The African Union Commission (AUC) has created space for various partners in the peace and security environment to engage and collaborate on finding ways of dealing with the challenges that confront the continent. A decision to work toward a conflict-free Africa was taken and timelines were set. The Assembly in 2013 set the time frame of 2030 while the current AUC leadership has ambitiously set 2020 as the deadline for Silencing the Guns on the continent. Subsequently the Commission put down plans for achieving the set objectives of the goals and two plans were developed with the first being the African Peace and Security Roadmap (APSA Roadmap) and the second being the Lusaka Master Roadmap for Silencing the Guns (Master Roadmap) that guides the operationalisation of the vision of Silencing the Guns. In view of the aforementioned, the AUC has prioritised its plans, programmes and actions to ensure the realisation of the vision.
The AUC and in response to the call by the Assembly, has invited all stakeholders in the peace and Security environment to collaborate in implementing the Roadmaps. The AUC’s partners in research, training and advocacy have also aligned their action plans, programmes, and activities in support of the efforts at Silencing the Guns. ACCORD and the Training for Peace partners attended a brief workshop on 29th October that looked at what the partnership could do to contribute to this continental effort at Silencing the Guns by 2020. During the deliberations, partners were invited to take a closer look at their 2019 Work Plans and projections to see what they could do to ensure a positive contribution to the Silencing the Guns efforts. Partners were invited to consult closely with their AUC interlocutors so as to achieve a much closer engagement with those activities that squarely address the agenda of Silencing the Guns.
While so much has been done to date, there still remained areas of important focus such as dedicated research governance challenges, negative effects of climate change, environmental degradation, and corruption among people in positions of authority and power. The need for concerted efforts to collaborate were highlighted and partners were invited to be guided by the need to enhance the effectiveness of Peace Support Operations (PSOs), regional missions, and liaison offices; supporting the full operational capability of the African Standby Force; increasing and strengthening the role of women in African Peace and security efforts; investing in the capacity of youth; further strengthening the prevention and mediation capacity of African institutions; improving the linkages between peace, security and governance; increasing investment in stabilisation and Post Conflict Resolution and Development strategies and programmes including disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) and security sector reform (SSR); improving knowledge and strategies for preventing and countering violent extremism and leveraging on strategic partnerships.
Participation in activities that focus on peace and security, is in line with ACCORD/TfP Programme’s strategic goal of supporting efforts at strengthening the AUC, Regional Economic Communities/Regional Mechanisms and member states’ capability to prevent conflict or plan, manage, implement and liquidate PSOs on the continent through the enhancement of operational capacities of the ASF. This initiative also seeks to contribute to improved sustainable capacity for the conduct of peace operations on the continent through ensuring effective peacekeeper knowledge, behaviour, positive conduct and discipline, planning, management and execution of mission tasks that improve the overall operational capability and functioning of organisational systems in the UN/AU/RECs/RMs, member states and mission structures.
The Training for Peace Programme at ACCORD is an initiative funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.