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The African Union (AU) has set itself an ambitious aim to develop an African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA).
In addition to creating the necessary decision-making bodies in Addis Ababa such as the Peace and Security Council, the Military Staff Committee and the Panel of the Wise, APSA will comprise of the African Stand-by Force (ASF) based on five regional brigades to be established by each of the sub-regional organisations (ECOWAS, SADC, IGAD, ECCAS, UMA). The ASF will have both military and civilian components.
Some progress has already been made both at the continental and sub-regional level to operationalize the ASF, and the international community is providing continued support where required and requested. The UK for its part is providing direct assistance to the AU through mentoring and advice provided by a consultant and the UK’s Regional Conflict Adviser for the East and Horn of Africa, both funded by the Africa Conflict Prevention Pool (ACPP).
At the regional level, the MOD, in partnership with FR, US and Canada, through a PJHQ/JFHQ team has helped ECOWAS in developing its operational concept for the West African brigade. The MOD has also deployed a Liaison Officer to the ECOWAS Secretariat who, alongside his FR and US counterparts, provides advice and assistance in all matters pertaining to the evolving West African peace and security structure. In East Africa, the MOD has helped build the Planning Element premises for the East African Brigade (EASBRIG) in Nairobi, Kenya. Engagement with SADC in Southern Africa is currently limited due to the EU Common Position on Zimbabwe.