EU-UN partnership in military conflict management: Whither the African Union security infrastructure?

  • AT Hengari


This article problematises the nascent relationship between the United Nations (UN) and the European Union (EU) in African conflict management. Constructing the EU as a security actor, including its validation through the UN, is not a process solely based on the normative claims inherent in the EU as a sui generis actor, but more importantly such claims are grounded in the EU as offering greater capacity and efficiency in African conflict management. In light of this argument, many studies have analysed this relationship in terms of inputs and outputs in field missions undertaken under this framework. While the EU-UN relationship can be viewed a priori as a process driven by ‘African needs and requirements’ as an end security consumer, the development of the EU-UN relationship poses inherent risks  to the African Union (AU) slogan of ‘African problems, African solutions’ or ‘African solutions to African problems’. In light of the above-mentioned, the EU-UN question is surprisingly un-problematised and has received little critical attention in this context. By putting the EU-UN relationship into focus, this article shifts attention to the increasing complexities and potential uncertainties that this type of institutionalisation and coordination can generate on the development of Africa’s infrastructure and narratives of conflict management.

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eISSN: 1562-6997