From OAU to AU: a critical analysis of peacekeeping
Malweyi, Hesbon O
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This study is on peacekeeping on the African continent from the 1960s to the present date. In particular it examines the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and later its successor African Union (AU) on how they conducted peacekeeping pointing out their strengths and weaknesses. The study also examines at the correlation between the two Africa organisations and the United Nations in responds to threats that affect the peace and security in Africa. The study examines why the Africa continent has increasingly become the focal point of UN peacekeeping missions and especially in the 1990s after the Cold War. Five selected conflicts in the five regions of Africa were analysed and some of the factors engendering such conflicts in Africa. The five conflicts were drawn one each from the five regions of Africa as follows; the home of Africa, the Great Lakes region, the West Africa, the southern Africa, and finally the North Africa. The OAU was examined in the areas of peace and security and in particular peacekeeping, from the time of its formation until the time it was replaced by the AU. The OAU peace and security framework structures are also examined and finally, the shortcomings of the OAU that necessitated the formation of AU, making it more appealing than the OAU. Also examined is its peace and security framework of AU and how it is structured to tackle the peace and security challenges on the continent. It is pointed out how the African leaders came to the realization that the international community and the United Nations cannot be depended upon entirely to stop the suffering of the African people and therefore more emphasis on peace and security placed in the hands of the regional body In it's close to forty year of existence, DAU only managed to deploy one peacekeeping mission in 1981-82 in Chad and the mission failed to achieve the objectives. This was the only peacekeeping mission the DAU ever attempted. The AU on the other hand has so far deployed three peacekeeping missions in the seven years of its existence; in Burundi, Sudan and now Somalia. The AU is relying on non member states for funding and support when planning for peacekeeping missions as it lacks the capacity to carry out peacekeeping operations independently. The lack of finance complicates the peace process as timelines are interfered with. Currently, the UN and by extension the rest of the world are depending on the AU peacekeepers to test the safety of missions in Africa before launching troops from outside Africa and this trend is likely to continue.