Peacekeeping: March 13, 2004


Its been a pan-African aspiration for years, an all African military force for peacekeeping on the continent. For what its worth, in 1998 I wrote a US Army War College paper on the subject, advocating the creation of such a force if it were truly well-trained, manned by professionals, and were employed in conjunction with UN operations. The idea has now advanced to the stage of a general declaration (agreement) signed by members of the African Union (AU). Currently, 53 African nations belong to the AU. Now called The African Standby Force (ASF), would be formed in 2005 and operate from five regional bases. The initial ASF would have around 15,000 troops most of them provided by Egypt, South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya. Interestingly enough, the AU meeting was hosted by Libya. At one time Libyas dictator Mohammar Qadaffi wanted to field his own peacekeeping force (run by him) throughout sub-Saharan Africa. That design has faded. One source quoted the newly cooperative Qadaffi as congratulating the AU for forming the the ASF, and then adding that no African nation needs Weapons of Mass Destruction. Libya just gave up 20 tons of mustard gas. (Austin Bay)




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