Published Monday , on 13 January 2020, 14:50:49 by Christophe Hitayezu

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OPINION

The African Union Peace and Security Council (PSC) officially launched in May 2004, which is a collective security and early-warning arrangement to facilitate timely and efficient response to conflict and crisis situations in Africa, possess a wide range of prerogatives in conflict management on the continent, based on the provisions of its protocol of creation and those of the Constitutive Act of the Union

Thus, the functions and powers of the Peace and Security Council is to promote peace, security and stability in Africa, which means that the Council must seek to develop a culture of peace for citizens of all African states.

In almost eight years and two terms at the head of the African Union’s Peace and Security Council, which expire this year, the algerian diplomat Ismael Chergui, who has headed this department since 2013, has failed to advance the peace process on the Continent.

The continent continues to face serious challenges in the area of peace and security. Indeed, Africa remains confronted with the persistence of conflicts, insecurity and instability in different regions of the continent, with the resulting humanitarian and socio-economic consequences.

In the Central African Republic, despite the intervention and mediation of the PSC, nothing concrete and no visible progress has been achieved in the country. The humanitarian situation remains dire, with more than a million people internally displaced or fleeing to neighboring countries and 2.5 million people in need of assistance, according to the UN.

In South Sudan, the PSC has unfortunately failed to act decisively to help the parties concerned to maintain the commitment of regional leaders, to seek consensus for a more general settlement which allows for a more equitable sharing of power between groups and regions of South Sudan.

The progress made, under the dual mandate of Mr. Chergui, in terms of conflict resolution remains particularly poor, likely to be called into question at any time, whether in Mali, Somalia, Darfur, or in relations between Sudan and South Sudan.
The outcome of the action of the AU Peace and Security Commission was deemed negative.

The Commissioner for PSC was also implicated in an internal inquiry into sexual harassment, gender discrimination, corruption and abuse of power.

Also, an article in the South African weekly Mail & Guardian, published in May 2019, revealed the existence of an internal memo, signed by 37 women working for the Pan-African organization, denouncing the existence of a real “Professional apartheid”, mainly within the Peace and Security Council, which Smaïl Chergui has led since 2013.

According to this article, the inquiry was led by Bineta Diop, the AU’s special envoy on women, peace and security.