The AU must resume its leadership role; taking a back seat to SADC is a recipe for inaction
The fight between the Congolese government and the political opposition over who is right and wrong continues to drive the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s (DRC) electoral crisis, now entering its third year. This has been an important aspect of the battle to win the support of international, regional and continental forces – and has contributed to drawing the crisis out.
Disaggregating disease prevalence by gender can go a long way in addressing the continent’s health problems.
Africa has the highest prevalence of communicable diseases in the world – both in terms of mortality (death) and morbidity (illness). This phenomenon has consequences for the health of both women and men, and increased gender mainstreaming in health programmes can help tailor solutions.
Elections held in Africa in 2017 show that international election observers need to up their game if they are to remain relevant in improving the quality of elections and building public confidence in electoral processes.
In this issue
On the Agenda
The 30th AU summit will be an opportunity to start implementing AU reforms.
Ten new members of the PSC will be elected at the summit.
Clarifying the relationship between the AU and RECs is on the reform agenda.
Parliamentary elections are on the cards for Guinea- Bissau in 2018.
An analysis of the work of the PSC this year shows fewer meetings were held on crisis situations.
Guinea-Bissau is set to hold parliamentary elections in 2018, but if the current political stalemate is not resolved this is likely to further divide the political actors and create conditions in which the results could be contested. Instead, follow-up consultations within the Conakry process should be held to implement reforms and agreement should be reached on an electoral calendar.
IGAD’s initiative is encouraging, but it’s unlikely to overcome obstacles that have bedevilled previous efforts.
08 DEC 2017 / BY MERESSA K DESSU
Images of a slave auction led to urgent meetings and an emergency plan during the recent Africa-Europe summit.
07 DEC 2017 / BY PETER FABRICIUS
The warning bells had been sounding for months. In April this year, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) warned that its staff in Niger and Libya had ‘documented shocking events on North African migrant routes, which they have described as “slave markets”’.
In this issue
On the Agenda
Donald Trump’s insistence on reducing US aid to peacekeeping missions will affect US-Africa relations.
Should the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic be allowed to attend crucial AU partnership summits?
In its worst political crisis in over a decade, is a divided Kenya the answer?
After placing Burundi at the top of its agenda in 2015 and 2016, so far this year the PSC has failed to address the situation in the country.
Despite its failings, MINUSCA is the only semblance of governance and security in CAR.
30 NOV 2017 / BY SIMON ALLISON
Batangafo is a small, nondescript town of about 20 000 people in north-west Central African Republic (CAR). It’s only a few hundred kilometres away from the capital Bangui, but the perilous roads and the danger posed by the armed groups that patrol them mean the town is almost entirely cut off from the rest of the country.
If Africa wants to ‘silence the guns’, its leaders must take a closer look at locally manufactured weapons.
The trafficking and illicit circulation of small arms and light weapons are often discussed in the context of fuelling instability and insecurity in West Africa. Rarely, however, is the issue of locally manufactured weapons given appropriate attention in these conversations.
To avoid further political conflict, broad agreement is needed on the best possible conditions for elections.
BY BABA DAKONO
Mali is entering an electoral cycle comprising local and regional elections on 17 December and presidential and legislative elections in 2018.
Could Somalia’s biggest terror attack in history see a turnaround in combating al-Shabaab?
10 NOV 2017 / BY OMAR S MAHMOOD AND GUSTAVO DE CARVALHO
The attack in central Mogadishu on 14 October that killed more than 350 people has not drawn much attention from traditional or social media. Despite being the largest terror attack in Somali history, the now-common supportive hashtags disseminated globally after such deadly incidents – such as #PrayforMogadishu – are still not trending.
Over the past year the situation in Burundi, following the election-related crisis in 2015, has been shifted to the backburner by the Peace and Security Council (PSC). In October, Burundi had been included on the agenda of the PSC while it was chaired, paradoxically, by Burundi. The meeting never took place. Meanwhile, the situation in the country has become a bone of contention between African Union (AU) member states and non-African states in both Brussels and Geneva.
Amid the turmoil of repeat elections, the country is on high alert for al-Shabaab terror attacks.
BY IRENE NDUNG’U
The current political climate in Kenya has created a complex security challenge for government, stretching the resources of security agencies to the limit as they battle both internal and external threats.
Schools will only function properly when Mali’s government restores stability and security.
17 OCT 2017 / BY NADIA ADAM , EKATERINA GOLOVKO AND BOUBACAR SANGARÉ
As has been the case annually since the crisis in Mali erupted in 2012, the start of the school year on 9 October was ineffective countrywide. Hundreds of schools remained closed in the north and centre of the country because of rampant insecurity.
The African Union (AU) is making a renewed effort to help the Central African Republic (CAR) to its feet after having withdrawn from the country in 2014 and handed operations over to the United Nations (UN). The Peace and Security Council (PSC) is meeting on 16 October 2017 to discuss the implementation of the new AU Roadmap for the CAR. Ongoing violence, however, is hindering the various attempts at achieving a ceasefire and protecting CAR civilians.
The AU’s amnesty can only work if African governments implement existing arms regulations.
BY NELSON ALUSALA
Last month the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC) kicked off its amnesty period for the surrender of illegally owned arms. The annual month-long initiative, to be observed every September, is part of the AU’s effort to implement its road map on practical steps to ‘silence the guns in Africa by 2020’.
On 12 July 2017 the Peace and Security Council (PSC) renewed the mandate of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) for another year – with a number of critical changes. The PSC is also set to receive a briefing on AMISOM on Tuesday 3 October. The new mandate of the largest Africa-led peace-support operation is less about fighting al-Shabaab and more about supporting the Federal Government of Somalia to establish a functioning and effective security sector architecture. This comes as the AU is considering a gradual exit from Somalia.
Last month the Peace and Security Council (PSC) held another in a series of meetings on the effects of drought on the state of peace and security in Africa. As mitigating the effects of climate change increasingly features on the international agenda, the PSC is still trying to find entry points to position itself on this critical issue.
Over the last two years the PSC has met four times on climate change’s impact on the stability of the continent.