How African Organisations Envision Peacemaking

AU, IGAD and SADC policies and structures for African solutions

Author: Michael Aeby

The African Union (AU) and Regional Economic Communities (REC) have become pivotal peacemakers in the two decades since they began the construction of a joint African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) with the objective to provide “African solutions to African problems.” The African organisations have developed normative policy frameworks and organisational structures for mediation and preventive diplomacy. The peacemaking institutions, which were developed with the assistance of international development partners, reflect the long-standing peacemaking experience, practices and principles of the African organisations, as well as international norms, technical standards and peacebuilding paradigms. Whereas the African organisations and Western states share a catalogue of common values, in peacemaking interventions, their priorities and approaches often diverge.

This policy brief explores how African organisations envision peacemaking, how the African solutions differ from Western approaches, and to what extent the approaches are compatible. To this end, it reviews the policy frameworks and structures for peacemaking of the AU, Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and Southern African Development Community (SADC). The study forms part of PeaceRep’s Global Transitions project, which examines the role of non-Western state actors and intergovernmental organisations in the management of conflicts and peace processes worldwide.

The Global Transitions Series looks at fragmentations in the global order and how these impact peace and transition settlements. It explores why and how different third-party actors – state, intergovernmental, and non-governmental – intervene in conflicts, and how they see themselves contributing to reduction of conflict and risks of conflict relapse. The series critically assesses the growth and diversification of global and regional responses to contemporary conflicts. It also asks how local actors are navigating this multiplicity of mediators and peacebuilders and how this is shaping conflict outcomes and post-conflict governance.