The African Peace and Security Architecture

Authored by: Solomon Dersso

Handbook of Africa’s International Relations

Print publication date:  August  2013
Online publication date:  September  2013

Print ISBN: 9781857436334
eBook ISBN: 9780203803929
Adobe ISBN:


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In terms of the management of international peace and security, one of the most notable developments of the post-Cold War era was the expanded role of regional organizations, particularly in Africa, in conflict prevention and management. Initially, it was in response to emergency situations and on an ad hoc basis that African regional organizations became active in the maintenance of peace and security on the continent. The first peace-keeping mission of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), deployed to Chad in the early 1980s, is a manifestation of this. Similarly, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) intervened in Liberia in August 1990 to stop rebel attacks on the civilian population. The 1997 ECOWAS intervention in neighbouring Sierra Leone was an extension of this trend. With the establishment of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA), African regional organizations have come to assume an established and systematic role in the maintenance of international peace and security on the continent. This chapter offers both an overview of the APSA and an analysis of its various components.

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