1. The present report is submitted pursuant to the communiqué PSC / PR / COMM (CDLXIII) adopted by the Council at its 463rd meeting held on 27 October 2014 and devoted to the theme "The structural conflict prevention - Reinvigorating States fragility in Africa. " The report updates the Commission's follow-up action taken with regard to the finalization of the Continental Framework for structural conflict prevention as a tool to facilitate, on the scale of the Commission, a coordinated approach to structural prevention, and the development of a methodology for analyzing the structural vulnerability of a country to allow identification, at an early stage, the risk of conflict. It concludes with observations on the way forward.


2. The costs of conflict management, whether the deployment of peacekeeping operations, the provision of humanitarian assistance, conducting laborious process of peacemaking or post-conflict reconstruction, are particularly high. These are all elements that highlight the relevance of the old adage that prevention is better than cure. Acknowledging that the human, financial and material costs of prevention are much less than those resulting devastating consequences of armed violence, the AU and the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) have, over the past two decades, developed policies and instruments intended to prevent violent conflict, both operationally and structurally.

3. It should be recalled that the direct or operational prevention consists of actions to address the causes near and immediate conflict; these are normally undertaken during the escalation of the conflict phase, during which the dynamic factors, immediate come in. The immediate causes are factors that can contribute to the outbreak of violent conflict or its escalation . These relate to political factors (political transitions, electoral disputes, increased power struggles, ideologies of exclusion, increasing competition between groups); security (change in the military balance between States); and economic and social (rising economic problems, growing economic inequality, development and rapid modernization, but uneven).

4. One of the main goals of the Protocol on the Establishment of the Peace and Security Council (PSC) is the anticipation and prevention of conflicts, as stipulated in Article 3. In this regard, the Protocol contains detailed provisions on direct conflict prevention and the particular illustrate articles relating to the powers of the Council [Article 7 (1 a and b)], the determination of its agenda [Article 8 (7)], to entry points and methods of action (Article 9), the role of the President of the Commission [Article 10 (2)], the responsibilities of the Group of Wise Persons (Article 11), the Continental Early Warning System (Article 12), and the African Standby Force [Article 13 (3d)]. It is also useful to recall the provisions of the Protocol on relations with the RECs (Article 16), the Pan African Parliament (Article 18), the African Commission on Human Rights and Peoples (item 19) and organizations civil society (Article 20).

5. In the communiqué PSC / PR / COMM. (Ccclx) adopted at its 360th meeting held on 22 March 2013, the Council agreed number of concrete measures to facilitate the implementation of its mandate in the area of ??direct prevention conflicts. Among other things, it should be noted that:

a) strengthening the links between early warning and rapid response, which requires that the competent organs of the AU operate with the flexibility and effectively react to the information provided to them about the risks of conflicts and crises;

b) periodic review by the Council, at least once every six months, the state of peace and security on the continent, using a prospective analysis approaches, based updates provided by the Continental Early Warning System, the competent bodies of the AU, such as the Panel of the Wise, and think tanks both African and international, civil society organizations and other stakeholders;

c) the organization by the Commission and other stakeholders, information sessions on electoral processes in Africa, at least once every two months, as provided in the press release adopted by the Council at its 311th meeting held February 16, 2012 [PSC / PR / BR (CCCXI)], bearing in mind that the elections on the continent are often marked by violence, sometimes leading to open conflict; and d) the operationalization of Formula Livingstone in 2009 on interaction with civil society.

6. As regards the monitoring and analysis of the immediate causes of conflict, the AU and the RECs several have designed their early warning systems to ensure the collection, systematic monitoring and analysis of what is called data-events. At the AU, continental early warning system has developed specific tools for systematic and permanent monitoring situations of potential or ongoing conflicts, and on the basis of data analysis and agreed indicators. These include the Africa Reporter (which focuses on incidents and progress reports submitted by the AU Mission and Field Offices), the Africa Media Monitor (African Standby System media) / News Desk (press review service) / My Live (Live View System) and Country Profiles (Country Profiles). RECs as building of the African Peace and Security Architecture elements (APSA), especially the continental Early Warning System, are required to constantly inform the Council of their activities and to report on as necessary.

7. The AU is aware that conflict prevention should also include a structural dimension, strategic to attack the roots or root causes of conflict. It is worth recalling that the conflicts and violence thrive in environments characterized by the following structural factors: the existence of a past social violence, unstable neighborhoods and extreme poverty, combining with societal conditions related to discrimination and economic deprivation, political repression, ethnic polarization, as well as environmental degradation and resource scarcity, which are factors that can contribute to political instability and conflicts.

