n Conflict Trends - The protection of civilians in peacekeeping in Africa : context and evolution

Volume 2012, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1561-9818


The last decade has witnessed a revolution - both conceptually and operationally - in the commitment to protect civilians during conflict in general and in peace and stabilisation operations in particular. The protection of civilians agenda has recently gained considerable momentum. Its role within the humanitarian community has been consolidated and become a primary objective in peace and security operations. Currently, the African union (AU) is in the process of developing its own approaches to the protection of civilians that are relevant and applicable to the African context. This article presents an overview of the evolution of the protection of civilians concept and its implementation with a focus on recent developments within the AU. Further, it presents some general challenges and opportunities for the AU. It raises some key questions on the on-going debate around the AU's development of protection of civilians policies.

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