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Abstract

Ten years after its endorsement by the un General Assembly, the operationalisation of the Responsibility to Protect (RtoP) concept faces challenges of consistency and capacity. Too often, global politics at the world’s premier intergovernmental body, the un, hampers effective action. Regional arrangements have a crucial role to play in this regard, however, questions of capacity to live up to this expectation remain. The Peace and Security Council (psc) of the African Union (au), mandated to implement the African Peace and Security Architecture (apsa) has primarily focused on developing the African Standby Force (asf), which the au succeeded in bringing to its ‘Full Operational Capability’ (foc) in December 2015 for implementation. Deploying the asf in deserving cases, for instance in Burundi in 2016, raises issues of sovereign consent, risks and costs. To avoid these complexities, this chapter argues that regional arrangements under Chapter viii are primarily pacific tools of the Security Council; focusing on harnessing these peaceful mechanisms of conflict prevention offers potential for consistent and effective ‘first responses’ to crises, with fewer complications. Regional arrangements as mediation tools present great opportunity for peaceful settlement of local disputes. Support for mediation is typically by peace operations. This chapter proposes that mediation support by a ‘preventive arbitration’ tool through ‘popular participation’ under the African Governance Architecture (aga) may have a pivotal role in this respect. Therefore, a regional responsibility to protect, through greater mediation, requires mediating challenges of governance in Africa.

In: Regionalism and Human Protection

Ten years after its endorsement by the un General Assembly, the operationalisation of the Responsibility to Protect (RtoP) concept faces challenges of consistency and capacity. Too often, global politics at the world’s premier intergovernmental body, the un, hampers effective action. Regional arrangements have a crucial role to play in this regard, however, questions of capacity to live up to this expectation remain. The Peace and Security Council (psc) of the African Union (au), mandated to implement the African Peace and Security Architecture (apsa) has primarily focused on developing the African Standby Force (asf), which the au succeeded in bringing to its ‘Full Operational Capability’ (foc) in December 2015 for implementation. Deploying the asf in deserving cases, for instance in Burundi in 2016, raises issues of sovereign consent, risks and costs. To avoid these complexities, this article argues that regional arrangements under Chapter viii are primarily pacific tools of the Security Council; focusing on harnessing these peaceful mechanisms of conflict prevention offers potential for consistent and effective ‘first responses’ to crises, with fewer complications. Regional arrangements as mediation tools present great opportunity for peaceful settlement of local disputes. Support for mediation is typically by peace operations. This article proposes that mediation support by a ‘preventive arbitration’ tool through ‘popular participation’ under the African Governance Architecture (aga) may have a pivotal role in this respect. Therefore, a regional responsibility to protect, through greater mediation, requires mediating challenges of governance in Africa.

In: Global Responsibility to Protect

The un peace operations have undergone significant revisions to calibrate mission mandates in tandem with emerging threats to international peace and security, especially non-traditional security (nts) threats that stem from governance challenges. These multidimensional missions essentially perform statebuilding interventions (sbis) through capacity-building programmes. The future of these missions depends on negotiated political settlements that facilitate the creation of accountable institutions and inclusive societies. Scholars debate the future of un peace missions, especially as it relates to stabilization operations. On the one hand, are the “narrowers” who believe that peace operations should remain focused on stabilizing state authorities. On the other hand, are the “broadeners” who favor people-focused stabilization operations. This article argues for a broad approach. Focusing on the role of regional organizations under Chapter viii of the un Charter, it argues that successive failures by the African Union to implement its doctrinal instruments, particularly the Post Conflict Reconstruction and Development Policy, the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance and the Common African Defence and Security Policy has narrowed its peace interventions in Africa to peace enforcement operations. To be relevant, the African Union needs to focus on the challenges of governance in Africa.

In: Journal of International Peacekeeping