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 mission in Côte d’Ivoire in 2006. He is married to Silvia and they have two children. He considers himself a compulsive reader and is a rugby union supporter.