- Posted by VoiceBoxer Team
- On 25 January 2016
The topics on this week’s “View on Africa” Webinar on the 20th of January 2016 were the election of the new members of Africa’s Peace and Security Council and the vote on the deployment of 5000 African Union troops to Burundi.
PSC and AU Commission Elections:
There are two elections to be held at the African Union (AU) this year. The first is for the 15-member Peace and Security Council (PSC) that takes place at the AU summit, to be held from 21 to 31 January 2016. One of the questions surrounding the election of the council members is whether heavyweights like Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Africa or Algeria will keep their positions on the council.
The election of the next chairperson of the AU Commission will take place in July 2016. The current Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has not yet indicated whether she will step down after completing her first mandate. If she does decide not to stand for re-election, Algeria might propose a candidate for this position. Intense lobbying is expected in the corridors of the AU to determine which country will get a seat on the PSC and who will lead the AU Commission.
Burundi and AU Troops:
Will the decision by the PSC to send a 5 000-strong force to Burundi, be validated by the Heads of State of the AU at their upcoming summit in Addis Ababa? The Heads of State will have to approve such a force given that Burundi’s government has rejected.it. If the deployment takes place, this would be the first time in the AU’s history that it sends a force without the country’s consent. Decision making within the AU is traditionally based on consensus, so if there is a vote on this issue, it will also set a precedent.
It is also unclear which countries would be contributing troops to the Burundi force. While the East African Standby Force is officially ready, countries like Rwanda and Tanzania seem reluctant to commit any troops.