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THE EASTERN AFRICA STANDBY FORCE: ROLES, CHALLENGES AND PROSPECTS
This study examines the roles, challenges and prospects of Eastern Africa Standby Force (EASF) in the maintenance of peace and security in the Eastern Africa. Findings of the study show that EASF has limited role in maintaining peace and security in the region. It has played only some supportive roles to the United Nations (UN) and African Union (AU) peace support missions. This minimal role is due to hegemonic competition between Ethiopia and Kenya, the prevalence of several interstate and intrastate conflicts in the region, duplication of regional organizations having overlapping membership, absence of strong legal basis, lack of adequate finance, and cultural diversity. Notwithstanding those challenges, EASF has a good future prospect as can be observed from its current activities. The organization is working to achieve its full operationalization. To this end, it has also been conducting pre-deployment joint trainings and field exercises. For more successful future operation of the force, however, the study suggests cooperation among member states, developing unfettered commitment of member states to contribute force, finance and logistics as well as standardizing training and doctrines so as to create effective multinational forces.
Key words: Eastern Africa, Force, Peace, Security.