The APSTA Peacekeeping This Month is pleased to share with you a World Peace Foundation (WPF) report titled “African Politics, African Peace” that was submitted to the African Union (AU) on 21 July 2016.
The WPF report charts an agenda for peace in Africa, focusing on how the AU can implement its norms and use its instruments to prevent and resolve armed conflicts.
It is the most extensive review of the AU’s peace missions ever conducted. The report is based on detailed case studies and cross-cutting research, drawing on consultations with leading experts, peacekeepers and mediators. It covers African peace and security norms and mechanisms, including conflict prevention, conflict mediation, political missions and the spectrum of military peace operations.
In its findings, the report emphasises the “primacy of the political”, such as: reaffirming and implementing Africa’s hard-won peace and security norms; African ownership of the goals and strategies for peace and security; emphasis on conflict prevention and resolution; and ensuring that military Peace Support Operations (PSOs) are designed and implemented always with political goals in mind.
The report’s recommendations on what Africa should do to address the challenge to achieving permanent peace and stability on the continent highlights the following:
- Strengthening commitment to key AU norms: multilateralism, constitutional democracy, non-indifference and inclusivity
- Strengthening the core instruments of the AU Peace and Security Council and Peace and Security Department
- Integrating the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) with better coordination between the AU, the UN, African Regional Economic Communities, and regional organisations for Europe and the Arab countries
- Creating new mechanisms for addressing the security crises of Africa’s “shared spaces”—the Mediterranean and the Red Sea
- Establishing high-level panels and expert committees for situations at most risk of conflict
- Developing separate mechanisms and doctrines for distinct kinds of PSOs, namely preventive and traditional peacekeeping missions, as well as stabilisation operations conducted by “coalitions of the willing”
- Clearly prioritizing the protection of civilians in all peace missions, and creating and enforcing an AU policy of zero tolerance for sexual exploitation and abuse of civilians
- Strengthening the AU-UN partnership, allocating tasks based on the two organisations’ comparative strengths and capabilities
- Ensuring that the core activities of the AU Commission and political missions are fully financed
To download and read the full text report, access the case studies and research that helped to inform the report, as well as downloadable versions of all charts used in the report and two short videos conveying the main ideas of the report, click here.