This continental force, which is intended to be deployed in Africa in times of crisis, is part of the AU’s efforts to develop long-term peacekeeping capabilities. The ASF could be seen as an African contribution to wider international efforts to preserve peace and security.
In addition to this initial support agreed on 5 September 2007 and at the request of the African Union, NATO has also assisted with the translation from English into Portuguese of African Standby Force documentation.
As a member of the G8++ forum and at the AU’s request, NATO has also participated as an observer in various ASF preparatory workshops. The G8++ brings together the group of partners supporting the AU in the area of peace and security. It includes international organizations and individual countries.
How NATO support developed
On 5 September 2007, as part of NATO’s capacity-building support to the AU, the North Atlantic Council – NATO’s top political decision making body - agreed to provide assistance to the African Union with a study on the assessment of the operational readiness of the African Standby Force (ASF) brigades.
On 13 December 2007, NATO received a Note Verbale from the African Union regarding continued NATO support to the African Standby Force.
Consultations have since been held between AU and NATO staff, who have adopted a three-phased approach towards continued NATO assistance to the ASF. The first two phases will determine the contours of NATO’s assistance toward making the ASF fully operational and the third phase will deal with the implementation of NATO’s renewed support.