P029 – Peace and Security beyond APSA
9 July, 09:00-10:30

Ulf Engel / Institute für Afrikanistik, Universität Leipzig and IPSS
Gomes Porto Joao / Institute for Peace and Security Studies, Addis Ababa University


In 2002 the African Union has embarked on the implementation of an ambitious programme in the area of peace and security. The so-called African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) is comprised of the Peace and Security Council (PSC), the African Standby Force (ASF), the Panel of the Wise, the Continental Early Warning System (CEWS) and the Peace Fund. Meanwhile this plan has been complemented by a series of practices and institutions, some of which falling under the African Governance Architecture (AGA). This panel looks into political and administrative interfaces of the various emerging AU peace and security agendas on the one hand and the good democracy and governance agenda on the other. In particular the panel addresses the issues of coordination and harmonization of the different agendas within the AU Commission (AUC), between the AUC and the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and between the RECs., The panel invites original research and case studies, based on field work at the AU, the RECs or related to regional conflict complexes.


Paper 1

Lalbahadur Aditi / South African Institute of African Affairs

The regional and continental dimensions of dispute resolution stemming from border dispute between Malawi and Tanzania

Malawi and Tanzania have peacefully disagreed over the demarcation of their riparian border since both countries achieved independence in the 1960s. This peace was threatened when in 2012 when discoveries of oil reserves in the northern extremities of the lake revived interest in resolving the issue. According to the global norm of subsidiarity, resolution of the issue ought to have been referred to the SADC Tribunal. However at the time, the body was placed under a moratorium pending a regional review of its mandate, rendering the ICJ the next most appropriate court. However, a prevailing commitment to regionalism by both parties has resulted in some innovative thinking on how to go about adjudicating the issue in the absence of the Tribunal. While the Forum for Former African Heads of State and Government (a non-SADC entity) has been the principal mediating body, the involvement of AU Border Programme (an arm of the PSC) has added a continental dimension to the resolution of the dispute. The focus of this paper is the emergence of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms brought about by this unique situation. The central hypothesis is that the case study illustrates that an African commitment to forging indigenous solutions to African problems embodied in the Renaissance, reflects a normative shift towards greater responsibility for peace and security. It will also provide pragmatic synergies between the AU and RECs on dispute resolution.

Paper 2

Emmanuel Nikolas / Centre for Resolution of International Conflict, Dept. of PoliticalScience, University of Copenhagen

What are the options? Adding incentive strategies to manage African crisis

This study examines the potential offered by soft power options to manage intrastate conflict in Africa. It asks if peace and security efforts embarked on by the AU in 2002 can be complemented with by what is referred to here as an incentives approach (Rothchild and Emmanuel, 2010). Applications of hard power alone are not feasible solutions in many cases. That said, a variety of non-coercive and coercive incentives exist that can be deployed to help third parties deal with crises. Such incentive strategies aim to prevent and de-escalate conflict by encouraging political bargaining. The clear objective of these approaches is to shift the behaviour of targeted actors away from violent conflict and towards more peaceful interactions. Indeed, a good deal of unexplored opportunities exist in using incentives and soft power options to manage conflict. This research has very practical objectives which are three fold. First, it is important to further the discussion concerning how African organizations and states (while working with extra-continental actors) can help prevent / de-escalate conflicts and protect vulnerable peoples before the emergence of wide-spread violence. This will be done by producing a typology of the available incentive strategies. Finally, an incentives approach to conflict management and its emphasis on non-military strategies is an important part of the desire of many to have inexpensive and nonintrusive foreign policy tools to confront these situations.

Paper 3

Mandrup Thomas / Royal Danish Defence College

The EASF – Real regional integration in East Africa

The EASF was by the end of 2014 deployed fully operational, one year ahead of that deadline set out by the AU. However, what does fully operational mean and entail? The East African region is characterized by heterogeneous units and by being conflict ridden. Historically the region has been plagued by both the overlay of the Cold war actors resulting in rivalry and intrastate wars, e.g. the conflict between Ethiopia and Somalia in the 1970’s. The end of the Cold war left a security void, and the fragility, and in some instances collapse, of the state structures resulted in new state formations and new conflicts. However, conflicts and security challenges in East Africa are due to amongst other things porous borders, fragile states and bad governance, regional in nature, and cannot be solved by the individual states alone. Regional institutions have been in a weak position dealing with these challenges, and attempts have been to strengthen the capacity of these regional institutions. This paper investigates the attempts setting up often competing regional security institutions in the Greater Horn of Africa, and asks if fragile states are capable of creating strong security institutions and effectively handling regional peace and security challenges? Will the EASF within this context be able to be function as an effective tool in regional conflict prevention and management.

Paper 4

Revillon Jeremy / Université de Pau et des Pays de l’Amour (UPPA), Les Afrique dans le monde (LAM)

Comparative analysis of the regional brigades of the African Standby Force

The African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) should enter in a new phase in 2015 with the declaration of implementation of the African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crisis (ACIRC) and the African Standby Force (ASF). Having been delayed several times since the beginning of the process in 2002, the procedure has speeded up in 2014. A common exercise was run on the continental level in November which should lead to the establishment of the ACIRC’s full capacity during the summit of the African Union in January 2015. The ASF should be ready at latest in 2015 with the last common exercise (Amani Africa 2) planned for spring.
Two regions have already declared the full capacity of their standby forces at the end of 2014: the Force Multinationale d’Afrique Centrale (FOMAC) has certified its emergency deployment capability during an exercise conducted in October in Congo-Brazzaville. The East African Standby Force (EASF) has also declared itself fully operational in November. These announcements, even if they mark a symbolic and important step, should not mask a contrasted reality: difficulties which have been identified long ago remain, notably the dependence on external funding arrangements, for the standby forces as well as for the forces deployed in operation. In the coming years external supports will remain essential to consolidate African capacities, especially regarding to the problem that no state has yet the ability to stand as a strong African military power.

Paper 5

Döring Katharina / Centre for Area Studies, University of Leipzig

Rapid military deployment beyond ASF

The African Standby Force (ASF) is envisioned as a multidimensional force comprising military, police and civilian elements to provide an appropriate tool for various conflict situations. The ASF also includes a Rapid Deployment Capability (RDC). Reaching the full operational capacity was planned for 2010, but is now delayed until the end of 2015. The African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crisis (ACIRC) is an interim measure for rapid military action. It was conceived after the inability of the AU to swiftly deploy troops to Mali in 2012.
Both the ASF and the ACIRC interface with the same political and administrative institutions, such as the AU Commission, the Specialised Technical Committee on Defense, Security and Safety (STCDSS) or the Peace and Security Department (PSD).
In this way they present an interesting case to examine how the AU accommodates different developments within the same policy domain. How are these distinct military tools related to one another? Which effect do they have on each others implementation (or prior conceptualisation)? The proposed paper will investigate how AU organs deal with these different initiatives. The question of “coordination and harmonisation” will be addressed on the basis of qualitative research at the AU archive.

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