African Union approaches to conflict management

Abstract The Organisation of African Unity (OAU) transitioned to the African Union (AU) on 9 July 2002 in Durban, South Africa. During the Maputo Summit in July 2003 the Peace and Security Department (PSD) of the AU Commission was established. This new department was charged with the responsibility of managing peace and security on the continent. It was also a major shift in how the African Union would conduct its business, as opposed to how it was done by the OAU. Whereas the OAU pursued a policy of non-interference, the AU made its intentions clear that peace and security on the continent would be a priority. The AU has established the African Standby Force (ASF) to advance peace and security on the continent. Once fully operationalised, the ASF will enable the AU to better manage peace on the continent. The AU standby arrangement will be discussed in detail further in the paper. Capt Kobus Maasdorp Capt (Navy) Kobus Maasdorp is a serving officer in the South African Navy. Presently he is on seconded duty to the Peace Support Operations Division (PSOD) of the African Union Commission in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He served as mission commander of a South African peace…

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Conflict management – Darfur as a case study

Abstract The geography of The Sudan is the first challenge of the country. Sudan is the largest country in Africa. It is bordered by nine countries; in the north by Egypt, east and north east by Ethiopia and Eritrea, south by Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Uganda and Kenya, in the west by Central African Republic and Chad, and North West by Libya. Darfur is in the north western part of The Sudan. Darfur itself is a remote vast region, almost the size of France. It is 2,500 kilometres from the Red Sea coast and its infrastructure, particularly roads and airports capable of taking the largest aircraft, is underdeveloped. The environment is austere and highly demanding. Daytime temperatures in the summer regularly exceed 50° Celsius and the rainy season can prevent all road movement across large parts of Darfur for four months. Malaria is rife. It seems that these factors were not fully appreciated when the deployment of African Union/United Nations Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) was first conceived. This is one of the main reasons why the deployment and sustaining of the main UNAMID force and its equipment was slower than expected, but I will return to this later. Gen…

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