African Union in Headquaters in Ethiopia African Union in Headquaters in Ethiopia 

Ethiopia: UN and AU to fund peacekeeping operations

The United Nations and African Union security organizations hold their annual meeting in Addis Ababa to discuss the financing of peacekeeping operations on the African continent.

By Sr. Titilayo Aduloju, SSMA

Tens of thousands of people lost their lives and the region was devastated due to the two-year war in Tigray, the capital and largest city of Mekelle, Ethiopia.

The situation has also forced many people to escape into Sudan.

Based on this, a six-month state of emergency was declared on 4 August 2023 by the Ethiopian government.

The move came in response to “severe conflict and instabilities in Amhara Region after the Amhara militia Fano and the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) clashed in several locations in the region on 1 August,” according to Reuters news agency.

"It was found necessary to declare a state of emergency as it had become difficult to control this outrageous activity based on the regular legal system," said Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

United Nations and African Union debate on peacekeeping operations

The member nations of the UN Security Council and the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council met on Thursday and Friday for their annual meeting in Addis Ababa at the AU headquarters.

Opening the proceedings, Bankole Adeoye, the AU Peace and Security Commissioner (PSC), urged the participants to "specifically address the central issue of predictable, adequate, flexible, and sustainable funding" of African peacekeeping missions.”

“This issue has been on the UNSC table for over a decade,” Mr. Adeoye added.

The AU, which is reliant on allies like the European Union, has struggled to raise money for its peace operations since the creation of its "African Peace and Security Architecture" in 2002.

African nations are now requesting mandatory contributions from UN member nations to finance them.

Ahead of the meeting, an African Diplomat spoke to AFP news agency, saying the delay was due to divisions within the AU. “A draft resolution has been negotiated since 2018 between the two organizations, but was until recently deadlocked,” he said.

Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, representative of the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to the AU, expressed optimism that the talks in Addis Ababa would "lead to a framework resolution enabling us to dispense with the current ad hoc agreement on the financing of essential peace operations on the continent."

Member nationa at the annual meeting in Addisa Ababa
Member nationa at the annual meeting in Addisa Ababa

Funding of AU-led peace operation to combat threats

Mr. Onanga-Anyanga noted that Mr. Guterres had emphasized the dangers to the peace and security on the continent in his New Agenda for Peace, which was released in July.

This, according to Mr. Gutterres, "required new responses implemented by African partners, with a mandate from the UN Security Council and financed by mandatory contributions,” Mr. Onanga-Anyanga recalled.

"Funding AU-led peace and security operations will strengthen the capacity of both organizations to tackle threats to peace and security on the continent," said Mr. Onanga-Anyanga.

Some members of the UN Security Council also expressed concerns about the kind of operations that would be funded (for example, only peacekeeping or anti-terrorist missions) and the issue of criminal culpability in the event of abuse.

The African Diplomat concluded that “the two councils will also discuss the security situation on the continent, particularly in Sudan, the Sahel, Somalia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo".

Member nationa at the annual meeting in Addisa Ababa
Member nationa at the annual meeting in Addisa Ababa
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African Union and 2063 agenda

The African Union is in charge of formulating policies and carrying them out to ensure that Africa reaches Aspiration 4 of Agenda 2063, which calls for "A peaceful and secure Africa".

The AU works toward that goal by implementing mechanisms that support a dialogue-centered approach to conflict prevention and resolution and by fostering a culture of peace and tolerance in Africa's children and youth through peace education.

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06 October 2023, 15:47