Long road to an African rapid reaction force

Long road to an African rapid reaction force

The African Union (AU) is rethinking on how it can most effectively deploy military forces to tackle the continent’s crises.

The African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises (ACIRC) was first floated in the AU in 2013 as a stop-gap measure to counter the continued delays of an African Standby Force (ASF), which includes a quick reaction force, the Rapid Deployment Capability (RDC).

The recent spike in African conflicts, with former colonial powers stepping in to try preventing crimes from escalating into mass atrocities, has given the ACIRC concept renewed impetus.

In 2013 the AU’s Peace and Security Council convened “its greatest number of meetings… since it became operational in 2004”, but other than African armies participating in support of other military actors it had no capacity to respond to rapidly evolving conflicts and humanitarian crises.

“The French, in a period of less than one year, came to the ‘rescue’ of two countries [Mali and Central African Republic (CAR)] in need of […]

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