26th March 2017.
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia—Thirteen heavily armed mercenaries storm the AU headquarters. A four-hour gun battle ensues bringing the capital to its knees. As the dust settles on the carnage, the country is abuzz with news of a high profile disappearance. The state-run media, though, in an attempt to allay the people’s fears, speaks of the attack in passing, praising the police force’s quick response. It is only hours later that the full extent of the damage is uncovered: the AU deputy chair, along with 7 of the 8 commissioners have been kidnapped. Those knowledgeable about the situation are quick to draw connections to the wave of Boko Haram insurgency spreading across the west of Africa that has been the recurrent matter of debate at the AU.
Please close that tab you’ve opened to google “AU kidnapping” on. None of this actually happened.
But just imagine that it did. What would we do? You’re probably asking yourself why you would even care about a “problem” like this. I’ll explain why.
At ALAMAU, a crisis situation is given to delegates in the middle of committee sessions. The situation is usually related to the topic that the committee is tackling. As they come up with the solutions for the crises, they are expected to come up with long-term solutions that help deal with the problems they have been focusing on. This was the crisis presented to the Peace and Security Council at MAU 2017.
The committee chose not to meet the terrorists’ demands for the release of the kidnapped officials. While planning a course of action for how to secure their release, Morocco was kind enough to remind them that they could use cybersecurity resources he had available to track down their location. Chad, who was from South Africa, was convinced that she had the best military in Africa and kept offering her services. But no one wanted it. There was a quiet general consensus that her military was, in fact, not the best. The committee members eventually decided to harness the might of the AU forces to help in tracking down and rescuing the kidnapped officials. The simulation helped raise the committee’s awareness of the logistics that went into peace and security on the continent, eventually leading to a more defined resolution.
Flower Akaliza, who was on the Peace and Security Council as Deputy Chair thought that the crises “helped the delegates think more practically: bring the problem home so that they could actually see it. They had them thinking in a more action-oriented manner.” As the Director of Committee Dynamics this year, she is hard at work planning an indescribably unexpected set of crises. Her vision for the simulations is simple: “Less is more. More specific, spontaneous, different and out of this world. Problems that have never been seen before.” This approach, she hopes, will facilitate a deeper analysis of the complexities of problems being tackled at MAU 2018 and produce more practical resolutions.
You’re probably wondering, how do I prepare for the crises?
By Felix Morara, Associate Director of Press Corps