|This panel focuses on the African Union’s and African regional organizations’ engagement in providing peace and security. It looks into security cooperation between African States and the existing institutional mechanisms to undertake mediation, conflict prevention and peacekeeping missions. It aims to analyze and understand how and by whom decisions in favor or against joint peace operations are taken by discussing different case studies. Why are there African interventions in some conflicts and in others not, although all countries are members of several regional organizations? What “legitimacy” (local, national, regional, international) is required for an operation to take place? The following questions will be addressed:
- What are the rationales behind the shift in conflict intervention away from loose state networks to more institutionalized regional organizations? To what degree are supranational bodies involved in decision making compared to member States?
- To what extend the dependence on external support and partnership compromises the implementation of the principle of “African ownership”?
- What methodologies allow to evaluate interventions on the continent: Is it possible to compare different operations led by African regional organizations? Why are some regional organizations, like ECOWAS, performing better than others?
- Whereas the AU and African regional organizations are seen as the main actors of conflict management, what limits and weaknesses do they still have to overcome? What conclusions can for instance be drawn from operations, such as the AU interventions in Darfur and Somalia, regarding military performance, political commitment, external dependence, etc?
- What future for the African Peace and Security Architecture?