The 25,000 strong African Union Mission to Somalia - AMISOM - has driven al-Shabaab, out of the capital, Mogadishu. AMISOM now holds substantial areas of Somalia, but it is, in reality, run by its troop contributors.
So Uganda and Burundi call the shots in the capital, while Ethiopia runs its operations in the West and Kenya holds a strip of land in the far South. Although it nominally reports to the African Union, the organization has little control over what it can and cannot do.
Much the same can be said for Africa's regional peacekeeping forces - like the International Support Mission to the Central African Republic (MISCA). This was established under a UN Security Council Resolution on 5th December 2013.
Troops from Gabon, Chad, Congo-Brazzaville, and Cameroon made up the force. But within weeks the largest contingent - from Chad - had intervened on the side of the mainly Muslim Seleka fighters. They clashed with Christians, who make up the majority of the population. The Chadians became part of the problem rather than the solution and had to be withdrawn.
The root of the problem lies with a failure of African leadership. When they held office Nigeria's Olusegun Obasanjo and Thabo Mbeki of South Africa worked hand in glove on a range of issues.
For a time it seemed that the concept of an 'African Renaissance' might become a reality. But the moment faded. Today both Nigeria and South Africa are ruled by weak presidents, obsessed with domestic problems and incapable of giving the continent a sense of direction.
The African Standby Force has gone the way of so many other initiatives. While African leaders have plenty of funds to lavish on their cars, palaces and planes, they deprive their military of the resources they need to do the job.
I have witnessed troops being trained by United States Marines overjoyed to be given even small quantities of ammunition to practice live firing. Their own government refused to supply more than a handful of rounds; for fear that they would be used to stage a coup. This is all very depressing, but hardly surprising.
If one winds back the clock back to 1986 one finds Yoweri Museveni - then a fighter, fresh from the bush - arriving to address an OAU summit.
Museveni told shocked Africa leaders to their faces that he believed they had betrayed his nation by looking the other way while some 750,000 Ugandans were killed by successive regimes. "Tyranny," he said, "is colour-blind and is no less reprehensible when it is committed by one of our own." Ugandans felt a sense of betrayal, Museveni said, that most of Africa had kept silent while tyrants killed them.
How much has really changed?
Martin Plaut is Senior Fellow, Institute of Commonwealth Studies. He is author of Who Rules South Africa?
 http://www.ids.ac.uk/files/dmfile/Rr67web.pdf p. 67, table 7.2
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