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The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 387th meeting held at ministerial level on 29 July 2013, adopted the following press statement on the operationalization of the African Standby Force (ASF) and on the Establishment of an African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises (ACIRC).

 

Council recalled the provisions of Solemn Declaration Assembly/AU/Decl.3(XX) on the Situation in Mali on the operationalization of the African Standby Force (ASF) and its Rapid Deployment Capability (RDC), adopted by the 20th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union, held in Addis Ababa, in January 2013, and Decision Assembly/AU/Dec.489(XXI) adopted by the 21st Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union held in Addis Ababa, in May 2013, on the principle of the Establishment of the African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises. 

Council noted that, with regard to the ACIRC, the Assembly requested the Commission to work out and submit practical modalities for the operationalization of the ACIRC to the 7th meeting of the Specialized Technical Committee on Defence, Safety and Security (STCDSS), scheduled to take place during the last quarter of 2013. 

Council recalled that the STCDSS had earlier decided, at its 6th meeting held in Addis Ababa on 30 April 2013, to refer the Report of the Chairperson of the Commission on the establishment of ACIRC for consideration by Member States at national and regional levels. 

Council underscored the need for the STCDSS and the Commission, in the preparation of the said practical modalities, as mentioned above, to conform to the relevant provisions of all instruments, in particular the AU constitutive Act and Protocol Relating to the Establishment of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union. 

Council acknowledged that the main obstacles to the operationalization of the ASF are inadequate logistical capacities and funding. In this regard, Council requested that attention be focused on the acceleration of the operationalization of the ASF, which should become functional by 2015. 

Council urged the Regional Mechanisms for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution to accelerate the operationalization of their Standby Forces, including their rapid deployment capabilities and regional logistic depots, in order to speed up the operationalization of the ASF. 

Council encouraged all Member States to provide requisite financial, logistical and technical capacities towards the establishment of the Continental Logistic Base and its functioning.    

Council further encouraged all Member States to contribute to the AU Peace Fund in conformity with the provisions of Article 21 of the PSC Protocol to enable the AU provide African solutions to African problems in the management of conflict situations on the continent. 

Council appealed to AU partners to continue to provide support towards the operationalization of the ASF. 

Council requested the AU Commission to keep it informed regarding the recommendations of the 7th meeting of the STCDSS, as well as to provide a report to Council on progress towards the operationalisation of the ACIRC and the ASF.

Posted by Tchioffo Kodjo

Last updated by Abraham Kebede

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