8. These situations are described through the use of a variety of terms and attributed to number of underlying causes. In the academic and political debate, both in Africa and outside the continent, reference is often made, indiscriminately, the following expressions: "fragility", "instability", "state collapse", "retraction the State "," decline of the state "," state failure "," weak states "," quasi-states "," degrees of freedom from the state. " The report of the High Level Group on fragile states, entitled "Ending conflict and consolidate peace in Africa: A Call to Action" presented at the 22nd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union held in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, on 26 and 27 June 2014, and adopted on this occasion [Assembly / AU / Dec.512 (XXII)], discussed the issue of fragility in depth. The report "considers the fragility not as an adjective that applies to a category of States, but as a risk inherent in the development process itself," adding that "in the coming period, this risk appears throughout Africa, in different places and in different forms, at national or local levels - including in countries which are not currently classified as fragile. " The report notes that the fragility in Africa is related to rapid urbanization, youth unemployment, inequality and social exclusion, the discoveries of new natural resources, climate change, and to the construction process state and peace building, which are all factors likely to put a strain on national institutions, creating a risk of violence.

9. In this context, structural prevention activities include support for the creation of political opportunities, economic, social and cultural field for all segments of society, contributing to strengthening the democratic legitimacy and effectiveness of institutions of governance, and to the peaceful conciliation of group interests and reducing the divisions between the different segments of society. If successful, these activities should lead to harmonious economic development, good governance and respect for human rights, the creation of viable political structures with the capacity to manage change without resorting to violence, and and the creation of healthy environmental and social conditions.

III. The AU POSITION TAKEN REGARDING THE STRUCTURAL CONFLICT PREVENTION 10. Over the years, the AU has adopted several legal instruments to facilitate the structural prevention of conflicts. These instruments relate to human rights; governance and the fight against corruption; the democratization process; disarmament; terrorism; and on the prevention and reduction of interstate conflicts. They represent a consolidated framework of standards and commonly accepted principles, compliance with which would significantly reduce the risk of conflict and violence and consolidate peace where it was performed.

11. The Council has on several occasions stressed the need to intensify efforts for the structural prevention of conflicts. In the statement PSC / MIN / br.1 (CCLXXIV) on the state of peace and security in Africa, adopted at its 275th meeting held on 26 April 2011, the Council noted that negligence by the Governments of political and socio-economic needs of the people, especially the youth, creating conditions favorable to the emergence of crisis and conflict. The Council expressed its belief that the popular uprisings in North Africa is an opportunity to seize the Member States to renew their commitment to the agenda of the AU in democracy and governance, inject additional momentum to efforts made in this regard and implement socio-economic reforms adapted to each national situation, stressing the imperative of good governance through the strengthening of culture and democratic institutions, respect for human rights and the rule of law, and development of Constitutions into account the aspirations of the people, as a means of conflict prevention and strengthening popular participation in the search for solutions to current problems.

12. At its 360th meeting, the Council stressed the need to address, in a systematic and comprehensive way, the root causes of conflict and the need for all Member States, in accordance with commitments that are theirs in term of the relevant AU instruments, to work towards promoting ever-higher standards in the areas of human rights, good governance and conflict prevention, which is a prerequisite for achieving development and socio-economic integration of the continent. The Council agreed, as part of its conflict prevention responsibilities, to ensure effective monitoring of progress by Member States in the promotion of democratic practices, good governance, the rule of law, protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, respect for the sanctity of human life and international humanitarian law, as stipulated in Article 7 (m) of the Protocol on the PSC [PSC / PR /COMM.(CCCLX)].

13. Subsequently, at its 463rd meeting, the Council reiterated its belief that the marginalization of situations of violations of human rights, denial of electoral defeats, handling Constitutions, mismanagement and distribution unequal resources, lack of socio-economic opportunities, unemployment and corruption are among other factors that contribute greatly to the outbreak of violent conflicts in Africa. Consequently, the Council stressed the need for good governance through the strengthening of culture and democratic institutions, respect for human rights, preservation of the rule of law and the socio-economic development economic, such as conflict prevention and means of promoting peace and stability on the continent. The Council recognized that building strong state institutions, responsive and responsible local and national levels, which provide essential services and promoting inclusive political processes, the rule of law and public safety, is essential to prevention conflicts and strengthen gains made in the peace process.

