The OAU and peacekeeping
This international update concerns the renewal of the OAU. Since achieving its primary objective - democratisation in South Africa - the organisation has searched for a new vision and did so successfully by adopting the objectives of economic integration through the African Economic Community and the pursuit of peace and stability for Africa. The OAU has made substantial progress in the area of peace and security. According to political directives defined by the Heads of State at the OAU Summit in June 1995, the OAU’s focus should be the prevention and anticipation of conflicts, and that the UN is responsible for peacekeeping. Provision has been made for the OAU to conduct limited peacekeeping operations under exceptional circumstances, whilst resubmitting those issues, like funding, back to the OAU Council of Members and Assembly of Heads of State and Government for further clarification. The meeting can be considered an important step in developing the OAU’s role in conflict management in Africa. It has achieved a degree of political will with regard to its willingness to assume responsibility for conflict management. Yet individual counties are cautious concerning the modalities and funding of OAU peacekeeping operations. The underlying reality is that Africa’s lack of financial resources will force the OAU to concentrate on preventative diplomacy and conflict prevention, rather than peacekeeping. The unfortunate reality is that conflicts continue whilst the OAU develop its peacekeeping capacity.