    The political framework and perspectives for predictable and sustainable funding for Africa-led

Peace Support Operations (PSOs)

The meeting was informed of the decision adopted by the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC) and the subsequent resolution of the UN Security Council in September on the extension of AMISOM mandate and the UN Support package to the Mission. The meeting welcomed the progress made on the ground as well as the results achieved in the political process.

The meeting agreed on the need for continued support to AMISOM to enable it effectively to discharge its mandate. The AU requested the EU to provide continued financial support to AMISOM. The EU referred to the need to enlarge the group of contributors as the support provided through the African Peace Facility is not sustainable in the future at current level.

On MICOPAX, the meeting was informed of the ongoing consultations on the program of activities of the mission for 2012, bearing in mind that its mandate is coming to an end in 2013. The meeting welcomed the close cooperation between the AU, EU and ECCAS in supporting MICOPAX.

On Lord Resistance Army (LRA), the meeting exchanged views on the ongoing efforts towards the implementation of the AU-led regional initiative against the LRA. Both the AU and the EU agreed to continue discussing modalities for further EU support to this initiative.

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