Magazine article New African

Coming Soon, African Security Council; at Last, the African Union Is Going Ahead with Its Own Security Council

Magazine article New African

Coming Soon, African Security Council; at Last, the African Union Is Going Ahead with Its Own Security Council

Article excerpt

African leaders have approved a plan to create a super peace and security council, bringing together experiences drawn from the UN with specific attention on limiting the number of conflicts on the continent. According to working documents exclusively obtained from the African Union (AU) Secretariat in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the plans for the expanded African Peace and Security Council are on course.

The elaborate blueprint borrows ideas from the Arab League, the UN Security Council, and the South American group of nations. Jean Ping, the AU Commission chairman, says the security council for Africa would facilitate the flow of funds and experience, in addition to easing the communication gaps which hamper continental action on persistent security threats.

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Ping, a former UN civil servant who rose to become deputy prime minister and foreign minister of his native Gabon, says Africa requires the cooperation of the UN and the Arab League to bring conflicts on the continent under complete check.

"We have a problem in Sudan and Somalia. These countries are members of the Arab League and we think the joint peace and Security Council of our regions would assist us in trying to find the political solutions to the problems in those countries," Ping said.

African ambassadors accredited to AU are currently putting final touches to the grand peace body, modelled on the operating mechanisms of the UN Security Council. Talks on the formation of the joint peace council with the Arab League have reached an advanced stage in a fresh approach to integrated conflict management system.

"We need to activate the Arab-Africa relations because African countries form about 70% of the entire population of the Arab world. African states are powerful, by forming the joint security council, we can cool the tempers," Ping said at the AU Summit in Egypt. Africa has proposed to adopt a standardised peacekeeping operations strategy, similar to those applied by the UN Security Council. AU peace experts are still examining the details of such a strategy.

Confidential documents obtained during the AU summit show that African ambassadors have been holding a series of meetings since January this year to discuss the joint security council merger. …

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