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A tangible commitment to peace and security in Africa

In an increasingly challenging geopolitical environment, achieving stability in Africa and maintaining security in Europe go hand inhand.

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What is the African Peace Facility?

Under the Africa-EU partnership, the strategic objective on peace and security is not only ‘to ensure a peaceful, safe, secure environment’, but also to ‘foster political stability and effective governance, while enabling sustainable and inclusive growth.’

The key EU financial instrument to support cooperation with Africa in the area of Peace and Security is the African Peace Facility (APF).

Supporting African responses to violent conflicts across the continent is of major importance to the European Union (EU). It is therefore the fundamental driver of the APF, which was established in 2004 at the request of the African Union (AU).

Financed through the European Development Fund, the APF allows African institutions to bring “African solutions to African problems” through the operationalisation of the African Peace and Security Architecture. It is also:

  • the main source of funding to support the efforts of the AU and the African Regional Economic Communities in the area of peace and security with an overall budget of more than EUR 2.7 billion since 2004;
  • the only instrument providing short-term and longer-term support to African Union and Regional Economic communities efforts in conflict prevention and conflict management.

Main areas of cooperation

  • Enhancing political dialogue on peace, justice, and reconciliation to implement common approaches to the peace and security challenges in Africa;
  • Strengthening the operationalisation of the AU's capacities: the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) by strengthening AU institutions and improving coordination with Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and Regional Mechanisms (RMs);
  • Increasing cooperation on addressing the root causes of conflicts;

A triple approach:

  • Immediate short-term funding to prevent and address crises as they occur via the Early Response Mechanism
  • Medium to long-term support for African Peace Support Operations
  • longer-term support for institutional capacity building in peace and security.

Backing “African solutions to African problems” in the area of peace and security: key achievements since 2004

A pan-African vehicle in nature, the APF is a game changer enabling a growing number of African-led responses to conflicts on the continent.



The Early Response Mechanism

The Early Response Mechanism (ERM) was established in 2009 to strengthen the flexibility of the APF in addressing urgent crises across Africa. Its purpose is to endow the AU and the RECs/RMs with a source of immediate funding for the first stages of actions aimed at the prevention, management or resolution of crises.

The ERM covers the following three activities:

  • First stages of mediation actions, decided by the AU or by RECs within the framework of preventive diplomacy;
  • Identification and fact findings missions by the AU or by RECs to initiate the planning process for a PSO;
  • Temporary ad hoc reinforcement of the planning cell for a potential Peace support operation.

Since its creation, the ERM has financed more than 40 interventions related to mediation, human rights monitoring, kick-start of PSOs and post-conflict efforts.

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The first phase of the ERM came to an end in 2015. An external evaluation concluded that it was a particularly relevant and useful mechanism for:

  • theEU to mobilise immediate and adequate funding
  • theAU and the RECs to be able to directly (re)act and launch crises-related efforts of a preventive and mediatory nature.

Given its positive track record and taking into account these findings, the AU and the EU signed a Delegation Agreement in 2015 for the second phase of the ERM for a total amount of EUR 15 million until mid- 2018. The third phase of the ERM will increase its amount to EUR 20 million and will allow for more medium term actions in the area of mediation.


African-led Peace Support Operations

The PSOs are aimed at providing public security through a range of military and civilian tasks, including peacekeeping, maintenance of public order, policing, infrastructure reconstruction, political dialogue and national reconciliation.

The APF has provided support to 14 African-led PSOs in18 countries since 2004.

African Union-led PSOs:

African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM)

The APF’s financial support to AMISOM is an integral part of the EU’s comprehensive and long-term approach to support security and development efforts in Somalia. This approach contains political, diplomatic, civilian, military, humanitarian, and development dimensions. AMISOM remains an essential provider of security in Somalia, which is critical for the continuation of the political process, and the EU considers that financial support remains vital for AMISOM to fulfill its mandate.

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ECOWAS Mission to Guinea Bissau (ECOMIB)

Since July 2015, the APF has contributed to ECOMIB via ECOWAS for an initial period of 7 months, which then was extended until June 2016 in line with the ECOMIB mandate extension.

The main activities included: military and police patrol all over the country and discussions with populations to address security challenges, secure the Presidency and Prime Minister’s Offices and houses, provide military escort to VIPs, secure the Electoral National Commission’s Office, provide health care assistance to the population, initiate the demobilisation, reconversion and socio-economic reintegration of the security forces and develop a training plan for Military and Police. The force was made up of around 600 soldiers from Burkina Faso, Senegal, Nigeria and Togo.

