The norms and structures for African peace efforts

The African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) is a set of norms and structures developed and designed to enable Africa with its peace and security affairs. It is an important instrument that enabled Africa gain significant success in its efforts to promote stability in Africa. The APSA was designed in the early 2000s and Africa needs to fully implement its norms and fully utilize its instruments. There is also a need to address gaps and redundancies so that it fits to the current context of new internal and global challenges.

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Defending Constitutional Rule as a Peacemaking Enterprise

The African Union (AU) norm relating to unconstitutional changes of government (UCG) distinguishes the African peace and security order from other regional and global peace and security orders. This norm assigns the regional organization an intrusive role unparalleled by other international organizations as far as the constitutional and democratic order of member states is concerned. The norm bans UCG and also provides for enforcement measures that received regional constitutional status in the founding treaty establishing the AU. Despite its emergence accompanying the democratization process that countries on the continent ventured into in the 1990s, seen in the light of Africa’s unhappy experience with illegal change or seizure of government, this norm cannot be dissociated from the continent’s concern about peace and security.

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The Ethiopian post-transition security sector reform experience

The Ethiopian state underwent major restructuring at the beginning of the 1990s. It replaced a once highly-centralised state with a federal system, adopting a democratic constitution, the transfer of power through elections, and the recognition of the rights associated with freedom of expression.

More specifically, the Ethiopian security sector was transformed from 1991 onwards; political changes led to a new conception of threats and security needs, and the institutional structure of the country’s security agencies was brought into alignment with the new federal arrangements. The defence review was developed in the context of this wider security sector transformation.

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Lessons from African Union-United Nations Cooperation in peace operations in CAR

This article examines the roles of the United Nations (UN) and the African Union (AU) in the Central African Republic (CAR), where there is a long history of successive conflict resolution efforts that have been overseen by the international community and the region alternatively. The AU, regional economic communities (RECs) such as the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), and regional leaders have also played important roles during the many initiatives aimed at resolving conflict in CAR. This article analyses the responses and relationship between these institutions and actors, beginning with the deployment of an inter-African monitoring mission in 1997. It focuses less on what happened during those conflicts and more on who defined the objectives and strategies of international responses, and who decided which instruments should be used in pursuit of these goals.

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Peace and the Security Sector in Sudan 2002 – 2011

The most succinct document of Sudan’s Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) is Chapter VI,11. This paper is based on existing literature and the personal experience of the author, who was involved in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) negotiations as an informal advisor and an external advocate (through the organisation Justice Africa), and in the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) talks and the post-referendum talks as a member of the African Union (AU) mediation teams. For a compendium of the relevant documents, see World Peace Foundation, ‘Sudan Peace Archive’.‘Security Arrangements’. Republic of Sudan and SPLM/A, ‘Comprehensive Peace Agreement’. Signed in Naivasha, Kenya, on 25 September 2003, it runs to a little more than three pages – by far the shortest of the protocols and annexures that comprise the CPA. Nowhere is security sector reform (SSR) mentioned by name. For the Government of Sudan (GoS), the central issue is resolved in Paragraph 7(a), which states: ‘No armed group allied to either party shall be allowed to operate outside the two forces’. Ibid., Paragraph 7(a).

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AMISOM: Charting a new course for African Union peace missions

Lasting peace in Somalia remains elusive. Since the collapse of the Siyad Barre government in 1991, Somalia has been the site of both failed interventions and policies of neglect. In 2007, the entry of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) promised a new opportunity to: 1) reduce the threats posed by al-Shabaab; and 2) create an enabling environment in which to consolidate state institutions and promote dialogue and reconciliation among the protagonists. However, the profound obstacles that have bogged down every previous mission remain – AMISOM operates in a fluid political landscape marked by the absence of stable political agreement amongst the main parties to the conflict. The Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) is still new and fragile, and disputes within the Somali polity continue to vex state-building and stabilisation efforts. At the same time, terrorist and insurgent groups including (but not limited to) al-Shabaab have proved pernicious, resolute, and adaptable in their efforts to undermine any progress toward the FGS’s consolidation.

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Modern post-conflict security sector reform in Africa: patterns of success and failure

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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Transitions from war to peace

The Ethiopian disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) programme (1991–1997) is an understudied example of success. The scholarly literature that does address this topic tends to focus solely on technical aspects and impact assessment. The present paper offers a comprehensive review of the rationale, principles, design, implementation and outcomes of the programme in the context of the transition from war to peace. While the paper references some secondary studies, it draws heavily on my own memories and experiences of serving as the head of the programme from its design through to its conclusion.

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