Sierra Leone Telegraph: 29 October 2021:
The African Union Commission has invited former President of Sierra Leone, Ernest Bai Koroma, to participate in the 12th Annual High-Level Retreat of High Representatives, Special Envoys and Special Representatives of the Chairperson of the Commission, taking place in Nairobi, Kenya next week – 1st to 3rd of November, 2021.
The theme of the retreat which is “improved Coordination and Harmonization for impactful Mediation,” is aimed at building a consensus that will inform AU’s promotion of peace and security in Africa.
Former President Koroma is expected to share his wide experience in mediation and reconciliation in Africa.
A letter signed by the AU Commissioner, Ambassador Bankole Adebayo reads; “The 12th High-Level Retreat will provide participants an opportunity to reflect, take stock and review ongoing mediation efforts in the evolving conflict context on the Continent towards better coherence for more sustained impact. The exercise also offers insights and exchanges by mediation practitioners on emerging policy and practice as it relates to inclusivity, particularly of women, youth and civil society.”
Former President Ernest Bai Koroma has gained a track-record with the African Union and ECOWAS, under whose auspices he has performed various mediation roles – managing conflicts before, during and after elections in various countries including Zambia, Benin, Togo and Namibia. He was also influential in the ECOWAS mediation efforts in Ivory Coast, Guinea – Bissau and the Gambia.
Next week’s High-level session will be opened by the AU Commission Chairperson and a senior official from the Government of Kenya, bringing together participants from member States and AU organs.
A segment of the programme will also include an interactive session between the AU High Representatives and top officials of the United Nations. This, according to the AU Commission, will strengthen “multi-lateral coordination.”