The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 810TH meeting held on 22 November 2018, adopted the following decision on the situation in the Horn of Africa:


1.    Takes note of the briefings by Ambassador Smaïl Chergui, Commissioner for Peace and Security on the developments in the Horn of Africa, as well as the statements made by the representatives of the countries of the Horn of Africa, namely Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan;

2.    Recalls its Communiqués, PSC/PR/COMM. (DCCL) of 6 February 2018 and PSC/MIN. (DCCXCVII) of 24 September 2018 on the need to promote peace, security and development in the Horn of Africa;

3.    Commends the commitment expressed by the regional countries led by H.E Ismail Omar Guelleh, President of the Republic of Djibouti; H.E Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya  H.E. Isaias Afwerki, President of the State of Eritrea,; H.E. Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmajo, President of the Federal Republic of Somalia; H.E Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of the Republic of South Sudan; H.E. Omar Hassan Al-Bashir, President of the Republic of Sudan; and H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda, to address the political, security and economic issues as well as their efforts towards integration of the Horn of Africa;

4.    Welcomes once again, the sustained positive developments in the Horn of Africa marked by the improved diplomatic relations between and among the countries of the region, particularly between Eritrea and Ethiopia. Council commends, once again, the bold decision taken by H.E. Dr. Abiy Ahmed, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, and H.E. Isaias Afwerki, President of the State of Eritrea towards, ending the 20 year-long political stalemate between their two sisterly countries;

5.    Welcomes the signing of the Joint Declaration on Comprehensive Cooperation between Ethiopia, Somalia and Eritrea signed in Asmara, on 5 September 2018, with a view to further fostering partnership and cooperation in the region. Council recognizes that the agreement between these countries aimed at improving the economic conditions to the benefit of all the people of the Horn of Africa through the alleviation of poverty as it is one of the sources of conflict situation in the region. In this context, Council notes that this agreement further creates a sense of ownership among countries of the Horn to safeguard and consolidate the peace and stability of the region;

6.    Notes with satisfaction the positive developments taking pace in South Sudan, following the singing of the Revitalized-Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan, which is a significant step towards ending the devastating conflict in the newest African country. In this respect, Council urges the international community to extend the necessary support to the implementation of the Agreement, which will contribute to facilitate the processes of reconciliation and reconstruction in South Sudan;

7.    Commends the progress made on the reconfiguration and draw-down process of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur’s (UNAMID) and urges all Darfur movements to join the peace process, on the basis of the Doha Document for Peace and Development (DDPD), with a view to find a lasting solution to the conflict in Darfur. Council reiterates its satisfaction at the rapprochement between the Government of Sudan and the United States of America, which led to the lifting of the unilateral economic sanctions in October 2017, as called for by the Assembly of the Union and the PSC;

8.    Express its full support to the Communique of the 66th Extra-Ordinary Session of the IGAD Council of Ministers held on 16th November 2018, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. In this regard, Council welcomes the IGAD decision to convene a Retreat of its Council of Ministers dedicated to the consideration and analysis of the new political and diplomatic dispensation  in the Horn of Africa, in the light of the ongoing developments;

9.    Expresses satisfaction at the adoption on 14 November 2018, of Resolution 2444 (2018), by the United Nations Security Council, lifting the arms embargo, travel bans, asset freezes and other targeted sanctions imposed on the State of Eretria through the UNSC Resolutions 1907, 2013, 2060 and 2111. Council underscores that this go decision will go a long way in contributing to efforts aimed at alleviating the economic strife faced by the people of Eretria for the past two decades and expresses appreciation for the regional efforts that contribute to this decision;

10.    Takes note of the ongoing election process in the Federal Member States in Somalia. In this regard, Council urges the political leadership of Somalia and all stakeholders in Federal Member States, to continue demonstrating statesmanship and restraint, with a view to spare any further challenges that could spoil the efforts aimed at consolidating the hard-won gains made in the country. Council notes with concern continued security threats posed not only by Al-Shabaab and other emerging armed groups, such as the Islamic State, but also by ongoing inter-clan differences and militias. Council strongly underscores the need to revamp Somalia’s security and to pursue the implementation of the Somali Transition Plan and the National Security Architecture, and encourages the AU Commission to sustain its ongoing support to the Somali National Forces, working very closely with the FGS as it increasingly takes a leading role;

11.    Welcomes the bilateral engagement between Djibouti and Eritrea and calls on the two countries to continue engaging towards finding solutions to the issue of missing soldiers and the border between the two countries, in line with the Resolution 2444 (2018), and as part of the efforts towards the rapid normalization of their relations, in the context of the efforts for peace, security, stability and reconciliation in the Horn of Africa;

12.    Notes the complexity of the political, security and economic dynamics prevailing in the Horn of Africa which demand measured, yet robust partnership and engagement on all tracks in support to the Federal Member States. Council underscores the need for stakeholders to have a common understanding of the regional dynamics and develop a joint, well-coordinated and inclusivity approach on how best regional and international actors could support the ongoing peace and normalization efforts between the countries of the Horn of Africa, while avoiding overlaps and external interference;

13.    Requests, the AU Commission to avail all the tools at its disposal to assist the positive developments in the Horn of Africa, as deemed appropriate. Council calls on international and regional partners to support these efforts to ensure that the positive momentum is sustained;

14.    Further requests the AU Commission to provide quarterly briefings on regional developments in the Horn of Africa;

15.    Decides to remain ceased of the matter.

Posted by Jonathan Doe
Last updated by Abraham Kebede

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