Reframing the African Peace and Security Architecture: An Argument for a Unitary AU Post-conflict Reconstruction and Development Organ


  • Swikani Ncube


Africa’s need for comprehensive normative and institutional frameworks for peacemaking and peacebuilding is obvious. Indeed, the prevalence of civil conflicts and general instability in most countries justifies the relative urgency with which the adoption of the Protocol Establishing the AU Peace and Security Council was viewed preceding and during the AU Assembly’s inaugural Ordinary Session in July 2002. However, despite the establishment of the Peace and Security Council, the Panel of the Wise, the Continental Early Warning System, the African Standby Force, and the Peace Fund—organs that have come to represent the backbone of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA)—positive peace has remained an elusive ideal. This contribution makes two arguments. First, it argues that the continental organization’s failure to include an organ solely dedicated to post-conflict reconstruction and development on the list of organs that form the spine of the APSA constituted a glaring omission, one which has significantly weakened the organization’s capacity. Second, it argues that even if the organs envisaged in the 2006 AU Policy Framework on Postconflict and Reconstruction are established, they will not cure the current deficiency in its entirety. Based on this conclusion, the paper makes an argument for the creation of a unitary PCRD organ. Finally, the paper explores enabling factors as well as challenges that would confront the possible establishment and operationalization of the said organ.