The Multi National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) against Boko Haram

The APF contribution to MNJTF will help in restoring a safe and secure environment in the areas affected by Boko Haram and other terrorist groups by addressing the lack of sufficient coordination of military operations among affected countries. The APF support amounts to EUR 50 million and is implemented with the African Union Commission since 1st July 2016.

The Regional Cooperation Initiative for the Elimination of the Lord’s Resistance Army (RCI-LRA)

The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) represents a destabilising factor in the Central African sub-regionaffecting security and human rights.

The RCI-LRA has proven instrumental in the fight against the Lord’s Resistance Army in the Central African sub-region. The APF contributed EUR 2.9 million for the period 2013-2016,which covered the operational costs of the Joint Coordination MechanismSecretariat, enabling the smooth and continuous running of the RCI-LRA structures and operations.

IGAD-led Ceasefire Transitional Security Arrangement Monitoring Mechanism (CTSAMM) in South Sudan

In January 2016, the IGAD-led Monitoring and Verification Mission in South Sudan (MVM) transitioned into the Ceasefire Transitional Security Arrangement Monitoring Mechanism (CTSAMM), which is part of the Agreement on Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (ARCISS) signed in July 2015. The extended mandate of CTSAMM includes:

  • monitoring, investigating and verifying violations of the Permanent Ceasefire and the Transitional Security Arrangement (PCTSA) on a regular basis;
  • reporting and giving recommendations to the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC), which monitors the implementation of the Transnational Security Arrangement (TSA)[1]; and
  • monitoring the disarmament, demobilisation and repatriation of non-state security actors.

The Non-compliance of the signatory parties with the Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (ARCISS) and the subsequent deterioration of the security situation have hampered the work of CTSAMM in 2017. However in June 2017, IGAD decided to convene a High-level Revitalization Forum (HLRF) of the parties to the Agreement on Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS). The first phase of the forum took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 18 - 22 December 2017, and concluded with the signature of the "Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities, Protection of Civilians and Humanitarian Access (CoH)". One of the key priorities of the agreement refers to the enhanced role for CTSAMM.

African Union deployment of Human Rights Observers and Military Experts Mission in Burundi (Burundi HROs/MEs)

The support to the AU deployment of Human Rights Observers (HROs) and Military Experts (MEs) Mission in Burundi aims at increasing awareness of the Human Rights and security situation as well as strengthening justice for victims of Human Rights violations in the country.

ECOWAS Mission in the Gambia (ECOMIG)

ECOMIG has been successful in preventing violence and maintaining stability following the transition from authoritarian to democratic rule in the Gambia in January 2017. The APF supported the initial deployment of ECOMIG (February-May 2017) through the ERM, which helped overcoming the initial resistance of President Jammeh to accept the electoral result.

In view of the fragility of the security situation, the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government renewed the mandate of the ECOMIG on 4 June 2017 until 20 May 2018.

APF support to ECOMIG is part of a wider EU development cooperation effort in the country, most notably through EU budget support and the EU’s Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace -funding. In early February 2017, the EU Commissioner for Development and International Cooperation visited Banjul to express the full support of the EU to the agenda of the new government, which is based on democratic reforms in full respect of human rights and the rule of law.

G5 Sahel Joint Force

On 7 February 2017, at the third Summit of the G5 Sahel comprising of Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger, Heads of States decided to create the G5 Sahel Joint Force to fight terrorism, transnational organised crime and human trafficking in the region. The EU has welcomed the creation of this force as a clear demonstration of the G5 Sahel countries' willingness to tackle the deteriorating security environment in the region and to cooperate against transnational threats in a coordinated and structured manner.

The main objective of the EU support to the G5 Sahel Joint Force is to contribute to the re-establishment of effective state control over areas affected by armed terrorist groups and criminal groups in order to create favourable conditions for the socio-economic development of the G5 Sahel region.

UNSC Resolution 2391 (2017) of 8 December 2017 called for international support to the G5 Sahel Joint Force, specifically for the establishment and implementation of "a robust compliance framework to prevent, investigate, address and publicly report violations and abuses of human rights law and violations of international humanitarian law" related to the Joint Force, as well as the facilitation of support to Joint Force operations on Malian territory through the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). The EU was called upon to provide an EU-coordinated financing mechanism for the coordination of related international voluntary contributions.

Pursuant to the Resolution, the African Peace Facility was proposed as a financing mechanism to channel international voluntary contributions in support to the G5 Sahel Joint Force.

The new EU contribution has been announced at the International High Level Conference on the Sahel on 23 February 2018, which mobilized a total of 414 million euros in support of the Joint Force. In order to encourage international coordination in support of the Joint Force and to make it easier to match the needs of the Force with international offers, the EU has set up a dedicated Coordination Hub.

