February 9, 2016 By Abdul Karim Koroma in Addis Ababa
Under the leadership of President Ernest Bai Koroma Sierra Leone has made another remarkable history by being elected for the first time as member of the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU) and member of the Ministerial Panel on Election of Members of the AU Commission.
Sierra Leone is also one of the 10 member states elected to review the Rules and Procedures of the Policy Organs of the African Union Commission.
This significant milestone has placed the country once again in a strategic position at the international arena. The landmark victory was made possible by the effective canvassing and robust outreach undertaken by Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Samura Kamara, in collaboration with Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the African Union, Osman Keh Kamara.
Like the United Nations Security Council which is responsible for the maintenance of global peace and security, the PSC, which was established in 2002, is the supreme decision making organ of the African Union for the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts in the continent.
Some of the key functions of the PSC include to anticipate and prevent disputes and conflicts, as well as policies, which may lead to genocide and crimes against humanity; undertake peace-making, peace-building and peace-support missions; institute sanctions; recommend intervention in a member state in respect of grave circumstances, namely war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity; follow-up promotion of good governance, the Rule of Law, protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, respect for the sanctity of human life and international humanitarian law, among others.
The PSC is made up of 15 member states which are elected by the African Union Executive Council and endorsed by the Assembly.
Sierra Leone is now one of the 15 member states of the African Union tasked with the responsibility of maintaining peace and security in the continent for the next two years.