SECURING AFRICA: THE ROLE OF THE AFRICAN STANDBY FORCE

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Peacekeeping  and  peace  building  (PK  and  PB)  operations  were  ‗invented‘    and

‗pioneered‘ by  the  United  Nations  as  early  as  1948  and  for  a long period the UN has been the only organisation able and willing to deliver them. In the last decades, however, the quasi-monopolistic role of the universal organisation   in   this   area   has been  seriously  challenged  by  both  regional organisations  and  by  the  so-called ‗ad hoc   coalitions   of   the   willing‘.   This   new situation,   with   a   good,   sometimes excessive,  presence  of  entities  interested and  available  to  deliver  PK/PB  operations, presents  new  challenges  and new  opportunities  to  the  international  community  as  a whole,   and   to   the individual   states   requesting   the   deployment   of   a   PK/PB operation.   Against this   background,  the  present  article,  after  having  defined  its cope,  presents few statistics confirming the existing trend towards ‗decentralizing‘ the delivery of PK/PB operations, discusses why interest in playing a major role in PK has increased among states and regional international organisations, and outlines the consequences (both positive and negative) associated with such a trend. The question which the study sought to answer was: what is the role of standby force? The general objective  of  the  study  was  to  investigate  the  role  of  the  African  standby  force  in enhancing peace support operations in Africa. The following were the specific objectives that guided the study: To examine and analyze past efforts at securing Africa in the absence African standby force, To  examine and analyze African standby force as a mechanism Africa Union peace and security council (PSC) and specific strategies used for enhancing peace support operations in Africa and to establish the prospects and challenges of African Standby Force and the key factors that influence its capacity for enhancing peace support operations in Africa. The study was guided by the following hypotheses:  past efforts at securing Africa applied before African Standby Force were not effective in maintaining peace support operations in Africa; African Standby Force as a mechanism Africa Union peace and Security Council significantly influence peace support operations in Africa; Adopted strategies significantly influence African standby force in enhancing peace support operations in Africa. The study was based war theory which is is embedded in the principles of the concept of peacekeeping operations. The study found that ASF meant  to  have  a  multidimensional capacity with  civilian,  police and  military  components.  AU and the regional economic communities have emerged as important actors in the deployment of peace support operations on the continent. To make better use of the capacity which has been developed, and to continue to strengthen this role, it was found appropriate to adjust the ASF concept, and to make investments along the  lines  of  the  nine  lessons  highlighted.  The  study  recommended  that  the  study suggested that the AU should employ a larger number of specialists and experts, along with more general staff, who will be able to provide better internal coordination and allow            for            a            clearer            division            of            responsibilities.

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PROF. AMB. MARIA NZOMO
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