By Victoria Ojeme
Nigeria has assumed a one-month rotational chairmanship of the African Union Peace and Security Council (AU-PSC) for April, 2018.
Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to AU, Ambassador Bankole Adeoye, took over from Ambassador Zackariaou Maiga, the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Niger, who was the council’s chair for March, 2018.
The AU peace and security council, under the Nigeria’s chairmanship, will focus on the addressing the threats posed by nuclear weapons and the imperative of preventing terrorists from accessing them, according to a statement from the Nigeria’s Permanent Mission to AU in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
“Importantly, the PSC will consider the nexus between corruption & conflict resolution and the imperative of promoting good economic policies in the context of Nigeria’s Championing of the 2018 AU annual theme on anti-corruption under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Furthermore, the PSC will explore strategies towards ‘Saving the Lake Chad’ by enhancing environmental sustainability & human security in West & Central Africa and undertake a prospective analysis of Africa’s peace and security landscape by 2023.
“Similarly, it will engage on fashioning a comprehensive approach towards the prevention of the ideology of hate, genocide and hate crimes on the continent,” the statement said.
The council would also consider the need for effective take-off of the au humanitarian agency (AUHA), and ameliorating the impact of terrorism and armed conflict on Africa’s social fabric, it added.
The Peace and Security Council is the standing decision-making organ of the African Union, which is patterned along the United Nations Security Council to enforce AU decisions, particularly in matters relating to the maintenance of regional and continental peace and security.
It is indeed a key element of the African Union Peace and Security Architecture (APSA).
Members of the Council are elected by the Assembly of the African Union so as to reflect regional balance within Africa, as well as a variety of other criteria, including capacity to contribute militarily and financially to the Union.
The Council is composed of fifteen (15) countries, of which five are elected to three-year terms, and ten to two-year terms.
The current members of the council are; Angola, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Liberia, Morocco, and Rwanda
Others are; Sierra Leone, Togo, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Egypt, Kenya, Zambia, and Republic of Congo.