The African Union (AU) Peace Support Operations Division (PSOD), in its capacity as the Civilian Strategic Support Group (CSSG) Secretariat, convened the CSSG Annual Meeting under the theme: “The Role of Civilians in AU Peace Support Operations: Operating in High-intensity Contexts” from 19-20 September 2017, at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa.
The decision to establish a CSSG was taken by the 8th Meeting of the Specialised Technical Committee on Defence Safety and Security (STCDSS) held in Victoria Falls Zimbabwe, from 13 to 15 May, 2015.
The CSSG was established as an advisory platform and coordination structure to support the operational effectiveness of the civilian component in African Union Peace Support Operations (AU PSOs). It seeks to promote a common understanding of the roles, functions and responsibilities of civilian personnel in AU PSOs.
Participants included representatives from the AU Commission, current and past AU missions, Regional Economic Communities and Regional Mechanisms (RECs/RMs), Training Centres of Excellence (TCEs), research institutes and partners.
The meeting created a platform for critical reflection and discussion around the role and contribution of civilians in high-intensity operations.
Recommendations were made on how to enhance existing support structures to ensure required civilian dimension in high intensity operations as well as to facilitate deployment, management and effective use of civilian in these contexts.
Inputs were made to the draft Standard Operating Procedure (SoP) of the CSSG on the scope, modalities and role of the CSSG in providing required support to the AU PSOD on how the civilian component could be more effectively employed to better contribute to the successes of AU PSOs.