Kigali hosts AU Peace and Security Council retreat

The Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union yesterday began its tenth retreat in Kigali. The Council chose to hold the retreat in Rwanda because of the commitment of Rwandan government towards peace and security support programmes of the AU, according to the Chairman of the PSC, Mull Sebujja Katende.
Foreign Affairs minister Louise Mushikiwabo speaks during the meeting in Kigali. (Photos by T. Kisambira)
Foreign Affairs minister Louise Mushikiwabo speaks during the meeting in Kigali. (Photos by T. Kisambira)

The Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union yesterday began its tenth retreat in Kigali.

The Council chose to hold the retreat in Rwanda because of the commitment of Rwandan government towards peace and security support programmes of the AU, according to the Chairman of the PSC, Mull Sebujja Katende.

 

“The retreat will be focusing on three issues. We will be reviewing our methods of work as PSC of the African Union and look at those ways of making the council deliver better and even more,” said Katende, also Uganda's Ambassador to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the AU.

 

He noted that with experience of over 13 years as a council; they have tested many of their methods of work, some of which have been challenged by things they didn’t know would come into play.

 

 “So, it is only normal that we should sit and look at how better we can deliver the mandate of the council,” he added.

He said the retreat will also be looking at the founding mechanism of the whole programme of peace and security, including funding.

“And here I must add that there is a resolve by our Heads of State and governments to meet much of the responsibilities of peace and security. So, we’ll be looking at how we can make the peace found more responsive to the mandate we are charged with,” Ambassador Katende explained.

Throughout the month of May under Uganda’s chairmanship all 15 members of the PSC will be looking at all matters of peace and security that affect the continent such as in Somalia, South Sudan, Mali, Burundi, DR Congo, according to Katende.

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Participants follow proceedings during the meeting.

Rwanda’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Louise Mushikiwabo who presided over the opening of the retreat said she approached the meeting with a sense of optimism.

“I say so because in the last couple of years, certainly in the last year we see a lot of positive expectation from different corners of our continent. We see a number of leaders coming together wanting to know how to improve the way we do business, and how we improve the overall well being of our continent,” she said.

“I see many young people on this continent, all corners of this continent looking to the AU to bring more relevance to their lives and to be the symbol of everything good that this continent represents.”

Applauding the council’s ambition and drive to improve the state of the African continent, the minister also noted that she understood the challenges of implementing the retreat outcomes though there is no reason why they should not overcome them.

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Guests pose for a group photo after the opening remarks.

In January last year Rwanda was elected to the African Union Peace and Security Council (PSC) as a member, for a period of two years. The PSC is the AU’s standing decision-making body responsible for the maintenance of continental peace and security.

All the fifteen members are elected by the AU Executive Council on regional basis with three countries from Central Africa; three from Eastern Africa; two from North Africa; three from Southern Africa; and four from West Africa.

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