The new Head of the ICRC delegation to the African Union, Jean-Jacques Tshamala, presented his letter of credence to the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Mr Moussa Faki Mahamat, on 5 September 2017. On this occasion, Mr Mahamat commended the well-established cooperation between the two organizations in addressing humanitarian concerns arising from armed conflict and other situations of violence on the continent.
Mr Jean-Jacques Tshamala assured the Chairperson of the ICRC's unrelenting commitment to maintaining and strengthening its collaboration with the AU. He also informed Mr Mahamat that ICRC president Peter Maurer intends to pay visit to the AU on 1st November 2017, for his annual briefing to the AU Peace and Security Council on the humanitarian situation in Africa and the activities conducted by the ICRC to tackle the consequences of armed conflict and other situations of violence.
The ICRC has 29 delegations and missions in Africa mandated with assisting victims of armed conflict and other situations of violence. The ICRC delegation to the African Union has had 'observer status' at the AU since 1992 after it signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the then OAU. Since then, the delegation has been working in close collaboration with the AU and its Member States through the sharing of experiences and exchanging of views on humanitarian concerns in Africa. It also engages with various actors to facilitate the integration of international humanitarian law and other relevant norms in the policies and processes of the AU and its Member States.
The ICRC and the AU's cooperation framework revolves around the aim of providing protection to victims of armed conflict or other situations of violence, including children, women, detainees and internally displaced people (IDPs).
Mr Jean-Jacques Tshamala expressed his wish, that under the new AUC leadership of Mr Mahamat, the two institutions will continue entertaining the same type of harmonious and successful cooperation. He underlined that the ICRC is eager to cooperate with the Chairperson on humanitarian issues and thematics of common interest.