The ASFwill be able to intervene in cases of war crimes, genocide or crimes against humanity if an AU member state requests assistance or if the AU itself considers the situation serious enough.
RECs/RMs are largely responsible for generating the capabilities required for an operation. The REC/RM and the AU share deployment and management responsibilities.
Deployments will start as regional operations before turning into larger, AU operations.
How will the ASF be funded?
Funding arrangements are still to be finalised. In line with the goal for Africa to play a more prominent role in the continent’s
peace operations, it is expected that the AU will contribute 25% of the funding for the ASF.
The ASF will remain reliant on external (UN, EU and bilateral) support for 75% of funding. Competing domestic interests might complicate member state funding, as states might rather allocate such funds in combating local threats.
What potential challenges might hinder the rapid deployment of the ASF?
Slow decision making, whether at member state REC/RM, AU or UN level
Lack of equipment and personnel
Lack of training of contingents
Potential delays given that approval might be sought from the EU and UNSC prior to deployment for the sake of international legitimacy
A lack of political will
Limited logistics and airlift capacity. (This is why an AU continental logistics base, to be established in Douala, Cameroon, is
Lack of solid intelligence gathering
Unevenness of REC/RM ability or pledged contributions
Where will the AU’s continental logistics base be located?
The Cameroonian city of Douala is set to host the logistics base. Equipment will be stored here, however, the ultimate power remains at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa.
Does Africa have the troops and experience needed for the ASF to be successful?
In the past decade, AU has already deployed peace support operations to 11 countries. African countries are also major contributors to UN peace operations.
Of all the operations deployed to date, those in Mali and the Central African Republic most closely resembled the ASF model, where the AU worked with a region (ECOWAS and ECCAS respectively) to plan and deploy an operation.
Africa contributes the majority of troops used in UN peacekeeping missions. In 2013, about 35 000 African peacekeepers had participated in UN missions.