Securing Africa: the role of the African standby force
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.