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 JOINT COMMUNIQUÉ

 

8th Annual Joint Consultative Meeting between the African Union Peace and Security Council and the European Union Political and Security Committee

16 October 2015

On 16 October 2015, the African Union Peace and Security Council (AU PSC) and the European Union Political and Security Committee (EU PSC) held their 8th Annual Joint Consultative Meeting in Debre Zeit, Ethiopia, as part of their regular dialogue within the framework of the Africa – EU partnership. The meeting was co-chaired by Ambassador Rachid Benlounes (Algeria), Chairperson of the AU PSC for the month of October 2015, and Ambassador Walter Stevens, Permanent Chair of the EU PSC. The Joint Meeting brought together Ambassadors of EU Member States and AU PSC Member States. Senior Officials from both the AU Commission and the EU Commission also participated in the joint meeting.

The Joint Consultative Meeting was preceded by the inaugural Informal Joint Retreat of the AU PSC and the EU PSC. Both meetings took place in a constructive atmosphere, facilitating substantial exchange and the convergence of approaches on different topics. The discussion during the Joint Consultative Meeting focused on conflict and crisis situations in Africa namely, Burundi, the Central African Republic, Libya, Mali/Sahel, South Sudan, and Somalia, as well as the enhancement of cooperation between the AU PSC and EU PSC. The Joint Retreat provided a platform for an informal exchange on conflict prevention, mediation, capacity building for peace and security and migration. The outcome of the Joint Retreat is embodied in the AU PSC/EU PSC Co-Chairs’ Conclusions as annexed to this Joint

Communiqué.

On South Sudan, the AU PSC and the EU PSC welcomed the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARC) as the necessary step to end the civil war that has caused thousands in lost lives, wide spread destruction and an appalling humanitarian emergency in the country. They stressed that the ARC needs to be fully implemented as a matter of urgency. Both the AU and the EU will continue to play their role in the implementation process and encourage the other stakeholders to support the process. In particular, the AU PSC and the EU PSC called on the Government of South Sudan to place a moratorium on the implementation of the recent Establishment Order increasing the South Sudan States to 28 in contravention to the ARC; on SPLM/A-IO to agree on the Transitional Security Arrangements; and on both Parties to refrain from any violation of the permanent ceasefire and allow immediate, safe and unhindered humanitarian access. They also encouraged IGAD to finalise its consultations to appoint the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) Chair, and committed to support the establishment of theHybrid Court as provided by the ARC. They welcomed the publishing of the report of the AU Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan.

On Somalia, the AU PSC and the EU PSC agreed that a continued strong engagement to support the political process leading to democratisation and federalisation, and the continuation of the military effort against Al Shabaab, will remain the priorities for the AU and the EU. Both Organs encouraged Somali parties and stakeholders to overcome their differences and work together for the achievement of the 'Vision 2016' objectives, in particular regarding the electoral process. Both will continue to support the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), to the level allowed by their respective capabilities, and look forward to the full implementation of its revised Concept of Operations (CONOPs) in order to move towards a more coordinated, more robust, more mobile, more intelligence driven, and better supported force, able to adopt a new strategy to counter and prevail in the asymmetric warfare, deliver basic services in liberated areas, and gradually empower Somali national forces.

They strongly condemned recent terrorist attacks against AMISOM and civilians in the country. They underlined the need for continued support for state building and strengthening of Somali National Army to enable it assume its responsibilities.

Building on the results of their Joint Field Trip to Mali in February 2015, the AU PSC and the EU PSC expressed their strong determination to continue supporting the implementation of the Peace and Reconciliation Agreement. The AU PSC and the EU PSC stressed the importance of political leadership by the Government of Mali. They encouraged the Government to rapidly implement the necessary reforms in accordance with the Agreement, including structural reforms and effective fight against corruption and impunity. The AU PSC and EU PSC will continue to seek synergies in the operationalisation of their respective Strategies in the Sahel. They expressed concern over the recent coup d'état in Burkina Faso, and commended on the coherent and decisive action of the AU, regional and international partners in swiftly responding and restoring the transitional authorities.

On Libya, the AU PSC and EU PSC reconfirmed their support to the UN led process and the Libyan Political Agreement reached by the UN Secretary General Special Representative Bernardino Leon. Libya has now the historic opportunity to bring to an end the suffering of its people and to put the transition process back on track. The AU PSC and EU PSC will give their full support to the implementation of the agreement and the stabilisation of the country.

In relation to the Central African Republic, the AU PSC and EU PSC expressed its support to transitional authorities for the progress made thus far and encouraged them to spare no efforts in ensuring the completion of the ongoing transition process within the agreed timeline. They stressed that all efforts should be deployed for the timely holding of transparent, credible and inclusive elections before the end of 2015. The AU PSC and EU PSC urged the international community to provide sustained support for the successful conclusion of the transition and the implementation of the priorities established in the Bangui Forum. They condemned the recent upsurge of violence and underlined the need for the perpetrators and instigators of such violence to be held accountable. They called for a robust approach from United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) against armed groups to safeguard the transition and stressed the urgency of Disarmament, Demobilization, Reintegration and Repatriation (DDRR) and Security Sector Reform (SSR) activities. They further called on all parties to act responsibly and for the benefit of the people of the Central African Republic, to allow the country to emerge from violent conflict and to move towards sustainable recovery.

