H.E Cherif Mahamat Zene


Ambassador and Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of Chad to the UN

The new Permanent Representative of Chad to the United Nations, Cherif Mahamat Zene, presented his credentials to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today. From February 2007 to July 2013, Mr. Zene served as Chad’s Ambassador to Ethiopia and as Permanent Representative of the African Union and the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), with jurisdiction over Djibouti, Eritrea, Kenya, Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania.  For a number of months in 2009, 2010 and 2011, he was President of the African Union’s Peace and Security Council. In other Government posts, Mr. Zene served as Diplomatic Affairs Advisor for the Prime Minister from 2005 to 2007.  From 2004 to 2005, he was Deputy Director of Legal Affairs of Do

 Event Title Date
 Africa Solutions to African Problems: Education, Health, Culture, Economy, Culture, Peace & Security 05/ 14/ 2014

It is a real pleasure and an honor to be here this afternoon to talk about the concept of “African solutions to African problems” I would point out that it is not a concept or a slogan because Africa is already seeking and finding solutions to its problems by itself and with the assistance of its partners.

I will focus on issues relating to peace and security in accordance with the following outline:

  1. Overview of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA)
  2. The Peace and Security Council of the AU: mandate, achievements and challenges
  3. The African Standby Force (ASF)

IV. The AU early warning system

  1. The Panel of the Wise of the AU

VI. The AU and Regional Economic Communities/Regional Mechanisms for Conflict Prevention, Management and Conflict Resolution


I-    Overview of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA)

The APSA is organized around structures, objectives, principles and values ​​and covers a broad agenda in the service of peace and security on:

ü  Early warning and conflict prevention;

ü  Peace support and restoration, post-conflict reconstruction and consolidation;

ü  The promotion of democratic practices, good governance and respect for human rights ; and

ü  The humanitarian and disaster management

The Protocol relating to the Establishment of the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC) adopted in Durban (South Africa) in July 2002 and entered into force in December 2003, describes the components of the APSA and their respective responsibilities.

II-      The AU Peace and Security Council: mandate, achievements and challenges

a)          Mandate:

In accordance with Article 5 (2) of the Constitutive Act of the African Union, the CPS is designed to serve as a permanent decision body for the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts. The PSC is a collective security system in charge of conflict and crisis situations in Africa.

The AU Commission, a Panel of the Wise, as well as a continental early warning system, African Standby force and the Special Fund, supports the PSC.

It is composed of fifteen (15) members with equal rights and elected as follows:

  • Ten (10) members elected for a term of two years; and
  • Five (5) members elected for a term of three years to ensure continuity.

b)   Achievements: field Missions and Liaison Offices Liaison:

The African Union has opened thirteen (13) liaison offices and could lead more independent field missions such as the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS), the International Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA) and the International Support to Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MISCA), or jointly with the UN, as UNAMID in Sudan. The MISMA and MISCA were converted into United Nations Peacekeeping missions.

c)   Challenges:

  • Lack of funding and unpredictability of funding of peace operations;
  • Difficulties of coordination with the United Nations (Mali, CAR);
  • Difficulties in policy coordination and weakness of African Member States;
  • External Interference (marginalization of the AU in the management of certain crises);
  • Persistence and complexity of conflicts (Libya, DRC, South Sudan, RCA etc.).

III- The African Standby Force (ASF)

The African Standby Force (ASF) is one of the major components of the APSA. “In order to enable the Peace and Security Council to assume its responsibilities regarding the deployment of peace support and intervention tasks (…) it is created an African Standby Force. This force is composed of multidisciplinary contingents, with civilian and military components stationed in their countries of origin and ready for rapid deployment at appropriate” (Protocol on the Establishment of the Peace and Security Council, Art. 13.1)

The AU Constitutive Act of the AU authorizes AU to intervene in a Member State in case of serious circumstances, such as cases of war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity.

Given the technical and political difficulties in the implementation of the ASF to the 2015 deadline, the AU Summit held in January 2014, pending the full operationalization of the APSA, decided to create the African capacity for immediate response to crises (ACIRC), as a transitional measure even if it is not unanimously accepted. Several Member States have expressed their willingness to contribute troops for its operationalization.

Furthermore, the high-level meetings at the level of Defense Ministers are held regularly to discuss issues relating to the operationalization of the ASF. In addition, a practical exercise is planned in Lesotho in the course of the year. The exercise will be crucial in assessing the responsiveness of the ASF.

IV-  The AU Early warning System:

The continental early warning system is “the systematic collection and analysis of information on crisis areas which aims to aim to anticipate and prevent conflicts in order to facilitate decision making. It comprises:

  • A center of observation and control called “Situation Room”, responsible for collecting and analyzing data;
  • Observational and control units of regional mechanisms (RECs) connected with the “Situation Room”.

The System has developed early warning module based on economic, political, social, military and humanitarian indicators to analyze changing situations and recommend the best course of action.

The Chairperson of the AU Commission uses the information collected by the System to inform the PSC on potential conflicts and threats to peace and security and recommends measures to take.

V-  The Panel of the Wise

The Panel of the Wise is established to support the efforts of the AU PSC, and those of the Chairperson of the AU Commission. It is composed of five (5) African personalities, highly respected for their outstanding contribution to the cause of peace, security and development on the continent. These individuals are selected by the AU Commission Chairperson, after consulting the relevant Member States concerned on the basis of regional representation and are appointed for a period of three years by the AU Conference of the Heads of State and Government. The Panel of the Wise provides advisory services to the Peace and Security Council and the Chairperson of the AU Commission on all matters concerning the maintenance and promotion of peace, security and stability in Africa.

VI-  Regional Economic Communities / Regional Mechanisms for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution:

Regional mechanisms and the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) are an integral part of the security architecture of the AU responsible for the establishment of a force across the region.

The ASF, once operational, will consist of five regional brigades each will provide 5,000 troops: The Southern Africa Development Community Brigade (SADCBRIG), the East Africa Standby Brigade (EASBRIG), the brigade of the Economic Community of West Africa States Brigade (ECOBRIG), the North Africa regional Capacity (NARC) and the brigade of the Economic Community of Central Africa (ECCASBRIG), which also known as the Central Africa Multinational Force (FOMAC).

The PSC in consultation with the Regional Mechanisms promotes initiatives to anticipate and prevent conflicts, and when conflicts break out, to undertake peacemaking and peace building actions.


  • In order to achieve the goal of ownership, the AU must provide the means to gradually overcome the challenge of outside support, which limits its freedom of action. AU Member States shall contribute to the Peace Fund and financing of peacekeeping operations on the continent;
  • Member States shall provide the necessary troops for the operationalization of the ASF and ACIRC;
  • The African Union must continue to design peacekeeping operations in the example of AMISOM in Somalia as part of its strategic partnership with the United Nations;
  • The strategic partnership between the African Union and the United Nations should be strengthened further and result in capacity building of the African Union whose role is increasingly growing facing multiple security challenges on the continent.


.Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BnSJ6IDuszQ