Peace and Security Council

The Peace and Security Council is the organ of the African Union in charge of enforcing union decisions. It is patterned somewhat after the United Nations Security Council.

Members are elected by the Assembly of the African Union so as to reflect regional balance within Africa, as well as a variety of other criteria, including capacity to contribute militarily and financially to the union, political will to do so, and effective diplomatic presence at Addis Ababa.

The council is composed of fifteen countries, of which five are elected to three-year terms, and ten to two-year terms. Countries are immediately re-eligible upon the expiration of their terms.


As of Novenmber 2018, the following countries occupy the seats of the PSC:[1]

Peace Support Operations

The following peace support operations have been conducted under an AU mandate, or with AU authorisation.

(1) African Union Mission in Burundi (AMIB) - 2003 to 2004

AU mandated 2 April 2003 (for a period of 12 months); deployed 27 April 2003 to 31 May 2004 when the mission was succeeded by a UN mission. The Head of Mission and Special Representative of the Chairperson of the AU Commission was Ambassador Mamadou Bah (Guinea). The Force Commander of AMIB’s military component was Major-General Sipho Binda (South Africa), while his deputy, Brigadier-General G. Ayele, was from Ethiopia.

(2) African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) – 2004 to 2007

(3) African Union Military Observer Mission in the Comoros (MIOC) - 2004

(4) African Union Mission for Support to the Elections in Comoros (AMISEC) – 2006

(5) African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) – 2007 to present

On 20 February 2007 the UN Security Council adopted SC Resolution 1744, which authorised AMISOM’s deployment.

(6) African Union Electoral and Security Assistance Mission to the Comoros (MAES) – 2007 to 2008

(7) African Union/ United Nations Hybrid Mission (UNAMID) - 2008 to present

On 31 July 2007 UN Security Council Resolution 1769 (UNSC 2007) established the AU/ UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur, also referred to as UNAMID.

(8) Regional Cooperation Initiative for the Elimination of the Lord’s Resistance Army (RCI-LRA) - 2011 to 2017

Authorised by the AU Peace and Security Council in November 2011.

(9) African-led International Support Mission to Mali (AFISMA) – 2013

(10) African-led Support Mission to the Central African Republic (MISCA) – 2013 to 2014

A regional peace support mission - the Mission for the consolidation of peace in Central African Republic (MICOPAX) - was deployed in 2008 under the leadership of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS). But a new crisis erupted in 2012-2013, when Séléka forces seized the capital Bangui. In response, on 19 July 2013, the AU Peace and Security Council approved the deployment of MISCA. The transfer of authority between ECCAS/MICOPAX and the AU/MISCA mission took place on 19 December 2013. The mission ended with the transfer of authority from MISCA to the UN mission MINUSCA on 15 September 2014.[2]

(11) Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) – 2015 to present

(12) Regional Protection Force - 2017 to present

During July 2016 the AU agreed to a Regional Protection Force to bolster the UN mission in South Sudan, similar to the United Nations Force Intervention Brigade role with the MONUSCO mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo[3] UN Security Council resolution 2304 adopted on 12 August 2016 approved the deployment of a Regional Protection Force to the UN Mission in South Sudan to provide a secure environment in and around Juba. Rwandan troops deployed during 2017 as part of the proposed force,[4] but there has been little subsequent news of this force and it appears it may have been merely absorbed into the larger UN mission. It included a Bangladeshi engineer company and a Nepalese company in addition to a Rwandan mechanised infantry battalion, so cannot be said to be an African force.

During December 2015 the Peace and Security Council authorised a force of up to 5000 troops to be deployed to Burundi for six months to help restore order in that country following an outbreak of politically-inspired violence. However, the African Prevention and Protection Mission in Burundi (MAPROBU) was not welcomed by the Government of Burundi and never deployed to the troubled country.[5]


  1. ^ African Union, Peace and Security Department, Composition of the PSC <>, accessed 23 February 2019
  2. ^ African Union, Peace and Security Council,, accessed 31 January 2018.
  3. ^ Aglietti, S. (2016) 'AU Agrees to Send Troops to South Sudan', The Citizen (Dar-es-Salaam), 20 July 2016.
  4. ^ 'Rwanda deploys Mechanised Infantry battalion to South Sudan under Regional Protection Force', Rwanda Ministry of Defence website, 31 July 2017, <>
  5. ^ Karuhanga, J. (2015) 'What Next After AU Authorizes Deployment of African Force in Burundi?', The New Times (Kigali), 20 December 2015.


