Towards a common doctrine for African Standby Force-led peace operations

This article considers the military doctrine currently available to the African Standby Force (ASF) for peace operations (PO) on the African continent. In the absence of an updated and relevant doctrine for PO, risks are posed to the harmonization and coordination of multinational missions, as well as to the successful achievement of mission objectives. Despite laudable efforts by both the United Nations (UN) and bilateral donor nations to support the preparatory and continuation training of ASF troops, differences in the national and multinational experiences of this work and the differences in the legal basis of this doctrine do not provide an optimal ‘stop gap’ measure. The pressing new requirement for African peace missions to deter terrorist and insurgent anti-peace factions exposes the limitations of UN doctrine, which preserves traditional peacekeeping principles of consent, impartiality and minimum use of force

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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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Theories of Violence from Superhero Blockbusters

My interest here is in what these movies try to say about the world and the place of violence — evil or righteous – in it. As American films in a world where the United States still possesses more military firepower than any other country (as example, in 2016 the US defence budget nearly topped the next fifteen largest national defence budgets combined), it is difficult not to view these films as metaphors for US power, regardless of the various nationalities of the characters. The launching point for these thoughts is Wonder Woman: the first female-led superhero movie, notably directed by a woman, Patty Jenkins. One could examine the film, as many have, from a feminist perspective, in which the film appears as a triumph of female power. More interesting to me is, given the amount of violence on display in the genre, what does a film want to say about violence? In this, Wonder Woman is a serious backward step from the emerging trend of more established superhero franchises that have recently projected a sense of unease about the inevitable harms and trade-offs that come with reliance on destructive force.

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