African conflicts under the AU/UN microscope

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Eight countries and two African regions were under scrutiny when the United Nations (UN)/African Union (AU) Joint Task Force (JTF) on peace and security met for the 23rd time in New York last week.

An AU communique has it the meeting reviewed the partnership’s status with an update on implementation of a joint AU/UN framework for enhanced partnership on peace and security.

On the agenda were the Central African Republic (CAR), Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Libya, Mozambique, Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan, as well as West Africa and the Sahel region.

The meeting highlighted challenges in West Africa and the Sahel countries, including the “persistent threat of terrorism” and the need for the international community to strengthen support to avoid spill-over to other countries. The meeting discussed revitalisation of the Joint Sahel Assessment on Security, Governance, and Development emphasising the importance of streamlining security, humanitarian and development requirements in initiatives by the international community in the region.

On the CAR the JTF commended progress in advancing the peace process and welcomed the Central African Government’s continued ownership and commitment to pursue implementation of an agreement for peace and reconciliation and a roadmap for peace. Gains, the JTF noted, remain fragile.

Regarding the DRC, the JTF expressed serious concerns over continuing deterioration of the security situation in the eastern DRC and urged all armed groups to lay down weapons and disarm unconditionally. It welcomed deployment of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Mission in the DRC (SAMIDRC) and the 4 March endorsement of the regional force by the AU Peace and Security Council.

On Libya, the JTF expressed concern over the stalled political process and highlighted the importance of UN/AU co-operation in support of Libyan efforts to lead the country towards elections.

The JTF welcomed progress in implementation of the cessation of hostilities agreement in Ethiopia highlighting the importance of inclusive dialogue to address insecurity.

Regarding Somalia, the meeting noted co-operation between the AU and the UN in Somalia remains strong toward ensuring Somalia is better supported to advance its key national priorities, including the ongoing security transition. Echoing Security Council Resolution 2724 (2024), the JTF called on warring parties in Sudan to ensure an immediate cessation of hostilities and take “genuine and concrete steps” toward a sustainable resolution of conflict through dialogue.

Regarding South Sudan, the meeting exchanged on UN and AU respective discussions with South Sudanese stakeholders on the state of the transition and the progress towards holding first elections since the independence of South Sudan, scheduled for this year.