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The State of Peacebuilding in Africa pp Cite as. Since its launch in the African Union AU has advanced post-conflict peacebuilding frameworks and institutions as part of the broad project of deepening local solutions to African problems. This chapter argues that while the AU has made significant strides in building norms around peace, security, stability, and governance, it faces tremendous obstacles in realizing the vision and objectives articulated in the Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development PCRD policy.
It, therefore, urges national ownership of peacebuilding as well as a deepening and advancing of normative frameworks amongst various stakeholders. Conflict prevention is viewed as key to sustained peacebuilding in Africa. The chapter concludes that in the absence of mobilization of local resources and capacity, the AU will remain unprepared for the complex and multiple tasks entailed in peacebuilding.
Since the late s, peacebuilding in Africa has evolved alongside measures to strengthen continental and regional institutions for intervention in the domestic affairs of member states. Marking a decisive departure from decades where African institutions had limited roles in such interventions, these initiatives coincided with the growing optimism about the power of African institutions to help post-conflict countries to reconstruct their socioeconomic and political fabrics.
On the other hand, the AU is a new actor in peacebuilding and thus has not had any tangible successes. For the most part, the AU has struggled with limited resources, expertise, and capacity to become an effective peacebuilding institution. In addition, the peacebuilding environment is saturated with multiple actors and interests that the AU cannot adequately compete with.
In recent years, these constraints have been compounded by a resurgence of conflicts in some countries that benefitted from previous peacebuilding interventions. This has, in effect, diminished the consensus about the wisdom of peacebuilding and retarded the momentum for mobilization of resources for countries in conflicts. I argue that while the AU has made bold moves to construct normative frameworks to strengthen common approaches to African conflicts, these efforts have yet to find critical resonance in contexts marked by the age-old fealty to sovereignty.
There is a continental consensus on peacebuilding and post-conflict reconstruction that has emerged out of years of AU activism and institution-building, but it has not led to substantive shifts in state practices, limiting the effectiveness of continental and regional institutions in these domains. Equally vital, sustainable peacebuilding ultimately hinges on national governance systems led by responsible and accountable leaders who are able to initiate and galvanize policies that address the myriad drivers of conflicts, including preventing the relapse into violence.
In section three, the analysis will focus on the African experiences of peacebuilding before the formation of the AU as a lead-up to a discussion on the PCRD policy. Finally, I will make some recommendations relating to the future role of the AU in peacebuilding.
Identify at the earliest possible stage situations that could produce conflict and to try through diplomacy to remove the sources of danger before violence results; where conflict erupts, to engage in peacemaking aimed at resolving the issues that have led to conflict; through peace-keeping, to work to preserve peace, however fragile, where fighting has been halted and to assist in implementing agreements achieved by peacemakers; to stand ready to assist in peacebuilding in its differing contexts: rebuilding the institutions and infrastructures of nations torn by civil war and strife; and building bonds of peaceful mutual benefit among nations formerly at war; and in the largest sense, to address the deepest causes of conflict: economic despair, social injustice and political oppression.
Framed as a comprehensive repertoire of engagements in the service of peace, security, governance, and development, peacebuilding was conceived to assist countries that were widely depicted as failed states. Thus, in most post-conflict countries, the energies and resources expended in peacemaking and peacekeeping efforts, to a large extent, determined the successes of peacebuilding.
In the early s, for instance, hastily negotiated peace processes resulted in weak peace agreements that the parties could not implement despite the intervention of United Nations UN peacekeeping missions. Peacebuilding involves a range of measures targeted to reduce the risk of lapsing or relapsing into conflict by strengthening national capacities at all levels of conflict management and to lay the foundation for sustainable peace and development. Peacebuilding strategies must be coherent and tailored to specific needs of the country concerned, based on national ownership, and should comprise a carefully prioritized, sequenced, and, therefore, relatively narrow set of activities aimed at achieving the above objectives.
In recognition, therefore, of the adage that nations are built from within, and not from outside, some analysts depicted sustainable peacebuilding as limited and time-bound to permit local actors the space to strengthen local ownership. By contrast, the least successful cases have been where countries have lapsed back into conflict or where long-running peacekeeping missions such as in the Democratic Republic of the Congo DRC have transitioned into peacebuilding activities.
Owing to the multiplicity of conflicts that ensued since the s, Africa made momentous contributions to the articulation and elaboration of norms that have become part of contemporary international conventions and protocols.
The Cairo Mechanism enabled the Secretary-General to be proactive in conflict prevention, management, and resolution in war-torn countries. Where necessary, he may make use of other relevant expertise, send special envoys or special representatives as well as dispatch fact-finding missions to conflict areas.
