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The AU Task Forces: an African response to transnational armed groups

  • Matthew Brubacher (a1), Erin Kimball Damman (a2) and Christopher Day (a3)

This article examines the Task Forces created by the African Union (AU) to address the security threats posed by Boko Haram and the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). It argues that these Task Forces are well suited to address transnational armed groups whose ambiguous political goals and extreme violence make traditional conflict resolution ineffective. Although the Task Forces fall within the AU's collective security mandate and broadly within the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA), their distinct characteristics make it more capable of addressing these new cross-border threats. Their reliance on nationally funded and directed militaries also allow the Task Forces to fulfil both the goals of the AU and the interests of the regimes that take leadership roles within these structures.

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