The attainment of Peace and Security has been singled as a prerequisite for the attainment of Africa’s aspiration for integration, sustainable development and prosperity. To this end, when the Organisation of the African Unity was transformed into the African Union (AU) in 2002, it lay the foundation for the establishment of the AU’Peace and Security Council, pursuant to Article 5(2) of theConstitutive Act, as a standing decision-making organ for the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts. This collective security and early-warning is meant to facilitate timely and efficient response to conflict and crisis situations in Africa. For the protocol establishing the peace and security council see, http://www.africa-union.org/root/au/organs/psc/Protocol_peace%20and%20security.pdf
The AU PSC is supported by a range of tools, whose core components include the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC) as the central pillar; the Commission; the African Standby Force (ASF); the Panel of the Wise; the Special Peace Fund as well as the Continental Early Warning System (CEWS). Together these tools form the African Peace and Security Architecture, that is aimed at detecting tensions and conflicts, preventing, managing, resolving conflict as well as assisting countries emerging from crisis reconstruct and develop. This architecture is implemented in collaboration with the Regional Economic Communities (RECS).
The PSC, conceived as the premier decision making body on issues of peace and security is comprised of 15 member states that provide leadership in this significant areas of the AU’s work. Kenya is a currently a Member of the PSC.
In the Horn of Africa sub-region, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) works closely with the AU in maintaining peace and security in the sub-region. Since its transformation from Intergovernmental Authority on Drought and Desertification (IGADD) to the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in 1997, the organization has focused on achieving Peace and Security as its main agenda. Recently, in October 2011, IGAD transformed its anti-terrorism program – the IGAD Capacity Program against Terrorism (ICPAT), to the IGAD Security Sector Program (ISSP). The ISSP outlines and integrates a wide range of initiatives around four mutually reinforcing result areas of; counter terrorism, organized crime; maritime security and security institutions capacity building. The IGAD Conflict Early Warning and Preventing Mechanism (CEWARN) on the other hand seeks an expanded mandate to conduct early warning with respect to all types of conflicts in addition to the traditional preoccupation on cross-border pastoralist menace.
At the bilateral realm, Kenya and Ethiopia, signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Defence and security matters in May 2011. The MOU aims at improving coordination in combating common regional security challenges.
Kenya’s engagement in both the bilateral and multilateral Peace and Security initiatives is guided by the need toprotect her sovereignty and territorial integrity as well as the need to enhance regional peace and security. Kenya believes that her prosperity is inextricably linked to peace and stability in the Horn of Africa sub-region. In this regard, Kenya has identified peace diplomacy as a a key pillar of its foreign policy. Over time it has, and continues to be, engaged and remains fully committed to the search of peace and stability in the region. Kenya was a significant player in the negotiations that produced the landmark Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the Sudan and South Sudan, ending Africa’s longest civil war. It remains the chair of the IGAD Sub-Committee on the Sudan. It has also been instrumental in the search for peace in the Somalia, chaperoning the process that produced the Somalia Transitional Federal Government in 2005. Kenya therefore believes in the pursuit of peace within its borders, with its neighbors and the rest of the continent, while adhering to the principals of multilateralism as espoused by the Constitutive Act of the AU and the Charter of the United Nations.
Role of the Mission
The Mission pursues these goals both at the bilateral and multilateral arenas. In the multilateral arena, these Peace and Security mandates are pursued through the engagement with IGAD, the AU and bilaterally with the Government of Ethiopia.
In this regard, the Mission participates and supports the work of the core components of APSA. Specifically, Kenya is a member of the PSC , the central pillar of APSA and therefore the Mission fully participates in all aspects of this Council. In October 2010, Kenya Chaired the PSC and is scheduled to Chair the Council again in January 2012. Kenya is also a member of the AU Ministerial Committee on Post Conflict Reconstruction of the Sudan.
The Mission maintains liaison and build strong relations through formal and informal contacts with a wide-range of actors, parties to conflict, members of the AU – PSC, other AU Member States, the media, and regional organizations with respect to relevant Peace Processes undertaken by IGAD and the AU. In so doing, the Mission maintains preparedness for the planning of start-up activities for and implementation of new Early Warning, Mediation, Conciliation and peace building initiatives and processes.
- In the African Union, the Mission follows up on the development and implementation of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) which constitutes the framework for crisis management, conflict resolution and prevention on the African continent.
- Similarly, the Mission collaborates with IGAD’s Peace and Security Programs including, ICPAT, CEWARN, IGAD Facilitation Office and the Department of Peace and Security at the IGAD Secretariat in Djibouti.
- In addition, the Mission collaborates with the Government of Ethiopia in addressing the cross-border challenges including cattle rustling, migration, drug trafficking, human trafficking and other security related issues.