Both norms were further solidified in the AU Constitutive Act which defines its roles in peacebuilding and post-conflict reconstruction. Overall, since its formation, the AU has attempted to become the major fulcrum for the promotion of accelerated socio-economic integration, security and stability initiatives, greater respect for human rights, and democracy in very difficult circumstances where the AU is still trying to find its institutional feet and legitimacy.
In the pursuit of common approaches to African problems, the AU created two main institutions for peacebuilding and post-conflict reconstruction which form part of the African Peace and Security Architecture APSA : first, the Peace and Security Council PSC , charged with the responsibility of promoting peace, security and stability, anticipating conflicts and undertaking preventative diplomacy, and making peace through the use of mediation and conciliation.
The PSC has the additional responsibilities for peacebuilding, post-conflict reconstruction, humanitarian action, and disaster management. Although the AU was established as the primary institution responsible for peace and security, the enormity of peacebuilding roles and the constraints it faces propelled other continental, regional, and multilateral institutions to remain relevant in peacebuilding.
The other African actors are the Regional Economic Communities RECs , which the AU has engaged in peace and security issues because of proximity to post-conflict countries and their experiences in conflict management peace initiatives. Similarly, bilateral and multilateral donor institutions occupy distinctive spaces in the multiple activities embodied in peacebuilding.
Because of the involvement of many actors in peacebuilding, the AU has confronted a competitive and crowded environment that is replete with both opportunities and constraints. Ultimately, decisions about when and how the AU engages with international donors in peacebuilding are dependent on the comparative strengths and resources it can bring to specific post-conflict contexts. Before the formation of the AU, two dominant trends characterized peacebuilding and post-conflict reconstruction in Africa.
Subsequently, the MPLA dictated the pace of post-reconstruction unimpeded. Most of the countries transiting from war in the early to mids such as Burundi, the Central African Republic CAR , the Democratic Republic of the Congo DRC , Liberia, Sierra Leone, and South Sudan emulated the Mozambique model as they went through the various stages from peacemaking, peacekeeping, and eventually, peacebuilding that emphasized the importance of democratic institutions in the transitions.
Other than the participation of RECs and the AU in peacemaking and peacekeeping initiatives in these countries, the AU had few opportunities to influence their post-conflict futures, ceding these responsibilities to the AfDB and other international donors. These latter actors could mobilize the financial and technical resources to make a difference in peacebuilding.
After the formation of the UN Peacebuilding Commission in , Burundi and Sierra Leone became its first African partners, signaling the enhanced role of international actors in peacebuilding. In both countries, alongside the United Nations Development Programme UNDP and other donors, the UN Peacebuilding Commission implemented a number of projects meant to consolidate peace, build local capacity to manage conflicts, and prevent the recurrence of conflicts.
Similarly, when the CAR appeared to be on the road to stability following the elections of , the UN Peacebuilding Commission invited it as a partner in to mobilize resources for economic development and national reconciliation.
The only major initiative that the AU attempted on post-conflict reconstruction was in July when the AU Commission established a Ministerial Committee on Sudan in anticipation of the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the North and South.
But this committee did not make any progress in its resource mobilization campaigns. The quandary for the drafters must have been that since the s, African regional institutions had largely been marginal in peacebuilding initiatives as various post-conflict countries engaged international donors in economic and political reconstruction. What meaningful contribution would the AU then be expected to make in post-conflict reconstruction in circumstances where it had no prior proficiency, capacity, and resources?
Since the policy was unveiled in , these questions have remained salient in its implementation. As the custodian of peace and security on the continent, the AU is obligated to generate a strategic framework for PCRD that is aligned to the African vision and aspirations. Furthermore, given the complexity of post-conflict reconstruction initiatives, it elaborates in a comprehensive manner the entire spectrum of activity areas that are crucial for the consolidation of peace, and stipulates minimum standards of application and benchmarks for measuring performance of countries that are on their path to recovery.
Toward this end, the policy seeks to: i help address the root causes of conflict; ii encourage the planning and implementation of reconstruction activities; and iii enhance complementarities and coordination among diverse actors engaged in PCRD processes.
Some of its underlying principles include African leadership, national and local ownership, and capacity-building for sustainability. The Unit would also undertake advocacy and develop post-conflict reconstruction programs in partnership with RECs, civil society, and other intergovernmental organizations.
The dominant approach to post-conflict reconstruction has been the establishment of liaison offices in countries emerging from conflict. Although the adoption of the PCRD policy in represented a major milestone in AU efforts to coordinate and support peacebuilding efforts, enormous organizational and operational hurdles, insufficient human and financial resources, and lack of political interest by the majority of member states have compromised effective implementation.
Locating the new AU Center in Cairo is going to make it much more difficult to accomplish this objective.
To mobilize African resources, the AU launched the African Solidarity Initiative ASI in July with a call to encourage African countries to assist post-conflict countries in their reconstruction and development efforts.
