The Peace Support Operations Division (PSOD) of the Commission of the African Union (AU), held, on 10 August 2017 at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa, a roundtable discussion with experts and academics on the “Implications of ad-hoc Security Initiatives (namely, Multinational Joint Taskforce against Boko Haram, G5 Sahel and the Regional Coordination Initiative against the Lord Resistance Army) on the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) including the African Stand-by Force (ASF)”

The aim of the roundtable was to interrogate the legal, strategic, political and operational implications of these ad-hoc security initiatives on the ASF, AU peace support operations doctrine and the APSA. It also provided a platform to discuss the AU’s roles and responsibilities in providing political legitimacy, through authorization by the AU Peace and Security Council.

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The AU stressed the importance and growing prominence of ad-hoc security initiatives in responding to contemporary security challenges in Africa. These ad-hoc security initiatives could be perceived as part of the growing need for the adaptation and innovation of existing peace and security architecture mechanisms. As such, a need was identified to ensure that there was alignment and harmonization of the mandating, authorization or approval of these ad-hoc security initiatives by the various multilateral, regional actors involved.

Panelists further emphasised the need to ensure that these coalitions should be better elaborated upon in the on-going efforts by the PSOD to develop an AU Peace Support Operations (PSO) Doctrine and an African Standby Force (ASF) concept.

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The roundtable concluded with a set of recommendations relating to the continued relevance of the AU, the complementary relationship of the ad-hoc security initiatives with AU and Regional Economic Communities/Regional Mechanisms’ PSOs and the envisaged roles and responsibilities of all actors in support of these new forms of peace operations.