African Journal on Conflict Resolution

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The quest for Pax Africana: The case of the African Union’s peace and security regime

Solomon A Dersso


In 1967 Ali Mazrui offered in his seminal work, Towards a Pax Africana, the earliest analysis on the need for Africans to assume responsibility for the maintenance of peace and security on the continent. Arguably, the most comprehensive effort towards achieving this ideal was made with the establishment of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) in the context of the transformation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) to the African Union (AU). As the institutions and processes constituting the APSA are coming into operation, various questions are raised. Despite the fact that the political ideal of ‘African solutions to African problems’ underlying the APSA is routinely used in the literature and policy circles, questions still remain on what it actually entails and how it informs and shapes African policy making on peace and security issues affecting the continent. Most importantly, there is also the question of how far this ideal embodied in the APSA provides Africa with the means for achieving Pax Africana. In attempting to address these and related questions, this contribution will offer an analysis of the ideal of ‘African solutions to African problems’ within the framework of APSA and its role and limitations in Africa’s quest for maintaining its peace and security.

African Journal On Conflict Resolution, 12(2) 2012

AJOL African Journals Online