At its launch, member countries, the AfDB, and the UNECA lauded the ASI optimistically as a unique vehicle for resource mobilization and its potential to promote peer learning and sharing best practices among post-conflict countries, but it never emerged as a credible initiative to meet the needs of the PCRD. This skepticism is captured in comments by two African analysts. The 10th anniversary of the PCRD in October coincided with the relapse into conflicts of countries that had made steady strides in peacebuilding such as Mali, the CAR, and South Sudan raising profound questions about the lack of progress in the implementation of the PCRD policy.
Although not technically a post-conflict country, the AU launched the AUTSTG in to provide expertise to the government on the rule of law, democracy, transitional justice, and security sector transformation. While this intervention potentially marks a vital departure in efforts to implement the PCRD, there are still lingering questions about its sustainability given the uncertainties in funding and the receptiveness of the Gambian government officials to African expert entreaties.
National ownership of peacebuilding is essential. It is worth reiterating that peacebuilding starts and ends at national levels, with international and continental actors playing only supportive roles. The most successful experiences of peacebuilding in Africa reveal that while societies emerging out of armed conflicts face tremendous obstacles in reducing polarization, creative efforts by national leaders in building governance systems that are inclusive, participatory, and restore trust across communities are necessary for laying the foundations for regeneration and recovery.
The primary responsibility of post-conflict reconstruction and development is, therefore, that of national governments, that must identify priorities, formulate strategies, and implement programs and activities to provide the conditions necessary for sustainable peace.
It is unlikely that the AU will develop the expertise and capabilities in the many activities that encompass the PCRD. PCRD is a huge task for an institution that is struggling to build basic infrastructure for peace, stability, and democratic governance. Since the organizational and resource challenges that have hobbled the PCRD will not go away, it is unrealistic for the PCRD to solicit resources from donors who are devoting resources to the same post-conflict reconstruction chores.
To overcome these competitive pressures for resources, the PCRD will need to disengage from areas where it lacks competence and where it cannot mobilize local resources. Without comparative competence in most of these activities, the most realistic approach would be for the AU to leave them to actors who can make a substantive contribution, particularly the African Development Bank AfDB and other international bodies.
Deepen normative frameworks for conflict prevention. The ECOWAS interventions in several countries to promote democratization and the rule of law underscore the fact that strong regional institutions are critical in the internalization of continental and regional norms.
Ultimately, conflict prevention is one of the antidotes to African conflicts. Create a continental framework on peer learning for peacebuilding. There is very little learning of previous post-conflict experiences in Africa because of the absence of systematic programs for lesson drawing within the Regional Economic Communities RECs or the African Union.
A database of comparative post-conflict reconstruction experiences would be a good start in the accretion of such knowledge that will inform future interventions. Bonn: The German Development Institute, , 3—4.
Jennifer M. Katharina Coleman and Thomas Tieku eds. Gilbert M. Dzinesa eds. Johannesburg: Institute for Global Dialogue, , Tony Addison and S. Fosu and Paul Collier eds. London: Palgrave Macmillan, Doornbos, L. Cliffe, A. Ahmed, and J. David Booth and F. Theo Neethling and Heidi Hudson eds. United Nations University Press, August David J. Linger and G. Brown eds. London: Routledge, , 74—
Mindful that the scourge of conflicts in Africa constitutes a significant impediment to socio-economic development;. Recalling the relevant provisions of the Constitutive Act of the AU, its objectives and principles under Articles 3 and 4;. Underlines the inextricable interdependence between peace, security and socio-economic development, which thus requires a comprehensive and integrated approach in resolving, managing and transforming conflicts in Africa; and in this regard, emphasizes the importance of addressing the structural root causes of armed conflict including, economic and social development, challenges related to economic faltering, and unequal distribution of wealth, social inequality and marginalization, human rights abuses, repression, corruption, , to prevent the escalation of armed conflict and relapse to violence, as well as promoting peace, social justice and inclusive dialogue to consolidate durable peace;. Further expresses concerns on the devastation and economic crisis caused by the current COVID pandemic to the Member States, particularly those which are doubly affected by the scourge of conflict, terrorism and violent extremism, economic sanctions, displacement owing to climate change and natural disasters; in this context, appeals to the international community for debt relief, cancellation and restructuring, aimed at increasing liquidity taking into consideration unique circumstances of the Member States who have lost revenues and existing reserves to respond to COVID pandemic and the resulting socio-economic challenges; and calls for the unconditional lifting of economic sanctions imposed on African countries to pave the way for economic recovery;. Underscores the need for respecting the principle of permanent sovereignty over natural resource wealth and for the resource-rich Member States to manage the exploration and exploitation of natural resources transparently, responsibly, prudently and in an accountable manner to ensure that the broader citizenry benefit from the wealth gained from natural resources; stresses the need to address the growing interlinkage between non-state armed actors including terrorist groups and the criminal economy involving natural resources, and calls for concerted and coordinated regional, continental and international efforts to combat illegal exploration and exploitation of natural resources to ensure that the natural wealth is used , without prejudice to national sovereignty, enhance the delivery of essential services and underpins socio-economic development of concerned Member States;. Emphasizes the significance of national ownership and leadership, as well as inclusive participation of all stakeholders including women, youth, disenfranchised communities, civil society and the private sector in efforts of preventing conflicts and crises, transforming existing conflicts and paving the way for reconstruction and socio-economic development; and in this aspect, urges all the stakeholders to strengthen institutions, deepen democracy and private-public partnership to strengthen social cohesion;. Underscores the need for capacitation and full operationalization of the AU Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development PCRD centre in Cairo, Egypt and appeals to the Member States to ensure that the Cairo centre is well capacitated through predictable and sustainable funding to enable it to execute its mandate effectively;.
