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Comparative Analysis of the Performance of EU and AU Peacekeeping Missions in Sub-Saharan Africa

Kohnert, Dirk (2023): Comparative Analysis of the Performance of EU and AU Peacekeeping Missions in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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Africa is plagued by some of the most brutal and violent conflicts in the world. Peacekeeping missions play a crucial role in maintaining stability and security in conflict-prone regions, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. Both the European Union (EU) and the African Union (AU) are involved in peacekeeping operations in the region. The AU conducts peacekeeping missions through its Peace and Security Council (PSC) and in line with the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA). Numerous international partnerships are at the heart of the APSA, but the AU cannot yet stand alone. However, the AU has the advantage over the EU and NATO in that it allows majority voting, making the decision-making process more flexible. The reasons for intervention are often unclear, although they often include both narrow national self-interest and humanitarian intervention. Africa's regional and sub-regional security organisations have often been more concerned with 'enhancing the sovereignty' of nation states than with the responsibility to protect. The AU's operational capacity is limited, it is poorly integrated into civilian-led conflict management efforts, and it has failed to intervene decisively in the continent's current major armed conflicts. The AU's ability to stop conflicts in Africa has produced mixed results at best. So far, the APSA is not an African solution to African problems, but rather a messy series of hybrid, international responses to some of the continent's transnational security challenges. Moreover, the AU has struggled to create a basic institutional memory of its peace operations, let alone systematically distil lessons learned. In addition to the AU, the EU is also involved in interregional cooperation for peace and security in Africa. There is a direct relationship between the EU and the AU in the form of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy. The EU has conducted peacekeeping missions under its Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), often in cooperation with other international organisations such as the United Nations. Examples of EU peacekeeping missions in Africa include Mali, the Central African Republic and Somalia. While the EU benefits from greater resources and international partnerships, the AU enjoys regional legitimacy and ownership. However, it is important that the EU and the UN continue to promote 'African solutions to African problems'. However, the European Peace Facility (EPF), established in March 2021, is more likely to be an unsecured weapon on the EU table. It is becoming the EU's main funding instrument for military activities outside the EU. It was first used to support the African Union and Mozambique. But many decisions with potentially serious consequences are being taken hastily. Instead of stabilising situations, the EPF could entrench dictatorships and fuel conflicts, especially when used in Africa.

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