When the United Nations (UN) Security Council needs to authorize a peace enforcement operation in Africa, its partner of choice is the African Union (AU). Africa has developed significant peace operations capacity over the past decade. In addition to deploying eight AU operations, Africa now contributes 50% of all UN peacekeepers. African stability operations, like its mission in Somalia, are often described as peace enforcement operations. In this article, I question whether it is accurate to categorize African stability operations as peace enforcement? I answer the question by considering what the criteria are that are used to differentiate between peace enforcement and peacekeeping operations in the UN context. I then use the peace enforcement criteria to assess whether AU stabilization operations would qualify as peace enforcement operations. In conclusion, I consider the implications of the findings for the strategic partnership between the AU and the UN.
To cite this article: Cedric de Coning (2017): Peace enforcement in Africa: Doctrinal distinctions between the African Union and United Nations, Contemporary Security Policy, DOI: 10.1080/13523260.2017.1283108
Link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13523260.2017.1283108