The APF support to the Joint Force is part of the EU's integrated approach to the Sahel and is complementary to ongoing actions under the EU Trust Fund for Africa, the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP), and CSDP missions in the region (EUTM Mali, EUCAP Sahel Mali and EUCAP Sahel Niger).


Capacity Building

Capacity Building has become a major component of the APF since itsestablishment with the objective to increase the capacity of the AU and the RECs/RMs in the area of peace and security. The increased capacity should have a positive knock-on effect for facilitating the planning and conduct of PSOs as well as the operationalisation of the APSA.

A number of support programmes have been rolled out to give the AU and the RECs/RMs the necessary instruments to address security challenges through effective and efficient institutions. In the area of capacity building, the APF’s most important individual contributions are the successive APSA Support Programmes.

The APSA Support Programme

The APSA Support programme aims at strengthening the capacity and efficiency of the AUC, RECs and RMs to prevent and/or respond to crises/conflicts in Africa by implementing and operationalising the APSA.

The Continental Early Warning System and regional Early Warning Systems have continued to work on ensuring synergies and interconnectivity, thereby also paving the way for common skills and methodologies on conflict analysis to be elaborated. This is also expected to better inform relevant decision-makers within the AU and RECs/RMs.

The activities supported by this programme are designed to be fully in line with the five strategic priorities identified in the APSA Roadmap: conflict prevention, crisis and conflict management (including mediation and the African Standby Force), post-conflict reconstruction and peace building, strategic security issues, coordination and partnerships.

Command, Control, Communication and Information System (C3IS) to support African-led peace support operations

In 2013, the AU and EU agreed on the need to constitute a technical working group to plan for the establishment of a C3IS for African-led PSOs. In addition, in 2013 the crisis in Mali highlighted the challenge or capacity gap preventing Africa to play a more effective role on the ground and assert its leadership immediately. The same year, the AU and the EU signed an agreement whereby the APF would provide EUR 12.5 million over a 40-month-period to acquire and set up the C3IS system for management of African-led PSOs.

The overall objective of the programme is to put in place a continental structure enabling the AU to rapidly deploy strategic and operational communicationincluding command and control capabilities between the AU HQs in Addis Ababa, the regional level HQs and the mission HQs in the field. The C3IS provides secure data and voice and video services through satellite communication between the AU, the sub-regional organisations and the peace missions deployed at country level. It also provides IT systems to convey orders, generate reports and maps for the management of the operations on the ground.

AU Liaison Offices

The programme aims at supporting the network of African Union Liaison Offices (AU LOs) in conflict and post-conflict countries in Africa. These offices are mandated by the AU Peace and Security Council to perform tasks of political engagement, representation, monitoring, reporting and facilitation of peace-building. The AU LOs are key elements of APSA, ensuring AU presence in these countries and contributing to the fulfillment of its mandate relating to the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts in Africa.

With respect to political aspects, the AU LOs have continued to play a crucial role in the efforts made by the AU concerning conflict prevention, management and resolution. They particularly pursued consultations and dialogue with relevant national parties and political actors in their host countries. The AU Peace Security Council (PSC) updated several of the mandates of the offices (Chad; Comoros; Madagascar; Misahel; CAR and Burundi) in order to reflect the reality on the ground. This is especially relevant for the AU LO in Juba, which was upgraded to an AU civilian mission.

AUC Salaries in Peace and Security

The programme aims at sustaining AUC personnel costs working on the implementation of Peace and Security Programmes. It directlyto the operationalisation of the APSA on the continent and ensures a closer link is maintained between continental and regional peace and security activities in Africa.

2015 has witnessed a deeper policy dialogue taking place between the AUC and its partners on their priorities and their translation in human resources planning. The EU and other partners have supported the AU Peace and Security Department (PSD) in the design of its restructuring plan by funding an external mapping process of the Department. This exercise fed into the more general AU Restructuring plan currently being discussed with AU Member States.

JRC – AU Continental Early Warning System (AU CEWS) scientific and technical cooperation

The action contributes to achieving the first strategic objective (Conflict prevention) of the 2016-2020 APSA Roadmap by further enhancing the capacity of the CEWS staff to develop the technical and analytic skills necessary to deploy and operate the CEWS components. The programme will also extend and improve the early warning system to enable AU decision-makers to enhance their early detection of emerging risks and situations.

[1]The TSA successfully implements the establishment of the Joint Integrated Police, Military, Presidential Guard and National Security Services.