14. The Council expressed its full support to the recommendations contained in the report of the High Level Group on fragile states, and asked the Commission, in close collaboration with the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Economic Commission United for Africa (ECA), and with the support of international partners, to work actively for the implementation of these recommendations. The Council also noted the establishment of mechanisms to monitor progress in governance, such as the Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) and the Report on Governance in Africa (RGA) prepared by ECA, which provide early warning tools to anticipate conflicts related to governance and the progress made at the AU and the RECs in the operationalization of the Continental Early Warning System. Specifically, the Council stressed the need to:

(I) develop responsive institutions, accountable and robust at local, national, regional and continental levels and to strengthen them where necessary;

(Ii) accelerate the signing and ratification of the relevant AU instruments and their incorporation into national legislation, and to undertake sustained advocacy and outreach;

(Iii) to strengthen the implementation of existing instruments;

(Iv) effective use of existing mechanisms and instruments such as the APRM and the RGA, to better monitor and improve the quality of governance in Africa; and

(V) further involve the Panel of the Wise of the AU, the Pan-African Parliament and the African Commission on Human Rights and Peoples in the overall efforts to promote good governance and conflict prevention, according to relevant provisions of the Protocol on the PSC.

IV. CONTINENTAL FRAMEWORK FOR STRUCTURAL CONFLICT PREVENTION 15. In the communiqué PSC / PR / COMM. (CDLXIII), the Council commended the Commission for its efforts to finalize the development of a continental framework for structural conflict prevention, following the meeting she held in Kigali, Rwanda, from 14 to 16 June 2013, as a tool to facilitate, on the scale of the Commission, a coordinated approach to the structural prevention. The Council requested that the process be accelerated.

16. The design of the Framework for structural prevention meets the following requirements: (i) accelerating the implementation of the APSA; (Ii) strengthening the role of coordination and harmonization of the AU vis-à-vis the RECs, as stipulated in the Protocol on the PSC; (Iii) the integration of conflict prevention in the activities and programs of the Commission; and (iv) the need to address, more systematically, structural or root causes of conflict in Africa. The Framework is intended to serve as a model to guide the Commission in supporting the efforts of Member States regarding the structural prevention of conflicts.

17. The Framework develops preventive action as a comprehensive tool including both direct and operational measures, before violence takes a wide-ranging, a strategic dimension focuses on the structural causes of conflict. Although direct the so-called structural prevention and remain distinct policy responses based on the type of the causes of conflict to work to eliminate, each requires the other to be effective. In addition, direct and structural prevention efforts can be deployed to all conflict cycle phases.

18. An Interdepartmental Working Group has been set up at the Commission in 2014 for mainstreaming conflict prevention in its programs. Since its inception, the Working Group met several times to develop a draft joint action plan on conflict prevention.


19. In the communiqué PSC / PR / COMM. (CDLXIII), the Council welcomed the efforts of the Commission to develop a methodology for analyzing the structural vulnerability to identify, at an early stage, the risk of conflict in a given country, with particular emphasis on areas relevant to the identification of factors can contribute to the occurrence of violent conflicts: (i) socio-economic development; (Ii) good governance, rule of law, democracy and human rights; (Iii) security sector; (Iv) environment and climate change; (V) gender and youth; (Vi) post-conflict reconstruction and peace building; and (vii) transitional justice and reconciliation. The Council encouraged the Commission to accelerate the finalization of the methodology, in order to make available to Member States in their national efforts for conflict prevention and promotion of peace and stability. The report prepared by this methodology as a basis to develop an appropriate mitigation strategy of structural vulnerability.

a) Analysis of structural vulnerability

20. Recognizing that there is no linear path between the root causes structural or underlying conflict and the outbreak of violence, structural analysis will enable Member States to identify potential structural causes of conflict such as the exclusion of particular groups and other forms of discrimination and / or economic deprivation, persistent societal tensions and or various forms of environmental degradation and resource reduction, with serious implications on governance as opposed to close or immediate factors.

21. Analysis of structural vulnerability and mitigation strategy resulting rely on the process and experience of the APRM New Partnership for Development (NEPAD) in Africa, in particular the framework document NEPAD, adopted in October 2001, and the Principles of the APRM, adopted at the 38th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) held in Durban, Africa South in July 2002. It is also important to mention the decision of the Summit Implementation Committee of Heads of State and Government of the NEPAD on 'objectives, standards, criteria and indicators' for the APRM, adopted Abuja, Nigeria, in March 2003.

