The human security paradigm as a challenge for the African Union in promoting peace and security in Africa : a case study of the Sudan/Darfur conflict.
Yobo, Dorcas Adjeley.
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Using the Sudan/Darfur Conflict as a case study, this work seeks to address how and why the human security paradigm is a challenge for the African Union in its effort to establish long-term peace and stability in Africa. The purpose of the study is to assess the extent to which the human security model provides a realistic option with regard to the AU’s efforts which are aimed at enhancing peace and security in Africa. The key issues to be appraised include the extent to which AU’s policy framework for intervention in crisis situations emphasizes the need to protect the most vulnerable population groups such as non-combatant women and children, IDPs, and refugees; the parameters of the AU’s intervention framework and how effective the organization has been in addressing human security issues in Darfur; the challenges faced by the regional military forces and key development stakeholders in carrying out initiatives that will alleviate human suffering and simultaneously create conditions conducive to conflict resolution and a long term peace building process in Darfur; and proffering new prospects of action to ensure human security in armed conflicts The emergence of deep ethnic conflicts, the rise of rebel groups, and new and ambitious security initiatives have made regional efforts at establishing peace more daunting than before. The AU has started putting human beings more and more at the centre of its management of peace and security issues, but it remains severely constrained by financial and logistical problems. As a result, its success has been dependent on foreign contributions, something its predecessor (Organization of African Unity) always fought against. This study highlights the fact that AU efforts to ensure peace in Africa continue to be constantly frustrated due to the failure of African leaders to address the root threats to human security. Their failure to do so has in fact worsened the human security situation on the continent. The paper focuses on challenges faced by the AU specifically in the Darfur region, and explores whether the AU can be an actor in the promotion of human security. The main argument here is that the AU’s ownership approach to peace and security in the African continent, which emphasizes that African problems need to be solved by Africans, is fundamentally correct. However, for this to be successful Africans need to stop asking for whatever they think they can get from the international community and focus on what they really need. This does not deny the importance of promoting a strong global political will to assist African peacekeeping efforts, especially in terms of logistics and finances. Rather, the challenge for the AU is to use donor support strategically and to continue to employ a conflict preventive approach, one which places great emphasis on the significance and need for African leaders to start addressing human security issues from their root causes –whether social, economic or political. With the collaborative efforts of nongovernmental organizations, subregional organizations and the civil society, the AU could establish ‘AU alert institutions’ which will aim at ensuring that minority groups have a political voice, thus not only reducing the chances of ethnically based conflicts but also ensuring that sustainable development projects are implemented by tackling the root causes of conflict.
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