The AU has played an increasing role in mandating and deploying psos since its creation in 2002. The AU Peace and Security Council (AU-PSC) has authorised or mandated the deployment of a total of thirteen peace support operations in Africa since its establishment. this includes sending approximately sixty-four thousand uniformed peacekeepers (troops and police) to missions on the continent. its largest and most complex mission, the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) has been operational since 2007 with a current troop strength of 22,126. other current operations include the African Union/United Nations hybrid operation in Darfur (UNAMID) and two multinational task forces: The Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) mandated to fight Boko Haram in Nigeria and surrounding countries, and the AU regional task force combatting the Lord’s Resistance Army in Central Africa (IRA RTF).
The establishment of the African Standby Force (ASF) and its Rapid Deployment Capability (RDC) under the framework of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) has been instrumental to the development of practices and capacities of african-led peace operations. The ASF is composed of five regional standby capabilities for peace operations which would be implemented by the recs and rms, and made available to the au when a crisis arises and deployment is required. It is intended that the ASF will support the PSC in the deployment of peace operations in cases of intervention to prevent or respond to imminent gross human rights violations.
Countering Current Global Security Threats In Africa
Strengthening AU efforts to counter current global security threats in Africa, including terrorism and violent extremism, organized crime and trafficking
The number of fatalities caused by terrorism globally has been rising steadily since 2000, from 3,329 in 2000 to 32,685 in 2014 (IEP 2015: 2). A particular dramatic increase was noted in 2014, with an 80% increase compared to 2013, largely because of is and Boko Haram (IBID.). Some of the key groups behind terrorist attacks are on the African continent, including Boko Haram (Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger and Chad), al Shabaab (Somalia), Aqim (Mali), and Al Mourabitoun (Mali). The AU has been exploring how it can counter and unpack the threats of violent extremism and terrorism in a holistic manner across the continent, from using the ASF to fight terrorist groups, analysing interlinked issues such as irregular migration and organised crime, to addressing root causes.
These challenges will require new mandates, capabilities, technologies and new kinds of training. Through applied research, the TfP programme will support the AUC in developing a better understanding of current and emerging global security threats and vulnerabilities, and to develop its institutional capacity to respond to such threats in a holistic, effective and coherent way.