The African Union Commission’s Peace Support Operations Division, alternatively referred to as the African Standby Force Continental Planning Element, was set up pursuant to the provisions of Article 13 of the Protocol Relating to the Establishment of the Peace and Security Council (2002) (hereafter referred to as the Protocol), Article 3.4 (a) and Annex A, Article 18 of the Policy Framework on the Establishment of the African Standby Force and the Military Staff Committee (2004) (hereafter referred to as the Policy Framework).
2. Functions of the PSOD
The functions of the Peace Support Operations Division (PSOD) are to plan, launch, sustain, monitor and liquidate all Peace Support Operations (PSOs) authorized by the African Union Policy Organs (AUPOs) inclusive of the Peace and Security Council (PSC) and/or the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (Assembly), as appropriate. It also assists in directing and managing such operations.
The PSOD is, as per Article 7 of the Declaration of 2010 of the Specialised Technical Committee of Ministers of Defence, Safety and Security (STCDSS), composed of four units, namely, Policy Development Unit (PDU), Capability Development Unit (CDU), Plans and Operations Unit (POU), and Mission Support Unit (MSU).
The PSOD undertakes its functions through;
a) Developing policies, guidelines, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), legal instruments, plans and directives relevant to planning, launching, directing, monitoring, sustaining, managing and liquidating of PSOs mandated by the AUPOs inclusive of the Peace and Security Council (PSC) and the Assembly as appropriate.
b) Coordinating with the Regional Economic Communities (RECs), Regional Mechanisms (RMs), African Union Member States (AU MS) and partners in the operationalisation of the African Standby Force (ASF) and PSOs.
c) Developing Terms of Reference to enable the recruitment of qualified personnel for the PSOD and PSOs.
d) Generating and assessing civilian, police and military personnel, equipment and assets provided by AU MS for deployment to AU PSOs.
e) Planning and coordinating all transitions of PSOs from and to AU PSOs, UN PKOs and REC/RMs operations as directed by the relevant decisions of the AUPOs inclusive of the PSC and the Assembly as appropriate.
f) Providing strategic oversight, monitoring, support, guidance and evaluation on AU approved PSOs, to the African Union Commission (AUC) including drafting of reports of the Chairperson of the AUC to the appropriate AU Policy Organs inclusive of the PSC, Specialized Technical Committee on Defence, Safety and Security (STCDSS) and the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
g) Providing strategic analysis and advice on PSOs to the appropriate AU Policy Organs, inclusive of the PSC and the African Union Commission (AUC) as appropriate.
h) Being the AUC primary contact point with the RECs/RMs/AUMS and AU partners on matters related to the ASF and PSOs.
i) Liaising with the RECs/RMs/AUMS and AU partners on matters relating to AU PSOs.
j) Organizing, coordinating and providing technical support for meetings of the STCDSS on PSOs.
k) Carrying out other tasks and assignments as assigned by the AUC.
The functions of the PSOD Units and the Cells are set out below: