28 May 2022, Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. At the recently held 16th Extraordinary Summit in Malabo, the Assembly mandated the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) to undertake evidence-based research to assist the African Union (AU) to comprehend better unconstitutional changes of government. This new development signals a novel way to approach this phenomenon of unconstitutional changes of government for the AU. Prior to this, mediation and sanctions were advocated and pursued as effective remedies.This decision, it is hoped, will inform the AU’s understanding of the phenomenon through the APRM methodology as a diagnostic Tool and Early Warning Mechanism which will reflect issues related to unconstitutional changes of government on the Continent.Moreover, the Africa Governance Report (AGR) 2023 will be developed using the APRM Targeted Review Methodology that will bring a new dimension to the response to Unconstitutional Changes of Government. It will involve consultations with relevant stakeholders including the United Nations Peace and Security-related mechanisms, African Union bodies, Subregional mechanisms as well as sanctions committees. The APRM will further engage with relevant Member States on the drivers of unconstitutional changes of government in different contexts. Consequently, the findings from the APRM Targeted Reviews will be used to analyse and assess the effectiveness of International, Continental and Regional Frameworks in promoting constitutionalism, democracy, the rule of law and inclusive governance which are safeguards against unconstitutional changes of government.
H.E Dr Julius Maada Bio further said that “Member States affected by unconstitutional changes of government should be encouraged to collaborate and cooperate with the APRM and AGA in conducting targeted reviews on unconstitutional changes of government as part of the development of the AGR-2023. The APRM targeted reviews are a collaborative and facilitative approach that is used to address specific issues related to governance challenges. It ensures that the outcomes, findings, and recommendations are African-driven and African-owned which is critical in building collective resilience and strengthening capacities of Member States in addressing the structural, catalysts and trigger causes of unconstitutional changes of government.”
The Assembly reaffirmed that the APRM is a diagnostic tool for early warning on the continent. The AGR 2023 will be an original undertaking that will provide recommendations leading to legal and policy reviews within the AU, Regional Economic Communities/ Regional Mechanisms and Member States. The APRM appreciates the daunting nature of the project ahead but believes that collaborating with the AU Commission and other relevant stakeholders in the governance landscape will ensure that it is conducted in a way that is inclusive, objective and solution-oriented.
The AU Extraordinary Summit on Terrorism and Unconstitutional Changes of Government in Africa was held at SIPOPO Conference, in Malabo, Republic of Equatorial Guinea from May 27 to 28, 2022.