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PSC Review finds major gaps in Africa's capacity for responding to armed conflict
30 January 2014

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – Despite progress in the past decade and the increased capacity of the African Union (AU), the inability to marshal robust and timely responses lays bare the major gaps in the current African peace and security architecture.

This is according to Dr Solomon A Dersso, a senior researcher at the Institute for Security Studies, speaking at Thursday’s launch of the Annual Review of the Peace and Security Council 2013/3014 on the sidelines of the 22nd AU summit in Addis Ababa.

The Annual Review concluded that the African Union’s Peace and Security Council (PSC) has not deployed effective and timely responses to crises during 2013. While the PSC and regional conflict prevention mechanisms remain willing to respond – as demonstrated by the rise in the number and frequency of PSC meetings – their ability to act effectively can be questioned. Two cases in point are Mali and the Central African Republic, where the deployment of French forces was required.

‘If the PSC’s potential to enable Africa to effectively take charge of its peace and security agenda is to be realised, then several major concerns must be addressed’, said Dersso who authored the Annual Review. These include refining the African Standby Force concept and fast-tracking its operationalisation,rethinking the role of major economic and military powers of the continent, the membership of the PSC, the process of consensus-building, and the mobilisation of diplomatic, military, technical and financial resources by AU member states.

The Annual Review is the second in a series of in-depth assessments of the PSC conducted by the ISS. The first Annual Review of the PSC 2012/2013 was launched at the January 2013 AU summit.

For media interviews and more information contact:

Dr Solomon A Dersso, Senior Researcher, Conflict Prevention and Risk Analysis Division, ISS Addis Ababa
Tel: + 251 11 515 63 20 Cell: + 251 91042 6974

About the Institute for Security Studies

The ISS is an African organisation which aims to enhance human security on the continent. It does independent and authoritative research, provides expert policy analysis and advice, and delivers practical training and technical assistance.