Rwanda yesterday officially joined the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC), the standing organ of the African Union (AU) in charge of prevention, management and resolution of conflicts.
It joins the Council alongside seven other members; Botswana, Congo, Egypt, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Togo and Zambia replacing Ethiopia, Equatorial Guinea, Gambia, Guinea, Libya, Mozambique, Namibia and Tanzania.
Other members are Algeria, Burundi, Chad, Niger, Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda.
“We bring experience on peace and security matters, especially with our recent membership on the UN Security Council (UNSC), particulay with regard to conflict prevention. But, most importantly, the protection of civilians in conflict situations,” said Hope Tumukunde, Rwanda’s Ambassador to Ethiopia.
Tumukunde, who is also Rwanda’s Permanent Representative to the African Union, explained that they will share contextual and hands-on ideas and proposals to address peace and security issues on the continent by introducing approaches and topics that are citizen-centered in addressing peace and security problems.
The envoy, who spoke to The New Times shortly after attending Rwanda’s first session as a member of the PSC, explained: “Joining the Peace and Security Council gives Rwanda a better position and an opportunity to be able to contribute to addressing Peace and Security challenges on the continent, most notably tackling root causes of conflicts to ensure a continent free of conflicts”.
It’s not the first time Rwanda gets a seat on the AU Peace and Security Council. It was last on the Council between 2010 and 2012.
The process of serving on different councils and committees in the AU system is normally guided by the principle of rotation of member states.
Each member state has both a right and an obligation to serve or to be given an opportunity to serve in any capacity, including being a member of the Peace and Security Council.
The PSC has 15 members, all elected by the AU Executive Council and endorsed by the Assembly at its next session.