What works? The African Union’s ad hoc approach, the African Standby Force or the African Capacity for Immediate Response to Conflict?
The African Union (AU) has achieved much in conf lict management through its ad hoc approach to peacekeeping. Rather than contend on how to make this approach more effective, African conf lict scholars and bureaucrats are now favouring and focusing on the African Standby Force (ASF) and the African Capacity for Immediate Response to Conf lict (ACIRC). The debates often laud these mechanisms as necessary for effective peacekeeping in Africa without assessing if they can really get the job done. This paper queries the competency of these mechanisms in achieving stability in conf lict areas and asks if they can really be more effective than the ad hoc approach? This article contends that emphasis should rather be on improving the ad hoc approach than on the operationalisation of the two new mechanisms. This paper argues that the ad hoc approach has had major successes. The newly established mechanisms, though yet to be tested, will be ineffective in keeping the peace due to their major structural defects.
Keywords: conflict, peacekeeping, African Union, ad hoc approach, contingent character, force integrity, complementarity, subsidiarity