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Communiqué on CSO Consultation on the Year of Peace and Security in Africa

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We, the undersigned Civil Society Organisations in Africa and the Diaspora working in all five geographical regions of the continent, met on 20 and 21 January 2010, in our CSO Consultation for the Year of Peace and Security in Africa, to consider peace and security issues that our leaders will deliberate upon in the upcoming 14th Ordinary African Union Summit of Heads of State and Government. We welcome this opportunity to collectively reflect on the state of issues on the continent, and developments made since the last summit to allow us to communicate concrete recommendations to our Heads of State and Government.

In light of the theme of the upcoming 14th Ordinary Summit "Information and Communications Technologies" and other agenda items, we would like to make the following recommendations on the several issues that will be on the agenda of the Summit relating to Peace and security in Africa, International Justice and Crisis in Africa.

Welcoming the adoption of the Tripoli Declaration on the Elimination of Conflicts in Africa and the Promotion of Sustainable Peace by the Special Session of the AU Assembly, 31st August 2009, whereby Heads of State and Government have acknowledged the prevalence of conflict and related crisis, strengthening AUC institutional capacity to promote peace and the role of Civil Society in promoting peace, security and stability as partners of governments.

Noting that the year 2010 has been declared as the Year of Peace and Security on the Continent with emphasis being placed on the need to add momentum and give more visibility to AU peace efforts,

Recalling the adoption of the Livngstone Formula that provides a platform for civil society to provide qualitative information and technical support to the Peace and Security Council of the African Union, a

Recognising the commitment made by Heads of State and Government on the ratification of critical instruments for peace processes, recommitment of contributions both in terms of financial and technical aspects and looking for ways to hold all that have pledged accountable,

Affirming that the effective prosecution of international crimes is an essential component for achieving sustainable peace and represents the basis for long-lasting conflict resolution and the consolidation of national reconciliation processes;

Acknowledging the adoption of the Ezulwini Framework, which among other things, identifies eight aspects of unconstitutional change of government;

Bearing in mind that in 2010 there will be more than ten African countries holding presidential, parliamentary or local elections including: Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Ethiopia, Guinea, Madagascar, Sao Tome and Principe, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania and Togo, these pending elections are fraught with significant risks of political instability, recurrence or intensification of conflicts.

Encouraged by the positive contributions of African governments during the July 2009 United Nations General Assembly Debate on the Responsibility to Protect, in particular the reference by many member states to Article 4(h) of the Constitutive Act of the African Union and its transition from the principle of non interference to the principle of non indifference;

Noting further the importance of institutionalizing early warning and response mechanisms to instances of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing;

We therefore make the following recommendations to the Heads of State and Government of Africa on Peace and Security issues in Africa: