ABSTRACT

Since its establishment in 2002, the AU has demonstrated its vision and aspirations in conflict management. One of the most notable aspects in which the AU has been able to translate its pursuit of peace in Africa into practice is through peace support operations. The history and practice of traditional peacekeeping first arose from the missions authorized and primarily implemented by the UN. The actors, mandates and missions have significantly changed and expanded since the beginning of the twenty-first century, following the security challenges of the immediate post-Cold War era. Regional organizations such as the AU, ECOWAS, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the EU have become more involved in peace operations. Their mandates have also evolved from merely observing peace (notably the 1956 UN Emergency Force in Egypt, UNEF 1) to more complex multidimensional, integrated stabilization operations requiring extensive civilian protection. Such expansion has been described as part of a liberal interventionist agenda that has been constructed in terms of a Responsibility to Protect (RtoP).2