The Peace and Security Council of the African Union: Rise or Decline of Collective Security in Africa?
KFG Working Paper Series, No. 23, Berlin Potsdam Research Group “The International Rule of Law – Rise or Decline?”
28 Pages Posted: 6 Dec 2018
Date Written: November 2018
This paper assesses, both quantitatively and qualitatively, the work of the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU) with respect to peace support operations. It seeks to know whether the establishment of the PSC in 2002 is leading or has led to a rise or a decline of collective security in Africa. It is demonstrated that in regard to its relative legal and institutional robustness, the PSC can be perceived as a rise of collective security compared with its predecessor, the Central Organ of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU). However, it stagnates in terms of quantity and quality of actions on the ground. The main problem lies in the lack of sufficient operational autonomy from member states and international partners, such as the United Nations. Therefore, the PSC’s contribution to the maintenance of peace and security, and so the rise of the international rule of law in Africa is limited. The continent is still a war-torn region, affected by political crises and the expansion of terrorism in many countries. To solve this problem, AU member states should strengthen the PSC’s capacity, starting with the quick operationalisation of the African Standby Force. The implementation of the 2016 decision on alternative sources of financing AU’s institutions and activities is also a priority. In this regard, the political will of African states that may show that they want to take their organisation more seriously is required. This can further the AU self-reliance policy in collective security though the promotion of African solutions to African problems, and reduce the burden of the United Nations and other non-African actors’ interventions in the continent.
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