Aboagye, Festus (2004) The African Mission in Burundi: Lessons learned from the first African Union peacekeeping operation. ‘’Conflict Trends’’ 2: 9–15.

Boutellis, A. & Williams, P.D. (2013) Peace Operations, the African Union and the United Nations: Toward More Effective Partnerships in Peace Operations. International Peace Institute, New York, April 2013.

Maru, Mehari Taddele (2013) African-Led International Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA): Military ahead of Politics, Al Jazeera Center for Studies,

Murithi, Tim (2007) The responsibility to protect, as enshrined in article 4 of the Constitutive Act of the African Union. ‘’African Security Review’’ 16 (3): 14-24.

Murithi, Tim (undated) The African Union’s evolving role in peace operations: the African Union Mission in Burundi, the African Union Mission in Sudan and the African Union Mission in Somalia, ‘’African Security Review’’ 17.1, Institute for Security Studies: 70-82.

Williams, P.D. (2013) Peace Operations in Africa: Lessons Learned Since 2000. ‘’Africa Security Brief’’ No. 25, July 2013.

Williams, P.D. (2015) Enhancing U.S. Support for Peace Operations in Africa. Special Report no. 73, Council on Foreign Relations, New York.

World Peace Foundation (2016) African Politics, African Peace, Report submitted to the African Union by the World Peace Foundation, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University,

External links

African Peace and Security Architecture

The African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) includes the three central instruments conflict prevention, conflict management and peace building of the African Union (AU), the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) as well as the Regional Mechanism (RMs).

African Standby Force

The African Standby Force (ASF) (French: Force africaine en attente) is an international, continental African, and multidisciplinary peacekeeping force with military, police and civilian contingents that acts under the direction of the African Union. The ASF is to be deployed in times of crisis in Africa. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, serves as the Force's Headquarters. Douala, Cameroon, was selected in 2011 as the site of the AU's Continental Logistics Base (LOGBASE).In 2003, a 2010 operational date for the force was set.

African Union

The African Union (AU) is a continental union consisting of 55 member states located on the continent of Africa, with exception of various territories of European possessions located in Africa. The bloc was founded on 26 May 2001 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and launched on 9 July 2002 in South Africa. The intention of the AU is to replace the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), established on 25 May 1963 in Addis Ababa by 32 signatory governments. The most important decisions of the AU are made by the Assembly of the African Union, a semi-annual meeting of the heads of state and government of its member states. The AU's secretariat, the African Union Commission, is based in Addis Ababa.

The African Union has an area of around 29 million km2 (11 million sq mi) and includes popular world landmarks, including the Sahara and the Nile. The primary languages spoken include Arabic, English, French and Portuguese and the languages of Africa. Within the African Union, there are official bodies such as the Peace and Security Council and the Pan-African Parliament.

African Union-led Regional Task Force

The African Union-led Regional Task Force is a multi-national military force in central Africa, authorised by the African Union's Peace and Security Council and approved by the United Nations Security Council, as part of a Regional Co-operation Initiative for the elimination of the Lord's Resistance Army (a rebel band originating in Uganda).

African Union Commission

The Commission of the African Union acts as the executive/administrative branch or secretariat of the AU (and is somewhat analogous to the European Commission). It consists of a number of Commissioners dealing with different areas of policy. The Commission is headquartered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It should be distinguished from the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, (based in Banjul, Gambia), which is a separate body that reports to the African Union.

