The Lisbon summit on the AU-EU strategic partnership, held in December 2007, adopted the Joint Africa-EU Strategy
in which peace and security
are reaffirmed as preconditions for political, economic and social development. The Peace and Security partnership is one of the eight strategic partnerships that tie the two continents together, and cooperation in this area should therefore continue to deepen and improve in order, in order for Africa to have autonomous capacity for maintaining a favourable environment for development.
Based on these objectives, a common cycle was established with training and exercises aimed at the decision-making structures, management and deployment of the African Standby Force (ASF)
at the continental level. Named AMANI AFRICA or "Peace in Africa" in Kiswahili, the first cycle was conducted from 2008 to 2011, using the EURORECAMP project as a tool. This project provided an effective and flexible support to the AU in evaluating and validating its own political and strategic processes to manage a multi-dimensional peace support operation, mandated by the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC), and notably the structures, procedures and resources put in place for the ASF.
A Command Post Exercise (CPX) in Addis Ababa in October 2010 was the culminating point of the cycle and allowed the AU to draw numerous lessons that were compiled during the AMANI AFRICA Implementation meeting in Dakar in February 2011. The ASF processes were validated within the larger framework of the AU's African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA)
. At the same time, the need to improve procedures, organisation and multidimensional capacities of the ASF was raised, as well as the need to reinforce the communications system between the continental level and the Regional Economic Communities/Regional Mechanisms (RECs/RMs)
It is in light of these lessons that the AU and the EU decided to pursue their common goal, capitalising on capacity already built, for the ASF to reach full operational capability by 2015. This commitment was confirmed it in the new joint Plan of Action for 2011-2013
within the Africa-EU Partnership for Peace and Security, agreed in Tripoli in November 2010. A new three-year cycle named AMANI AFRICA II, covering the period 2011-2014, has been initiated. The overall objective of this cycle is to "validate the capacity of the African Union to mandate and employ a Rapid Deployment Capability of the African Standby Force as a start-up operation (scenario 6), and to run a multi-dimensional peace support operation". According to the ASF doctrine
*, scenario 6 consists of an AU intervention, in situations such as genocide, where the international community does not act promptly (deploy within 14 days).
An EU permanent Planning Team (EUPT) was established under the EEAS on 23rd April 2012 and was mandated by the Political and Security Committee (PSC) to continue this second cycle of training and exercises together with a team from the AU Commission. These two teams form a Joint Planning Team.
The EUPT mission as given by the PSC (on 23rd April 2012) was:
"The EU AMANI AFRICA Planning Team will assist the AU Peace Support Operations Division (PSOD) to plan and conduct the AMANI AFRICA II cycle, according to the AU objectives, and will ensure that the lessons learned from the AMANI AFRICA I cycle are incorporated in the second cycle of training."
The Amani Africa II cycle will be mainly funded through the EU's African Peace Facility.
The members of the EU Planning Team are:
Director: Mr Bernard Rambaud (FR)
Coordinator EU: Patrick Vanhees (BE)
Assistant EU senior advisor: Group Captain Steve Horne UK (AF)
Police expert: Maj Roberto Arcieri (IT)
Military expert: Lt. Col. Martin Lamke (GE)
The members of the AU Initial Planning Team are:
Director: MG (Rd) Samaïla Iliya (Nigeria)
Col Cheick Dembele, ASF Training Officer (Mali)
Col Christophe Touko, ASF Police Plans & Operations Officer (Cameroon)
CSP Sayibu Gariba, ASF Police Training Officer (Ghana)