With existing literature focusing largely on Western perspectives of peace and their applications, and with the rise of increasingly more violent conflicts in international relations, a global understanding of peace is much needed. The recent Palgrave Handbook of Global Approaches to Peace gathers contributions from the authors of nearly 30 countries that combine conceptual, domestic, regional, systemic and alternative approaches to facilitate the integration of methodological orientations across geographical and intellectual circulations beyond the usual limited spaces. It is designed as a system of institutions, norms and policies, whose threefold purpose is to deal with conflict dynamics, tackle security challenges and promote sustainable development on the continent. At the time when the Organization of African Unity was transformed into the African Union AU , the latter has embedded its will and commitment to play a key role in peace and security on the African continent and beyond. The idea of African ownership of peace and security on the continent was an important vision of the African Union clearly expressed through the APSA, and deeply connected with the regional integration project.
The Peace and Security Council shall be supported by the. Commission, a Panel of the Wise, a Continental Early Warning System, an. African Standby Force and.
The State of Peacebuilding in Africa pp Cite as. Since its launch in the African Union AU has advanced post-conflict peacebuilding frameworks and institutions as part of the broad project of deepening local solutions to African problems. This chapter argues that while the AU has made significant strides in building norms around peace, security, stability, and governance, it faces tremendous obstacles in realizing the vision and objectives articulated in the Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development PCRD policy. It, therefore, urges national ownership of peacebuilding as well as a deepening and advancing of normative frameworks amongst various stakeholders.
Paul D. The relationship between the United Nations UN and the African Union AU has at times been characterized by considerable conflict, mistrust, and tension, often hindering the predictability and conduct of effective peace operations. This article analyses the challenges facing UN—AU cooperation on peace and security issues and examines their partnerships in various peace operations.
It is a collective security and early warning arrangement intended to facilitate timely and efficient responses to conflict and crisis situations in Africa. The PSC became fully operational in early The PSC has 15 members with equal voting powers. For continuity, five members are elected for three-year terms and 10 for two-year terms. While there are no permanent members, the PSC Protocol does not prevent any Member States from seeking immediate re-election.
Over the past 15 years, the AU—UN partnership in peace and security has evolved significantly, both in breadth and depth. Nonetheless, the partnership faces obstacles to the full realisation of its shared goal of a conflict-free African continent. Debates over political primacy and institutional leadership narrow cooperation on the most sensitive files such as Libya or Cameroon. Unresolved questions concerning financial resources and burden-sharing in peacekeeping and counter-extremism efforts continue to linger. But despite these roadblocks, the prevailing international climate underscores the political, financial and operational reality that neither the AU nor the UN can prevent conflicts and manage crises on their own. This article discusses AU—UN cooperation to date on the STG agenda and identifies priorities for the partnership to sustain this initiative beyond
This article provides an overview of the origin of the PSC, and discusses elements of its design and mandate. Without significant additional funding and manpower from the AU, the PSC cannot cope with the huge security problems facing Africa. Initially apportioning responsibility for peacekeeping to the UN, the OAU suffered from insufficiently clear working procedures, poor attendance, weak chairmanship, lack of data and little action resulting from decisions made. The council comprised fifteen member states, as a standing decision-making organ for the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts. After five years of operation the PSC had imposed sanctions against regimes in several African states, including Togo, Mauritania, Guinea and Madagascar, and authorised peace operations in Sudan, the Comoros and Somalia. Despite obvious problems, the PSC has made a real difference to the maintenance of peace and security in Africa, and can provide a crucial forum for socialisation within African international society.
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PDF | This paper assesses, both quantitatively and qualitatively, the work of the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU).Reply
The Peace and Security Council (PSC) is the standing decision-making organ of the AU for the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts.Reply