African Union Mission in Sudan

The African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) was an African Union (AU) peacekeeping force operating primarily in the country's western region of Darfur with the aim of performing peacekeeping operations related to the Darfur conflict. It was founded in 2004, with a force of 150 troops. By mid-2005, its numbers were increased to about 7,000. Under United Nations Security Council Resolution 1564, AMIS was to "closely and continuously liaise and coordinate ... at all levels" its work with the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS). AMIS was the only external military force in Sudan's Darfur region until UNAMID was established. It was not able to effectively contain the violence in Darfur. A more sizable, better equipped UN peacekeeping force was originally proposed for September 2006, but due to Sudanese government opposition, it was not implemented at that time. AMIS' mandate was extended repeatedly throughout 2006, while the situation in Darfur continued to escalate, until AMIS was replaced by UNAMID on December 31, 2007.

African Union Mission to Somalia (2007–present)

The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) is an active, regional peacekeeping mission operated by the African Union with the approval of the United Nations Security Council. It is mandated to support transitional governmental structures, implement a national security plan, train the Somali security forces, and to assist in creating a secure environment for the delivery of humanitarian aid. As part of its duties, AMISOM also supports the Federal Government of Somalia's forces in their battle against Al-Shabaab militants.

AMISOM was created by the African Union's Peace and Security Council on 19 January 2007 with an initial six-month mandate. On 21 February 2007 the United Nations Security Council approved the mission's mandate. Subsequent six-monthly renewals of AMISOM's mandate by the African Union Peace and Security Council have also been authorised by the United Nations Security Council.The duration of AMISOM's mandate has been extended in each period that it has been up for review, lastly in July 2018. The current mandate expires on 31 May 2019, with an interim goal to reduce troop levels to a maximum of 20,626 by 28 February 2019.

Casablanca Group

The Casablanca Group, sometimes known as the 'Casablanca bloc', was a short-lived, informal association of African states with a shared vision of the future of Africa and of Pan-Africanism in the early 1960s. The group was composed of seven states led by radical, left-wing leaders largely from North Africa - Algeria, Egypt, Ghana, Guinea, Libya, Mali, and Morocco. The conflict and eventual compromise between the Casablanca Group and the Monrovia Group lead to the establishment of the Organisation of African Unity.

Eastern Africa Standby Force

The Eastern Africa Standby Force (EASF), formerly Eastern Africa Standby Brigade (EASBRIG), is one of the five regional forces for Peace Support Operations (PSOs) of the African Standby Force, consisting of military, police and civilian components. EASF constitutes the regional operational arm of the peacekeeping elements of the African Peace and Security Architecture, put in place by the 2002 Protocol Relating to the Establishment of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union.As of January 2018, EASF has ten member states: Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda. From April 2013, the Republic of South Sudan had the status of an observer and, according to EASF, was expected to eventually become a full member shortly. In June 2014, Somali Prime Minister Ahmed recommitted Somalia to the force during an African Union Summit in Equatorial Guinea. A follow-up meeting on troop contributions from the EASF member nations was conducted in August 2014.

Executive Council of the African Union

The Executive Council of the African Union is made up of ministers designated by the governments of member countries. They discuss issues of concern and prepare material for the Assembly, to whom they are responsible. They make decisions on five different topics:

foreign trade

social security




Intergovernmental Authority on Development

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) is an eight-country trade bloc in Africa. It includes governments from the Horn of Africa, Nile Valley and the African Great Lakes. Its headquarters are in Djibouti City.

Mohammed Ahmed Alhassan

Mohammed Ahmed Alhassan (born 21 January 1954) is a Ghanaian police officer and former United Nations official. He is the commanding officer of the Ghana Police Service and was the Inspector General of Police under the John Dramani Mahama administration.

Organs of the African Union

The African Union is governed by organs as per Article 5 of the Constitutive Act of the African Union.

Panel of the Wise

The Panel of the Wise is a consultative body of the African Union, composed of five appointed members who each serve three year terms. Its mandate is to provide opinions to the Peace and Security Council on issues relevant to conflict prevention, management, and resolution. Representatives are chosen for the North, East, South, West, and Central regions of the continent.The first Panel of the Wise was established in December 2007, with a mandate which expired in 2010. The Assembly of Heads of State and Government, meeting in Kampala in 2010, decided to expand the Panel's composition, by appointing a Group of "Friends of the Panel of the Wise" appointed on the same basis as the Panel (one representative for each African sub-region).

