Peace and Security

The African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA), especially against the backdrop of the military coups in the Sahel and the increasing instability in the Horn of Africa, faces a difficult challenge. Instead of being able to rely on large multidimensional UN peace missions as in the past, in future effective peace missions, but also robust interventions to protect the population under African leadership, must emerge from the interplay between the African Union (AU), Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and regional coalitions. The fundamental possibility of co-financing Peace Support Operations (PSOs) in Africa through UN contributions, which was decided by the Security Council with Resolution 2719 at the end of 2023, brings new opportunities for the AU to fulfil its regional responsibility. In future, missions must not only be mandated in a leaner manner and adapted better to local power relations and conflict dynamics, but the mandating, implementation and evaluation of PSOs must also be carried out with the systematic involvement of local actors and continental civil society.

In the long term, it will not be possible to secure peace and development on the African continent in a multipolar world without building stronger networks on security policy and the development of multilateral cooperation in the form of collective security systems. It is also essential for the promotion of human security in conflict and crisis situations to be more open to local dialogue and ceasefires offers vis-à-vis armed groups with territorial control and to better combine these with regionally-led robust military components.

War and autocracy are also the main causes of flight in Africa. In addition, there are migration movements that are becoming more likely due to the consequences of climate change and often give rise to new conflicts in the context of distribution disputes. Migration should be seen as an adaptation strategy. The refugee movements triggered by war and displacement on the African continent, where almost a third of states are currently affected by violent conflicts, pose major challenges for the host African states, as the vast majority of refugees or displaced persons in Africa remain in their home country or go to the immediate neighbouring states.

Similar to the EU states, the AU and its member states are also striving for the free movement of people within Africa in order to utilise the development potential of human mobility. All too often, external actors thwart these efforts, for example, by outsourcing border regimes to African states. At the same time, the creation of economic prospects is in the key interest of European states, which are making great efforts to curb irregular migration from the African continent. The expansion of regular immigration opportunities to Europe, for example in the area of education and labour migration as part of partnership agreements with African states, can be a useful building block here.

Against this backdrop, the FES's approach is aimed at dialogue formats based on an expanded concept of human security. The intention is to strengthen African voices in the global discourse on collective security and crisis prevention by raising awareness, building expertise and creating platforms, both in and outside Africa, and to contribute to a partnership-based dialogue on building security and peace.

Working lines on peace and security issues have played an important role in all sub-regional levels of FES work in Africa for years: for example, the Horn of Africa Dialogue, the West Africa Dialogue and the Sahel-Sahara Dialogue are regular regional security dialogues that deal with conflict dynamics, promote dialogue and trust building between political decision-makers, experts and civil society from the regions and enable exchange between the continents on possible solutions. In addition, there are security policy-relevant approaches in several national projects, including in South Sudan, Mozambique, Congo, Cameroon, Mali and Nigeria. Since July 2016, the FES Peace and Security Competence Centre in Dakar has coordinated the continent-wide peace and security policy work of the FES.

In the area of migration, the FES works with the Addis Ababa-based African Migration Policy Centre on the topics of migration and development, migration and gender, climate mobility and cooperation between the EU and African countries on the topic of migration. With regard to the latter, we facilitate an improved, fact-based exchange on mobility to and from the African continent through targeted advisory formats and dialogue processes with our partners. Our activities are aimed at political decision-makers as well as the wider specialist public - both in the EU and in Africa.


Communes frontalières du Bénin

La vie a rude epreuve
Cotonou, 2021

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Southern African security review 2020

Maputo, 2021

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Okumu, Wafula

Conflict prevention from the ground

Opportunities and challenges for closer cooperation between AU, RECs and civil society on conflict prevention in Eastern Africa
AddisAbaba, 2020

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Sécurité et droits humains en Afrique de l'Ouest et au Sahel

Défis et perspectives Cas du Mali, du Burkina-Faso et du Niger
Dakar-Fann, 2021

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Carbone, Giovanni

Europe: Team play in Africa?

The Africa policies of EU member states
Brussels, 2020

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Africa Department

Contact in Germany (Peace and Security)

Ulrich Thum

Africa Department
Hiroshimastr. 17
10785 Berlin

+49 30-269 35-74 14



Contact in Germany (Migration)

Alexander Rosenplänter

Africa Department
Hiroshimastr. 17
10785 Berlin

+49 30-269 35-74 36


Contact in Senegal (PSCC)

Philipp Goldberg

Sise au Point E
Boulevard de l'Est Villa N°30
Dakar Fann

+221 33 859 20 02

+221 33 864 49 31



Contact in Ethiopia (AMPC)

Alexander Geiger

P.O. Box 8786
ETH Addis Abeba

+251-11-123 32 45

+251-11-123 38 55



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