Many points of convergence on South Sudan, the Lake Chad Basin and Somalia had emerged during the Security Council’s eleventh joint consultative meeting with the African Union Peace and Security Council in Addis Ababa from 5 to 9 September, Ethiopia’s representative said as he briefed members today.
Speaking in his national capacity, Council President Tekeda Alemu said the purpose of the Council mission to Addis Ababa, location of the African Union’s headquarters, had been to strengthen the partnership and enhance the cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union in the areas of peace and security, within the framework of Chapter VIII of the United Nations Charter.
He recalled that during the formal meeting on 8 September, both sides had expressed concern about the ongoing violence and suffering in South Sudan. They had urged the parties to that conflict to respect the ceasefire and implement the 2015 peace agreement. They had commended the leading role played by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and expressed support for its latest initiative to revitalize the peace agreement. The two Councils had emphasized that there was no military solution to the conflict in South Sudan, he said, adding that they had also called upon the parties to commit to dialogue and for the urgent deployment of the Regional Protection Force.
Concerning the Lake Chad Basin, he said the two Councils had expressed the need to address the underlying causes of conflict there, including challenges arising from climate change and underdevelopment. They had also recognized the regional dimension of security threats, called for an integrated approach in addressing them, and commended the progress made by the Multinational Joint Task Force in fighting the Boko Haram terrorist group.
Turning to Somalia, he said the two Councils had recognized the key role played by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) in degrading the capability of the Al-Shabaab terrorist group, underlined the importance of supporting the Somali National Army’s capacity to take over from AMISOM, and called for concerted efforts to address the country’s fragile situation and bring about a lasting solution.
He went on to state that informal meetings on 7 September had provided an opportunity for the two Councils to exchange views on matters relating to African peace and security. Conducted in a frank manner, the meetings had enabled Council members to better understand the African Union’s position on several important issues, including funding of the regional organization’s peace support operations. In that regard, he said, the African Union side had expressed deep disappointment with what it considered a huge burden-sharing deficit relating to peacekeeping operations, with short shrift being given to the sacrifices made by the African side.
During its stay in Addis Ababa, the Council mission had also held extremely useful meetings with the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, as well as senior officials of the African Union Commission, he said. Regarding an outcome document, he noted that expert-level negotiations on a joint communiqué were under way and hopefully would be finalized as soon as possible.
The meeting began at 10:04 a.m. and ended at 10:15 a.m.