Africa and Military Intervention


  • Carina Lamont

Publish date: 2012-12-12

Report number: FOI-R--3514--SE

Pages: 61

Written in: Swedish


  • Africa
  • African Union
  • African security
  • peace and security architecture
  • APSA
  • intervention
  • ESF
  • EASF
  • NARC
  • SADC


The regional organisations that contribute to the African Standby Force is of fundamental importance to the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA). The ability to ensure peace and security under the APSA framework is also an important aspect of the international ability to act promptly on various security threats on the continent. Both the African Union and regional organisations in Africa claim a right to intervene militarily in member states in certain situations. No individual state or coalition of states, however, can legally use force on the international arena without the explicit authorisation by the United Nations Security Council. However, neither the AU nor the regional organisations specify a requirement of a UN mandate for the use of force. The African continent has in recent decades suffered repeated and serious outbreaks of violence. At the same time, the African continent has also been largely ignored by the international community, and the peace and security architecture being developed in Africa could be seen as a natural response to the lack of protection provided by the international community in situations such as that in Rwanda in 1994. Yet, the structure of the APSA framework is not entirely unproblematic from a legal perspective. This report seeks to clarify the principles of intervention stipulated under AU and the regional organisations of Africa. The report furthermore seeks to outline the legal aspects of such interventions. The reports builds on previous reports published by the Swedish Defence Research Agency, and can serve as a foundation for further research into various aspects of African security.