Ambassador Smail Chergui , AU Commissioner for Peace and Security
It is my pleasure to welcome you to the website of the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Department (PSD). We hope that you will herein find the information you need on the AU’s efforts to promote peace, security and stability in Africa.
As part of its overall strategic vision of a peaceful and prosperous emerging Africa by 2063, the AU is determined to silence the guns and strive to achieve the objective of a conflict-free continent if possible by the year 2020. To that end, we are working diligently with Member States, Bilateral and Multilateral Partners, Academics, NGOs, African citizens at home and in the Diaspora, and other stakeholders to consolidate the peace and security gains of the last 50 years since the founding of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) – the predecessor of the AU – and especially the last ten years since the establishment of the Peace and Security Council.
When the OAU was founded in May 1963, the struggle to liberate almost half of the continent from colonial rule and apartheid tyranny was our organization’s main focus. Today, the entire continent has achieved political liberation. However, the persistence of armed conflicts, mostly within states, necessitated the establishment of the Peace and Security Council (PSC) in December 2003. The Council is a standing decision-making organ for the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts. It is a collective security and early-warning arrangement to facilitate timely and efficient response to conflict and crisis situations in Africa.
When the PSC was established over a decade ago, there were more than 15 active conflicts on the continent. Ten years later, there are about half a dozen armed conflicts in Africa. The Council and the entire African Peace and Security Architecture built around it have worked hard to resolve existing conflicts and prevent disputes from degenerating into wars in which women and children are often the primary victims.
Our mandate as a Department is to support the PSC in carrying out its responsibilities as provided for under the Protocol relating to the Council’s establishment. We are also mandated to support the AU Commission in its activities aimed at promoting peace, security and stability in Africa. To achieve these policy objectives, the Department is organized into several divisions and programs, including: the Peace and Security Council Secretariat, Defense and Security Division, Peace Support Operations Division, Conflict Prevention and Early Warning Division, and Crisis Management and Post-conflict Reconstruction Division. The Department also oversees AU Field Missions and Liaison Offices, notably: the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), African-led International Support Mission in the Central African Republic (MISCA), and African Union Mission for Mali and the Sahel (MISAHEL).
Our staff of dedicated experts in various areas related to peace and security daily strives to assist the PSC and the Commission to promote peace, security and stability in Africa. We are by no means a perfect department. But we try hard every day to fulfill the mandate incumbent on us. We hope that our efforts are adequately reflected in the pages of this website, as well as in the social media sites linked to it. Do not hesitate to contact us if you need further information on the activities of the Department.
We wish you a pleasant virtual visit to the African Union Peace and Security Department.
Commissioner for Peace and Security