13 November 2009

Peace Operations in Africa: Seven Challenges, Any Solutions?

Peace Operations in Africa:
Seven Challenges, Any Solutions?

African Centre for for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes

As of 30 June 2009, the African continent is home to 10 military peace operations. Six of these are United Nations (UN) missions – in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI), Chad/Central African Republic (CAR) (MINURCAT), Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) (MONUC), Liberia (UNMIL), Sudan (UNMIS) and Western Sahara (MINURSO). One mission is a hybrid UN-African Union (AU) operation in Darfur, Sudan (UNAMID). The other three missions are the AU operation in Somalia (AMISOM); the Economic Community of Central African States (CEMAC) operation in CAR (MICOPAX); and the Special Task Force in Burundi, run by South Africa. These operations involve over 73 000 uniformed peacekeepers and represent approximately 70% of the UN’s worldwide deployments. As these figures demonstrate, Africa occupies a special place in the world’s attempts to maintain international peace and security. But peacekeepers on the continent also face a wide range of complex problems, which have dramatically affected their ability to bring stable peace to Africa’s war zones. This short article analyses seven of the most fundamental challenges facing peace operations on the continent. None of these challenges are new but, while some of them are theoretically amenable to short-term solutions, others have no easy answers. The latter group of challenges will require the world’s governments to come to a consensus on the problems that peace operations are supposed to fix, and what expectations they can reasonably be expected to meet.

Read the full report HERE