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Strengthening African Peace Support Operations: Nine Lessons for the Future of the African Standby Force

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Over the last decade, African countries, with the support of international partners, have engaged in a collective effort to develop regional capacities for peace support operations. Under the umbrella of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA), the African Union (AU), three Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and two Regional Mechanisms (RMs) have worked to develop the African Standby Force (ASF). Although the AU and the RECs/RMs are progressively displaying their willingness and enhanced capacity to deploy peace support operations, the appropriateness of the ASF concept is under scrutiny. In light of nine principal lessons learned over the last ten years, it would seem appropriate to adjust the ASF concept somewhat, and to make investments in the respective key areas.