African Defense Ministers, Security Officials to Discuss Continental Peace

African ministers of defense, army chiefs of staff and heads of safety and security are set to convene a high-level continental meeting in Cairo on Thursday (Dec.19) to discuss continental peace and security issues, the African Union Commission (AUC) said.

The meeting will be held as part of the upcoming 12th Ordinary Meeting of the Specialized Technical Committee on Defense, Safety and Security (STCDSS), slated for Dec. 19, the AUC said.

The meeting is expected to “consider and reflect on matters of peace and security with a view to providing policy directives, including on the development of the African Standby Force (ASF) and its Rapid Deployment Capability”, the pan-African bloc said.

Participants in the meeting will focus on the successful implementation of the African Standby Force and its Rapid Deployment Capability by the 55 AU members, regional economic communities as well as Regional Mechanisms for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution.

Debates will also cover the ASF Doctrine on Peace Support Operations, AU Border Governance Strategy, illicit proliferation of small arms and light weapons, combating terrorism, among others.

Participants will be updated on the African Union Compliance and Accountability Framework on International Humanitarian Law; Human Rights; and implementation of the AU Policy on Conduct and Discipline for Peace Support Operations. Updates will also be provided on the AU Policy on Prevention and Response to Sexual Exploitation and Abuse for Peace Support Operations, as adopted by the AU Peace and Security Council during its 813rd meeting held on 29 November 2018.

The deliberations are expected to come out with tangible proposals on advancement of peace and security in the Continent, including on implementation of the year 2020 theme: “Silencing the guns: creating conducive conditions for Africa’s development.”

The meeting is preceded by the 15th Ordinary Meeting of African Chiefs of Defense Staff (ACDS), and Heads of Safety and Security. A meeting of experts was held Dec. 15 to 17.

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