An African Union Army: arguments for and against

March 28, 2021 1361 views 2 minutes reading time
An African Union Army: arguments for and against
For an African Union ArmyAgainst an African Union Army

1. Peacekeeping

The African Union (AU) already has an existing African Standby Force tasked to provide a peaceful co-existence in Africa in times of crises. Currently, the AU faces the challenge of constant delays as it has to deploy over 4,000 troops from their different home countries when called upon. An African Union Army would help create a more peaceful continent and its permanent presence would allow troops to work together, coordinate various duties from a centralised command and avoid delayed responses.
1. Control of the Army

 An African Union Army raises questions about sources of funding for the troops. The majority of continental forces are currently supported by donors, but it remains to be seen if the same donors would be in a position to fund an AU Army. Additional queries would arise around who would supply the troops with equipment and who would decide when the Army needs to intervene. 
2. Easy for the army to succeed 

There have been several missions in Africa where the troops involved were a blend of African and South Asian soldiers. The South Asian troops experienced challenges because they did not understand the African perspective of a given conflict. Missions with African troops proved more successful, such as the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM). These troops were from neighboring countries, including Uganda, Kenya, Djibouti, Burundi and Sierra Leone.  
2. Animosity between the national armies and the AU army

There is likely to be bad blood between national armies within the African Union army, which will hinder their peaceful co-existence. AMISOM already has a strained relationship with the national force of Somalia, which feels that the funds given to AMISOM would have been more effective if directed to the national army. Such animosities make it difficult for national armies to take over once peacekeeping missions have concluded.

Image by U.S .Army Southern European Task Force,Africa via Flickr