(1998). The Economic and Monetary Community of Central African States (CEMAC) has conducted mediation in Central African Republic, since late 2002, supported by France. 20
The African Union deployed its first peacekeeping operation in 2003, the African Mission to Burundi (AMIB), with military forces from Ethiopia, Mozambique and South Africa (about 3,000 troops.) The USA, United Kingdom and France provided some financial support.21 The AU saw its role as establishing the Burundi mission, with the expectation it would be taken over by the UN longer-term. The AU has also played a role alongside UN operations as a mediator in the DRC, in a liaison mission in Ethiopia/Eritrea, and with an observer delegation in Western Sahara. More recently, it played a role in hosting talks between the Sudanese parties in the conflict over Darfur and offering to send observers to that war-torn region.
In 2003, the AU African Chiefs of Defense affirmed their commitment to create Standby Brigade Groups sub-regionally, part of the plan to create an African Standby Force (ASF) by 2010 to manage complex peacekeeping operations. In the shorter term, the AU goal is to have a headquarters capacity to manage smaller missions, establish basic brigade-level planning elements and to see regional development of the standby brigades or brigade groups by June 2005. The Chiefs of Defense also recommended crafting a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the UN to support the AU headquarters and to set up an on- call UN support team, including African units in the UN Stand-by Arrangements System (UNSAS), and consulting the UN on doctrine, training and exercises, logistics support, and standards.
Progress was made at the AU meeting in Libya in February 2004 with commitments to creating a multinational African Standby Force of approximately 15,000 troops by 2010. The leaders also agreed to develop five standby brigades as regional forces by 2005 (despite advice to start with a more realistic level of two regional brigades), established to intervene in conflicts and to prevent genocide. This Force is expected to draw from the militaries of South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and Egypt, among others, but will require financial, material and planning support from developed countries. The EU Commission President announced that the EU would offer funds for peace support operations by the African Union.22 This support will be critical, since the AU is heavily reliant on outside funding from non-African state and has few stocks in its depot to support deployments. It also lacks sufficient planning and managerial capacity at its headquarters in Addis Ababa and needs an improved capacity to deploy and sustain skilled troops in a peace operation.
The United Nations – through its Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), the Department of Political Affairs (DPA) and other offices – has provided consultative support to the African Union in its development of plans for the ASF and its security architecture for future operations. In addition to helping the AU consider its own needs to develop the ability to plan, organize, deploy, manage, and sustain peace operations, the UN has offered support for evaluating the AU Situation Room, assisted with shaping the scenarios and planning for regional brigades, and staffs the small UN liaison office for the African Union in Addis Ababa.
With help from the EU, the African Union has modeled itself on the European Union and benefited from its support for developing its peace operations capacity and that of its sub-regional groups, as well as other efforts to increase conflict prevention, support DDR and overall capacity-building. In March 2004, the EU announced it would provide €250 million euros ($300 million) to support an “African Peace Facility” in the form of assistance to promote African peacekeeping in Africa through both African-led operations and increasing member state capacity for undertaking those missions; Africans also pledged to provide a small percentage of their allocations in development to the facility as well. In its statement the EU linked this
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France with about 300 soldiers; CEMAC with about 380 troops. “As Big Powers Hold Back, Continent Works to Strengthen its Capacities,” Africa News, 27 October 2003. “EU Gives 250mln Euro to Africa Peacekeeping Force,” from Reuters (reported in UN Wire), 31 March 2004.