ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, May 7, 2018,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/- The Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU), at its 767th meeting held on 25 April 2018, in Addis Ababa, adopted the following decision on the African Standby Force (ASF):
1. Takes note of the briefing made by the Acting Director of the Peace and Security Department, Dr. Admore Mupoki Kambudzi, on the current status of the African Standby Force (ASF), including additional comments made by the ASF Chief of Staff and Chief Military Adviser to Commissioner Peace and Security, Major-General Trust Mugoba and by the Chief of Plans and Operations Unit of the Peace Support Operations Division, Major-General Francis Okello. Council also takes note of the statements made by representatives of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and the North African Regional Capability (NARC);
2. Recalls the relevant provisions of Articles 12, 13 and 16 of the Protocol Relating to the Establishment of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union. Council also recalls its previous pronouncements and decisions on the ASF, particularly, Press Statement [PSC/PR/BR.(DCLVII)] adopted at its 657th meeting held on 9 February 2017, the discussion at its 677th meeting held on 6 April 2017 and its Communique [PSC/PR/COMM. (DCCV)] adopted at its 705th Meeting held on 25 April 2017, on the status of the African Standby Force and its Rapid Deployment Capability (ASF-RDC) and the African Capacity for the Immediate Response to Crises (ACIRC). Council further recalls Assembly Decision [Assembly/AU/Dec.679(XXX)], which calls on all stakeholders to support the realization of the full operationalization of the ASF, and harmonization of the activities of ACIRC with the Framework of the ASF and enhance cooperation with all ad-hoc coalitions namely, the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) against Boko Haram terrorist group, Group of Five Sahel Joint Force and the Regional Cooperation Initiative against the Lord’s Resistance Army (RCI-LRA), and requested the Commission to submit a plan on the harmonization of ACIRC into ASF, including steps to be taken by the AU and RECs/RMs to coordinate ad-hoc coalitions, within the context of article13 and 16 of the Protocol Relating to the Establishment of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union.
3. Also recalls Assembly Decision [Assembly/AU/Dec.589(XXVI)], in which the Assembly commended the progress made by the East African Standby Force (EASF), the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in operationalizing their respective standby forces and acknowledged the efforts of the North Africa Regional Capability (NARC) towards operationalizing its standby force;
4. Reiterates the need for regular briefings by RECs/RMs on conflict situations in their regions to facilitate the anticipation, prevention and response to conflicts, in line with the provisions of Articles 12 and 16 of the Protocol Relating to the Peace and Security Council of the African Union, in order to ensure joint AU-RECs/RMs strategic and political agreement on the key issues;
5. Commends the Commission and the RECs/RMs for the progress and collaboration in policy development and review, rostering, training and exercises as well as in enhancing mission support capabilities, namely: the Continental Logistics Base (CLB) and the Regional Logistics Depots (RLD), Strategic Lift and Peace Fund. In this regard, Council reiterates that these are continuous processes that are key to the enhancement and sustainability of ASF capabilities;
6. Requests the AU Commission to engage with the RECs/RMs to expedite finalization of the Draft ASF Legal Framework and all other necessary policy documents, which will facilitate harmonized AU-RECs/RMs political decision-making and mandating process for the ASF and AU Peace Support Operations;
7. Also requests the Commission to organize, as soon as possible, a meeting between the Council and the relevant organs of the RECs/RMs, with a view to ensuring a common understanding of the actual status of the operationalization of the ASF and its Rapid Deployment Capability, in line with Assembly Decision 679;
8. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.
Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of African Union Peace and Security Department.