The AU PSC and the EU PSC expressed their concern about the continuing tense situation in Burundi. Both PSCs expressed their support to the efforts made at the regional level aimed at contributing to the resolution of the crisis. They welcomed the deployment of AU human rights observers and military experts. They called on all actors to put to an end the violence and to engage in an inclusive political process. The EU updated on action taken on its side, including the launch of article 96 consultations.

The AU PSC and EU PSC agreed to meet again in 2016 in Brussels.

1ST JOINT RETREAT OF THE PEACE AND SECURITY COUNCIL OF THE AFRICAN UNION AND THE POLITICAL AND SECURITY COMMITTEE OF THE EUROPEAN UNION ON ENHANCING COORDINATION ON CONFLICT PREVENTION AND MEDIATION

DEBRE ZEIT, ETHIOPIA 15 OCTOBER 2015

AU PSC/EU PSC.Retreat.1

CO-CHAIRS CONCLUSIONS

CO-CHAIRS CONCLUSIONS OF THE JOINT AFRICAN UNION PEACE AND SECURITY COUNCIL (AU PSC)/ EUROPEAN UNION PEACE AND SECURITY COMMITTEE (EU PSC) RETREAT

1. The AU PSC and the EU PSC held their inaugural Joint Retreat in Debre Zeit, Ethiopia, on 15 October 2015, just on the eve of their 8th Annual Joint Consultative Meeting. After extensive deliberations on the theme of the Joint Retreat namely ‘Conflict Prevention, Mediation, Capacity Building and Migration’, the Retreat led to the following key conclusions:


i. re-affirmed their commitment to continue closely working together towards further enhancing cooperation and coordination of efforts on conflict prevention and mediation. In this regard, they agreed on the need to further enhance coordination between the AU and EU early warning mechanisms, further build-up expertise, for instance mediation and to step-up their cooperation towards early responses to threats to peace and security.

ii. noted with deep concern that terrorism and violent extremism have become the most pressing and devastating threats to peace, security and stability, especially in Africa and also in Europe. They called for a more coordinated robust international response, including timely use of intelligence to prevent and fight terrorism in all its forms and manifestations wherever, whenever and by whomever it is committed. They reiterated their strong condemnation of all acts of terrorism and agreed to address all conditions in which terrorism thrives. With regards to African capacities both Organs recognized that the fight against terrorism and violent extremism requires specific capabilities within a comprehensive approach. In addition, they stressed need to consider modalities for providing necessary assistance, including logistical support to the affected countries.

iii. recognised that migration is a common challenge and a common responsibility for countries of origin, transit and destination. The issue of migration can only be solved through common approaches, close cooperation and solidarity, and providing multidimensional solutions . In this regard, they underlined the importance of high level political dialogues and the upcoming Valetta Summit.

iv. committed to enhance their dialogue and coordination to improve African capacities for peace and security, through a range of means, with a particular focus on capacity-building. In this regard, the AU PSC and the EU PSC reiterated their respective commitments to further strengthen the process of the operationalization of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA).

v. recognised that the African Peace Facility has played a crucial role in supporting AU operations and the APSA and stressed the need to sustain and enhance the APF. They welcomed the decision of the AU Assembly to contribute 25% of the AU budget on peace and security activities by year 2020.

vi. reiterated the imperative for predictable and sustainable funding for AU-led peace efforts. In this regard, they look forward to the effective follow-up of the recommendations of the High-level Panel on the Review of UN Peace Operations and the recommendations contained in the report of the UN Secretary General on the future of UN Peace Operations. They stressed the importance of the planned consultations between the AU, the UN and other stakeholders with the view to agreeing on sustainable and predictable funding arrangements for AU-led peace operations undertaken with the consent of the UN Secretary General, particularly those involving peace enforcement and counter-terrorism. Agreed to cooperate more closely in preventing conflicts and tackling early signs of potential crisis situations, as well as addressing the root causes of fragility and instability.

2. More specifically, and moving forward, the AU PSC and the EU PSC agreed to further enhance their cooperation through concrete steps, particularly the following:

i. organizing cross-briefings to the AU PSC and EU PSC on peace and security issues;

ii. undertaking further joint field missions to conflict and post-conflict areas. In this respect, they agreed to identify the country for the next visit by the end of November 2015;

iii. organizing joint information gathering and analysis on the ground in conflict and post-conflict areas;

iv. organizing regular VTCs, including those covering the monthly programmes of work of the AU PSC and the EU PSC;

v. organizing further joint retreats of AU, RECs/RMs and EU mediators, and Special Envoys/Representatives for building synergy and harmony of initiatives. They requested the AU Commission and the EU to organize, by early 2016, a seminar on African and European mediators;

vi. mobilization for support toward effective implementation of the Arms Trade Treaty as part of conflict prevention.

Posted by Messay

Last updated by Tchioffo Kodjo

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