ADDIS ABABA, Dec. 7-- About 18 elections will be held on the African continent in 2018, according to the African Union (AU).
Speaking at the opening of the 11th UN-AU Consultative Meeting on the Prevention, Management and Resolution of Conflicts (Desk-To-Desk) on Thursday, the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, Smail Chergui, stated that the pan-African bloc would closely monitor those elections scheduled for next year.
"It is expected that the majority of these elections will remain peaceful, but elections have become a moment of vulnerability," said the commissioner.
"From past experience, disputes over the voter registration, composition and membership of election management bodies, complaints about the lack of adequate consultations on impending election timelines, debates around issues of succession and term limits, as well as the rejection of electoral outcomes have been some of the issues that have led to heightened tensions and violence," he said.
The AU will be closely monitoring the elections in Egypt, Mali, Sierra Leone, Togo, Guinea Bissau, Madagascar, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Zimbabwe among others, according to the commissioner.
The commissioner further noted that AU is also concerned that some of the current crises might escalate as there near key milestones such as elections, implementation of key provisions of peace agreements or political negotiations.
The situations in Libya, Mali, South Sudan, Central African Republic (CAR) and the DRC will continue to require utmost attention, underlined the commissioner.