8th Meeting of the Joint Coordination Committee of the African Peace Facility

By African Union Commission (AUC)
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8th Meeting of the Joint Coordination Committee of the African Peace Facility

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, November 30, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The 8th meeting of the African Peace Facility (APF) Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 28 November 2012, under the co-chairmanship of the Director of the Peace and Security Department of the Commission of the African Union (AU), ElGhassim Wane, the Director for Sub-Saharan Africa and ACP Horizontal Matters, Mrs Francesca Mosca, representative of the European Commission (EC), and Mr. Gary Quince, Ambassador of the European Union (EU) to the AU, representative of the European External Action Service (EEAS).

The meeting brought together representatives of the AU Commission and the EEAS, as well as the representatives of the following Regional Economic Communities (RECs)/ Regional Mechanisms for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution (RMs): Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA), East African Community (EAC), Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), the Eastern Africa Standby Force Coordinating Mechanism (EASFCOM) and the North Africa Regional Capability (NARC).

Representatives of the EU Delegation to the AU, as well as individual EU Member States, also attended the meeting.

The meeting received an update on the status of implementation of the APF supported programmes for capacity building, including the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) Support Programme, the Joint Financing Arrangement (JFA) for Salaries, the JFA for the AU Liaison Offices and the EU Support to African Training Centres. It was noted that there has been continuity in financing APSA programmes, which has led to strengthened cooperation between the AU, RECs/RMs and the EU. The EU called for sustainability and the need to continuously enhance the effectiveness of all the capacity-building programmes.

The meeting further received an update on the APF state of play of current resources allocations. The meeting was given a breakdown of the allocations of funds for each of the activities being funded under the APF in the 10th European Development Fund (EDF). The total amount of APF funds available under the current EDF until 2014 (after the Euro 100 million replenishment earmarked for Africa-led Peace Support Operations (PSOs) will be Euro 184 million, of which Euro 122.8 million are earmarked for Peace Support Operations, Euro 34.8 million for capacity building, Euro 2 million for the Early Response Mechanism (ERM), Euro 6.6 million for Audit, Evaluation and Technical Assistance, and Euro 17.8 million for Contingencies. The meeting noted the funding constraints and the need to optimize the use of the limited available resources. The EU stressed the need to identify alternative sources of funding, effectively utilize the funds available and ensure that the objectives set for each of the activities are met within the given timeframe.

The meeting received a briefing on the ongoing PSOs funded under the APF, namely the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the ECCAS Mission in Central African Republic (MICOPAX). The meeting welcomed the progress made by AMISOM in Somalia throughout the country. It was observed that, given the actual increase of troops on the ground to the mandated level of 17,731, as per United Nations Security Council Resolution 2036(2012), efforts should be made to mobilize additional sources of funding, including from other AU partners and the UN, to ensure sustainability. There is also need to secure funding for the non-military components of AMISOM, i.e. police and civilian components, in light of the changing situation on the ground, taking into account the need to enhance the Somali security sector. The AU further indicated that it was conducting a review of AMISOM to be finalized by mid-February 2013, and which will inform the future of AMISOM operations from March 2013. At the same time, the UN is also conducting a review of its operations and activities in Somalia, with the view of determining its future role.

On MICOPAX, the meeting acknowledged the important role that the operation has played in bringing peace and stability in the CAR. The EU and the AU commended the joint evaluation mission of the operation undertaken in September in 2012, as a constructive contribution to the partnership. It was, however, agreed that an exit strategy should be implemented, so as to prepare for the closing down of MICOPAX operations and the taking over by the CAR authorities. A joint AU–EU mission will be conducted in spring 2013 to review the progress of the exit plan.

The meeting exchanged views on the ERM, and noted the important initiatives that have been financed under this Mechanism. It was acknowledged that this innovative feature of the APF has proved to be effective in providing immediate support to specific urgent activities, first stages of mediation activities, fact-finding missions and ad-hoc reinforcement of PSOs planning cells. The meeting insisted on the short-term nature of this Mechanism to be used for emergency needs, bearing in mind that there are other instruments that can be used beyond the first phase of six months. It was, however, noted that there is need to further explain the eligibility and modalities criteria, in order to facilitate access to, and use of, the ERM. It was agreed that a time slot should be dedicated to this specific issue in the upcoming APSA Steering Committee meeting to be held in Djibouti from 10 – 11 December 2012.

On AMANI Africa II, the meeting noted the progress being made by the Joint Planning Team of AU-EU in respect of the planning and training activities leading to the final exercise by 2014. The meeting noted the successful conduct of Exercise NJIWA, which was aimed at strengthening the civilian and police capacities of the ASF. The AU and the EU agreed to expedite the acquisition of the required capabilities for AMANI II.

The meeting had an exchange of views on priorities for 2013 and beyond, based on funding available, both for on-going and potential peace support operations and operationalization of APSA at the continental and regional levels, as well as the ERM, JFA Salaries and AU Liaison Offices.

The EU made a presentation of the programming of the 11th EDF and its bridging measures. In order to have the APF three-year action programme ready and agreed to by the end of 2013, the meeting was informed that it was necessary to start preparatory work in March 2013. The current on-going APF evaluation will feed into the 11th EDF programming, and a seminar with all stakeholders (EU, AU, and RECs/RMs) will be organized in the week of 28 February – 1 March 2013. The outcome of the seminar will help in preparing the concept note to be used to draft the APF three-year action programme in June – July 2013. The APF three-year action programme will be discussed and consolidated in a working session with all partners in September 2013, for adoption by the end of 2013.

The AU and the RECs/RMs expressed deep appreciation for the support that the EU is providing to the promotion of peace and security in Africa.