Currently viewing the tag: "AU"

Promoting security sector reform (SSR) in countries emerging from war is one of the critical missions that the African Union (AU) – following the path laid out by the United Nations (UN), the World Bank, and others – has increasingly assumed in recent years. However, despite two decades of implementation experience, as of 2016 there has been no increase in the tiny number of post-conflict SSR efforts generally considered successful. In another field of endeavour, the approach might have been discarded as unworkable in practice. However, in the absence of any alternative path to the same critical ends, i.e. stable, self-governing states in which citizens enjoy basic security and justice services, do not export security problems (refugees, militants, drug-traffickers, etc.), and do not require continual aid and periodic intervention, SSR remains indispensable.

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The current issue of African Security Review includes several papers that developed out of research from the World Peace Foundation’s African Peace Missions research program, directed by Mulugeta Gebehiwot Berhe. The articles in this issue are open access, and we will be posting key excerpts from each on this blog. Below is an excerpt from […]

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Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – July 21,2016 – The World Peace Foundation has outlined a bold new vision for the African Union to prevent and resolve armed conflicts. In an independent new report titled “African Politics, African Peace” the foundation argues that the African Union should reinvest in the politics of conflict prevention and mediation […]

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The engagement of the AU Presidential delegation belies the negative reading of the AU’s decision at its January summit not to authorize military intervention against Burundi’s wishes. Decried as a crass example of allowing ‘sovereignty’ to trump human rights concerns, the decision warrants revisiting in light of the AUs continued efforts to support political engagement. This is precisely the goal of our new occasional paper by Solomon Derrso, “To Intervene or Not to Intervene: An inside view of the AU’s decision-making on Article 4(h) and Burundi.” The insights apply not only to Burundi today, but also to how the AU may interpret its Article 4(h), allowing for non-consensual armed interventions in certain circumstances, in future cases.

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The intra-state nature of African conflicts is a product of the breakdown of law and order, public safety and security as well as collapse of police and law enforcement institutions resulting in weak states. While most of the challenges of peacekeeping operations require policing skills, political decision makers are increasingly relying on military responses. Consequently, PSOs, policing and populations are being militarized in the process. Peacekeepers are obliged to bridge the policing gaps through the provision of interim executive policing services in host countries. More importantly, they are expected to assist in rebuilding and re-establishing credible policing and rule of law institutions and services in those Member States. The rule of law is the crucible of any state and cornerstone of good governance, without it there is chaos, crass impunity and rule of the jungle.

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Powerful nations still face the temptation of interpreting international law and norms in such a way that it suits their interests, and setting them aside when they don’t. I will argue that this is not only bad for international law and international security, but it is a particularly bad practice in Africa, because of the particularities of African history and contemporary African conflicts. These particularities include both the specific local details of African conflicts, which are best addressed by those in the neighbourhood who understand them best, and also the historically-grounded African distrust of outside interventions, which militates against the success of non-African initiatives.

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