The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 502nd meeting held on 29 April 2015, adopted the following decision on the structural prevention of conflict in Africa: 


  1. Takes note of the report of the Chairperson of the Commission on the follow-up to communiqué PSC/PR/2.(CDLXIII) on structural conflict prevention adopted by Council at its 463rd meeting held on 27 October 2014;


2. Recalls that one of the main objectives of the Protocol Relating to the Establishment of the Peace and Security Council is the anticipation and prevention of conflicts. Council further recalls its earlier communiqués and press statements relating to conflict prevention, in particular communiqué PSC/PR/COMM.(CCCLX) on “The Full Use of All Available Tools in Preventive Diplomacy”, adopted at its 360th meeting held on 22 March 2013, press statement PSC/PR/BR.(CDXXX) on “Silencing the Guns: Pre-requisites for Realizing a Conflict-Free Africa by the Year 2020”, adopted at its 430th meeting held on 24 April 2014, and communiqué PSC/PR/COMM.(CDLXIII);

3. Reaffirms its commitment to make full use of the powers entrusted to it, under the relevant provisions of the Protocol Relating to the Establishment of the Peace and Security Council, in the area of conflict prevention and preventive diplomacy, as well as to ensure the effective implementation of its decisions on the matter, including through the strengthening of linkages between early warning and early response, periodic review, at least once every six months, of the state of peace and security on the continent, using horizon scanning approaches, and regular briefings on electoral processes in Africa, as spelt out in communiqué PSC/PR/COMM.(CCCLX);

4. Reiterates its conviction that situations of marginalization, abuse of human rights, refusal to accept electoral defeat, manipulation of constitutions, mismanagement and unequal distribution of resources, lack of socio-economic opportunities and unemployment, as well as corruption, among other factors, are potent triggers of violent conflicts in Africa. Accordingly, Council stresses the imperative of good governance through the strengthening of democratic culture and institutions, respect for human rights, upholding of the rule of law, as well as of socio-economic development, as means for preventing conflicts and fostering peace and stability on the continent;

5. Underlines the need for a comprehensive and holistic approach to conflict prevention, which comprises both direct or operational measures before large-scale violence occurs and a strategic focus on the structural causes of conflict. In this respect, Council reiterates that building strong, responsive and accountable state institutions at the local and national levels that deliver essential services, as well as ensuring inclusive political processes and economic empowerment and opportunities, rule of law and public security, are key to preventing conflicts and consolidating peace-building gains;

6. Urges Member States to make renewed efforts towards the effective implementation of the instruments adopted by the AU on human and people’s rights, governance, elections and democracy, respect for diversity and minority rights and youth, as well as management of natural resources, noting that these instruments represent a consolidated framework of norms and principles, whose scrupulous observance and domestication would greatly contribute to the structural prevention of conflicts and the consolidation of peace where it has been achieved. Council reiterates its appeal to all Member States that have not yet done so to speedily sign and ratify the relevant AU instruments, including the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance;

7. Commends the Commission for the elaboration of a Continental Structural Conflict Prevention Framework (CSCPF), as a tool to facilitate a Commission-wide and coordinated approach to structural prevention, as well as for the development of tools on Country Structural Vulnerability Assessment (CSVA), with a view to facilitating the identification, at an early stage, of a country’s structural vulnerability to conflict, and on Country Structural Vulnerability Mitigation Strategy (CSVMS);

8. Encourages Member States to fully take advantage of the CSVA and CSVMS tools in their efforts towards the structural prevention of conflict and consolidation of peace and stability. Council requests the Commission, in collaboration with the Regional Economic Communities, to avail all the necessary assistance to Member States in this respect and to popularize these tools, as well as to develop the relevant implementation modalities;

9. Commends the Commission for the provision of technical assistance to Member States in the establishment and operationalization of national early warning mechanisms, including Situation Rooms, to support conflict prevention efforts at the local and national levels. Council encourages the Commission to extend similar assistance to other Member States seeking support;

10. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

Posted by Tchioffo Kodjo

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Early warning / Conflict prevention