Permanent Representatives' Committee of the African Union

The Permanent Representatives' Committee of the African Union is made up of nominated representatives of member countries by the African Union.

Chair - Nigeria

1st Vice-Chair - Republic of Congo

2nd Vice-Chair - Rwanda

3rd Vice-Chair - Libya

Rapporteur - Botswana

They prepare the work for the Executive Council.

Said Djinnit

Said Djinnit (Arabic: سعيد جينيت‎) (born June 7, 1954) is an Algerian diplomat who has been Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General for the Great Lakes region in Africa since 2014. Previously he served as the Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWA).

He served as the Commissioner for Peace and Security at the African Union, with responsibility for issues including the Darfur conflict.He also served in various capacities in the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), now African Union, including as OAU Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs. At OAU, he spearheaded efforts by the General Secretariat/Commission in supporting peace processes on the continent, including Ethiopia-Eritrea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi, Comoros, Madagascar, Sierra Leone, Central Africa Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sudan, Somalia. He also helped create important OAU/AU initiatives such as the Protocol on the African Union Peace and Security Council(2002), the Conceptual Framework on the African Standby Force and Military Staff Committee, the Draft Common African Defense and Security Policy, the Protocol to the Treaty Establishing the African Economic Community relating to the Pan African Parliament, the Declaration on the Framework for an OAU Response to Unconstitutional Changes of Government(2000), the Draft Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, and the Conference on Security, Stability, Development and Cooperation in Africa (CSSDCA).

He was the leader of the African Union Commission for the deployment of the first ever African Union peacekeeping operation. Under his leadership, the Organisation of African Unity team participated in the proximity talks between Ethiopia and Eritrea and acquired the signature of both parties to the Algiers agreements of June and December 2000. He also served as Chairman of the OAU Secretariat Task Force on the drafting of the Constitutive Act of the African Union (1999–2000).

He was appointed as Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General for the Great Lakes region in Africa on 17 July 2014.

As a diplomat, he also served for Algeria on various diplomatic missions. He was Chargé d'affaires of the Algerian Embassy in Brussels and Deputy Head of Mission in Addis Ababa.

He holds a diploma in diplomacy from the École nationale d'administration. He has also studied at the Centre for International Relations Studies, University of Brussels, and at the Institute of Political Affairs, University of Algiers.

Djinnit is fluent in Arabic, French, and English.

Secretariat of the Pan-African Parliament

In order to allow the Pan-African Parliament's functions to be carried out more smoothly and in a more streamlined fashion, it is assisted by a Secretariat.

Specialised Technical Committees of the African Union

The Specialised Technical Committees are bodies in the African Union responsible to the Executive Council.

They include:

The Specialised Technical Committee on Rural Economy and Agricultural Matters.

The Specialised Technical Committee on Monetary and Financial Affairs.

The Specialised Technical Committee on Trade, Customs and Immigration Matters.

The Specialised Technical Committee on Industry, Science and Technology, Energy, Natural Resources and Environment.

The Specialised Technical Committee on Transport, Communications and Tourism.

The Specialised Technical Committee on Health, Labor and Social Affairs.

The Specialised Technical Committee on Education, Culture and Human Resources.The Assembly sometimes rearrange the existing Committees or create new ones. The Specialized Technical Committees are made up of Ministers or senior officials in charge of sectors within their areas of expertise.

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1679

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1679, adopted unanimously on May 16, 2006, after recalling resolutions 1556 (2004), 1564 (2004), 1574 (2004), 1590 (2005), 1591 (2005), 1593 (2005), 1663 (2005) and 1665 (2006) on the situation in Sudan, the Council endorsed a decision by the African Union Peace and Security Council to move ahead with a United Nations peacekeeping force in Darfur as soon as possible.After the adoption of Resolution 1679, China said it would not support any further resolutions against Sudan under Chapter VII authority, unless approval of the Sudanese government was obtained.

Term Central Africa Eastern Africa Northern Africa Southern Africa Western Africa
2017  Congo-Brazzaville  Kenya  Egypt  Zambia  Nigeria
2019  Equatorial Guinea  Gabon  Djibouti  Rwanda  Morocco  Angola  Zimbabwe  Liberia  Sierra Leone  Togo

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