The United Nations and the African Union are increasingly intensifying their partnership for the maintenance of peace and security through the UN Department of Political Affairs (DPA) by means of prevention, mediation and peacekeeping. The Department works in close collaboration with the Department of Peace and Security and the Department of Political Affairs of the African Union Commission.
They carry out efforts to institute peace as well as working for the advancement of African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) and the African Governance Architecture.
Furthermore, the UN Department of Political Affairs works to regulate priorities of both the UN and the AU in the domain of Peace and Security in order to create a dynamic effect in Africa by complementing and coordinating efforts. This close cooperation may range from capacity development and policy design, to crisis response operations.
Current support and cooperation from DPA includes:
- Annual Joint Consultative UN Security Council – AU Peace and Security Council meetings.
- Coordinate actions of the two councils in Africa
- Assist the Secretariat of African Union Peace and Security Council
- Advice on the establishment of sanction committees
- UN-AU Joint Task Force and Desk-to-Desk exchange
- Bring UN-AU officials for information-sharing, coordination and strengthening of partnership
- Capacity Building for Mediation
- Assist on the strategic, institutional and operational levels
- Electoral Assistance
- DPA contributes to build the AU capacity for electoral processes by means of establishing a database of African electoral management bodies for example.
In this regard, 2006 reached a new milestone in the UN-AU Cooperation, as the two Organisations consolidated their partnership with the establishment of a framework agreement, the Ten-Year Capacity-Building Programme for the African Union. The Programme is a comprehensive document consisting of a variety of different areas, which reflect the UN efforts in support of the African Union, such as: peace and security, institution building, human resources development and financial management among others.
On top of that, the UN Office to African Union (UNOAU) was created by the UN General Assembly in 2010 with the aim to enhance partnership between UN and AU in Peace and Security, as well as to provide coordinated and consistent UN advice to AU on both long-term capacity-building and short-term operational support.
The African Union/United Nations Hybrid operation in Darfur (UNAMID)
The African Union/United Nations Hybrid operation in Darfur (UNAMID), was established in July 2007 following the adoption of the Secretary Council resolution 1769. The mission core mandate is the protection of civilians, but is also tasked with the contributing to security for humanitarian assistance, monitoring and verifying implementation of agreements, assisting an inclusive political process, contributing to the promotion of human rights and the rule of law, and monitoring and reporting on the situation along the borders with Chad and the Central African Republic (CAR).
In few words, a civil war erupted in Darfur in 2003 between the Government of Sudan and its allied militia and other armed rebel groups.
Prior to the eruption of the civil war, the United Nations raised the alarm on Darfur crisis. Since then, the priority of the Security Council has been to find a lasting resolution to the conflict.
In connection with this, May 5 2006 marked a major development in the process of peace resolution in Darfur with the Darfur Peace Agreement signed under the African Union patronage and supported by the United Nations and other partners. Following this agreement, the AU deployed peacekeeping mission to Sudan, which was then replaced in 2008 by Joint African Union/United Nations Hybrid operation in Darfur (UNAMID). This mission also accounts for the largest peacekeeping mission in the world with numerous country contributors such as: Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Germany, Ghana, Indonesia, and Nigeria among others.
Since then major political accomplishments have flourished along the peace process. In 2011, All Darfur Stakeholder’s Conference brought together all actors to the Sudanese conflict (approximately 500 representatives) in Doha to sign a peace agreement. Due to the complexity of the dispute, UNAMID has been extended on several occasions.
Written by Magalie T. Bemba
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