African Union’s capacity in providing African solutions for African problems - the case of African Union mission in Somalia (AMISOM)

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Hlatshwayo, Sandile L.
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University of Malta; DiploFoundation
Since gaining independence, many African countries have experienced various forms of insecurity with some plunging into violent conflict. This is still an on-going trend even since the beginning of the 21st Century. Such insecurities have manifested itself in the form of armed conflicts, both inter-state and intra-state, coups d’état and election-induced or related political crises among others. While many of these take place within the confines of individual states, others have clear regional ramifications. Following the transformation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) into the African Union (AU), Africa witnessed a tide of change not only in the norms and institutions relating to peace and security, but also in the role of AU and African regional organisations in the maintenance of peace and security in Africa. Apart from analysing the developments of the past decade, it is the submission of this paper that the experience of AU’s engagement during the past decade in putting in place an operating, management and resolution mechanism for responding to various peace and security challenges that afflict on the continent. Among these developments are the establishment of African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the implementation of key institutions and structures of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA). All these are aimed at achieving various AU goals, including in particular silencing the guns by year 2020. In simple term, silencing the guns means stopping illegal inflow of weapons into Africa, stopping the illicit proliferation, and the use of weapons within the continent. These two factors contribute most to the persistence of violent conflicts in Africa.