Peace and Security Council

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The Peace and Security Council is the organ of the African Union in charge of enforcing union decisions. It is patterned somewhat after the United Nations Security Council.

Members are elected by the Assembly of the African Union so as to reflect regional balance within Africa, as well as a variety of other criteria, including capacity to contribute militarily and financially to the union, political will to do so, and effective diplomatic presence at Addis Ababa.

The council is composed of fifteen countries, of which five are elected to three-year terms, and ten to two-year terms. Countries are immediately re-eligible upon the expiration of their terms.


As of January 2018, the following ten countries occupy 2-year seats on the PSC:[1]

Additionally, Nigeria, Zambia, Egypt, Kenya, and Congo occupy 3-year seats on the PSC which expire in 2019.

Peace Support Operations

The following peace support operations have been conducted under an AU mandate, or with AU authorisation.

(1) African Union Mission in Burundi (AMIB) - 2003 to 2004

AU mandated 2 April 2003 (for a period of 12 months); deployed 27 April 2003 to 31 May 2004 when the mission was succeeded by a UN mission. The Head of Mission and Special Representative of the Chairperson of the AU Commission was Ambassador Mamadou Bah (Guinea). The Force Commander of AMIB’s military component was Major-General Sipho Binda (South Africa), while his deputy, Brigadier-General G. Ayele, was from Ethiopia.

(2) African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) – 2004 to 2007

(3) African Union Military Observer Mission in the Comoros (MIOC) - 2004

(4) African Union Mission for Support to the Elections in Comoros (AMISEC) – 2006

(5) African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) – 2007 to present

On 20 February 2007 the UN Security Council adopted SC Resolution 1744, which authorised AMISOM’s deployment.

(6) African Union Electoral and Security Assistance Mission to the Comoros (MAES) – 2007 to 2008

(7) African Union/ United Nations Hybrid Mission (UNAMID) - 2008 to present

On 31 July 2007 UN Security Council Resolution 1769 (UNSC 2007) established the AU/ UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur, also referred to as UNAMID.

(8) Regional Cooperation Initiative for the Elimination of the Lord’s Resistance Army (RCI-LRA) - 2011 to 2017

Authorised by the AU Peace and Security Council in November 2011.

(9) African-led International Support Mission to Mali (AFISMA) – 2013

(10) African-led Support Mission to the Central African Republic (MISCA) – 2013 to 2014

A regional peace support mission - the Mission for the consolidation of peace in Central African Republic (MICOPAX) - was deployed in 2008 under the leadership of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS). But a new crisis erupted in 2012-2013, when Séléka forces seized the capital Bangui. In response, on 19 July 2013, the AU Peace and Security Council approved the deployment of MISCA. The transfer of authority between ECCAS/MICOPAX and the AU/MISCA mission took place on 19 December 2013. The mission ended with the transfer of authority from MISCA to the UN mission MINUSCA on 15 September 2014.[2]

(11) Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) – 2015 to present

(12) Regional Protection Force - 2017

During July 2016 the AU agreed to a Regional Protection Force to bolster the UN mission in South Sudan, similar to the United Nations Force Intervention Brigade role with the MONUSCO mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo[3] UN Security Council resolution 2304 adopted on 12 August 2016 approved the deployment of a Regional Protection Force to the UN Mission in South Sudan to provide a secure environment in and around Juba. Rwandan troops deployed during 2017 as part of the proposed force,[4] but there has been little subsequent news of this force and it appears it may have been merely absorbed into the larger UN mission. It included a Bangladeshi engineer company and a Nepalese company in addition to a Rwandan mechanised infantry battalion, so cannot be said to be an African force.

During December 2015 the Peace and Security Council authorised a force of up to 5000 troops to be deployed to Burundi for six months to help restore order in that country following an outbreak of politically-inspired violence. However, the African Prevention and Protection Mission in Burundi (MAPROBU) was not welcomed by the Government of Burundi and never deployed to the troubled country.[5]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ African Union, Peace and Security Council,, accessed 31 January 2018.
  3. ^ Aglietti, S. (2016) 'AU Agrees to Send Troops to South Sudan', The Citizen (Dar-es-Salaam), 20 July 2016.
  4. ^ 'Rwanda deploys Mechanised Infantry battalion to South Sudan under Regional Protection Force', Rwanda Ministry of Defence website, 31 July 2017, <>
  5. ^ Karuhanga, J. (2015) 'What Next After AU Authorizes Deployment of African Force in Burundi?', The New Times (Kigali), 20 December 2015.


Aboagye, Festus (2004) The African Mission in Burundi: Lessons learned from the first African Union peacekeeping operation. ‘’Conflict Trends’’ 2: 9–15.

Boutellis, A. & Williams, P.D. (2013) Peace Operations, the African Union and the United Nations: Toward More Effective Partnerships in Peace Operations. International Peace Institute, New York, April 2013.

Maru, Mehari Taddele (2013) African-Led International Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA): Military ahead of Politics, Al Jazeera Center for Studies,

Murithi, Tim (2007) The responsibility to protect, as enshrined in article 4 of the Constitutive Act of the African Union. ‘’African Security Review’’ 16 (3): 14-24.

Murithi, Tim (undated) The African Union’s evolving role in peace operations: the African Union Mission in Burundi, the African Union Mission in Sudan and the African Union Mission in Somalia, ‘’African Security Review’’ 17.1, Institute for Security Studies: 70-82.

Williams, P.D. (2013) Peace Operations in Africa: Lessons Learned Since 2000. ‘’Africa Security Brief’’ No. 25, July 2013.

Williams, P.D. (2015) Enhancing U.S. Support for Peace Operations in Africa. Special Report no. 73, Council on Foreign Relations, New York.

World Peace Foundation (2016) African Politics, African Peace, Report submitted to the African Union by the World Peace Foundation, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University,

External links

  • Peace and Security Council web page
  • Protocol Relating to the Establishment of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union (pdf), July 9, 2002 (html version)
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