22. Analysis of structural vulnerability is based on an existing tool, Africa Prospects (African Perspectives) the Continental Early Warning System, which is part of the System applications. Africa Prospects is designed to assess the vulnerability of the country given to a conflict on the basis of their profile or set of structural indicators. The complete structural analysis results given Africa Prospects, with an explanatory analysis and narrative reference to the root causes of conflict.

b) Mitigation Strategy of structural vulnerability

23. Mitigation Strategy of structural vulnerability focuses on strategic and long-term measures that are developed by the concerned countries. This Strategy is the main product of the process. It also explores the areas in which the AU and RECs can best support the countries concerned. The actions taken could include measures to be undertaken at regional and subregional levels to address the structural causes / root of violent conflict. In developing possible response strategies will take into account the relevant AU instruments.

c) Implementation Procedures for the Analysis and Mitigation Strategy of structural vulnerability

24. The manual and standard operating procedures to generate an analysis of structural vulnerability and mitigation strategy should be further developed. It is, however, contemplated that these comprise the steps of:

(I) analysis of structural vulnerability is initiated at the request of a Member State made simultaneously to the RECs to which it belongs and to the Commission;

(Ii) the process of preparing the report of the structural analysis should not exceed two months. This report would be prepared by the Member State concerned with the support and assistance of the Commission and of the relevant RECs;

(Iii) after the finalization of the report, the Member State concerned in cooperation with the Commission and the relevant RECs, will begin work on a mitigation strategy for its structural vulnerability. This Strategy should be completed within four months;

(Iv) the Member States concerned would be encouraged to keep the Council informed of the implementation process of their mitigation strategies of structural vulnerability, giving detailed information on the progress made and the impact of measures taken in prevention structural conflicts; and

(V) the Council's report to the Assembly of the Union on its activities and the state of peace and security in Africa would include updates on the implementation of the mitigation strategy of structural vulnerability, on the basis of information provided by the Member States concerned.


25. I recall that in the "Solemn Declaration on the 50th anniversary of the OAU / African Union" adopted in Addis Ababa on 25 May 2013, to mark the Golden Jubilee of the Union [Assembly / AU / Decl.3 (XXI)], the Union's Conference stressed the need to redouble efforts to address the scourge of conflicts in Africa. The Conference agreed not bequeath the burden of conflicts to the next generation of Africans fixing as its objective the elimination of all conflicts by 2020, within the broader framework of the "Agenda 2063 - Africa that We Want. " The Conference expressed its determination to make respect for the rule of law, human rights and human dignity, and the popular participation, the appropriate management of diversity, inclusion and democracy, anchors companies, governments and institutions of the continent. It is also committed to place the African people, particularly women, children and youth, and the disabled, in the center of the efforts of the Union, and to eradicate poverty. At its 430th meeting held April 24, 2014 on the theme. "Reducing weapons to silence - prior to achieve the objective of a conflict-free Africa by 2020" [Press communiqué PSC / PR / BR ( CDXXX)], the Council agreed on the need to develop a roadmap articulating measures to achieve the objectives.

26. In this context, the Continental Framework for structural conflict prevention is integrated and harmonized mechanism whose implementation will strengthen efforts to achieve the objective. The tools are the analysis of structural vulnerability and vulnerability mitigation strategies offer a unique opportunity for the AU and the RECs to assist Member States to meet the challenges they face. The objective is to develop preventive actions.

27. For its part, the Commission will continue to take the necessary steps to provide the necessary support to Member States, particularly regarding the establishment of national infrastructure for peace, including early warning systems, to support their conflict-prevention efforts at the local and national levels, in accordance with the request made by the Council. In this regard, and following the requests made by South Africa, Ethiopia, Mauritania and Zimbabwe, the Commission provided support to these countries in technical and capacity development for the implementation up and operationalization of national early warning systems and standby facilities. This support covers both the sharing of tools for the collection and analysis of data on conflict analysis methodologies. The Commission is ready to support other Member States.

28. While these efforts are underway, it is important to keep in mind that the structural prevention can not be separated from direct conflict prevention. The Council, the Commission and the Advisory Group will have to make optimum use of the relevant provisions of the PSC Protocol, which gives them significant powers in conflict prevention. Equally important is the need for Member States to extend their full cooperation to the competent organs of the AU. I wish, in this regard, remember that the PSC Protocol obliges Member States to provide full cooperation to the Council and facilitate its work in the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts.

Posted by Tchioffo Kodjo
Last updated by Lulit Kebede

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