Changing Dimensions of International Peacekeeping in Africa
Alischa Kugel (paper co-authored with Megan Gleason)
International peacekeeping deployments to Africa have reached a pivotal moment. After a period of multiple large-scale deployments to respond to crises in the 1990s, multilateral peacekeeping in Africa is entering a period of change and contraction driven by a number of factors, including (i) changes in conflict trends, (ii) the need for fiscal austerity in countries that typically finance the bulk of peacekeeping deployments, (iii) the recognition that this heavy footprint model of peacekeeping has not worked in supporting the development of a strong political process in some states, and finally, driven by the first three changes, (iv) the development of a broader range of tools to respond to crises.
This chapter will explore the trends in international peacekeeping deployments to Africa along three dimensions. First, it will examine a number of upcoming expected transitions in peacekeeping operations, each driven by a combination of the above factors. Second it will demonstrate how alternative models of peacekeeping – including civilian-led political missions, regional deployments and over the horizon security guarantees – are increasingly important tools for crisis response. These first two developments are relying on increasingly dynamic partnerships between actors, both in headquarters and at the field level, and these institutional relationships will be the third focus of the chapter. The risks in these changing strategies are manifold, and are often driven by rapidly unfolding situations rather than a strategic or coherent vision. Yet, developments over the past year have demonstrated the important role that peace operations continue to play in supporting post-conflict and post-crisis states as well as the continued national demand for this type of support. In examining the changing dimensions in international peace operations, the authors seek to contribute to greater understanding of their challenges and impacts, in order to strengthen the international community’s engagement in conflict and post-conflict countries in Africa.
The Actors in African Peace Operations: Dilemmas in Military / Civilian Missions
Peace operations in Africa have increased in complexity in terms of goals, approaches, and actors. Actors on the ground include not only UN military, police, and civilian representatives, but also state contingents from regional organizations (African Union, ECOWAS, IGAD), humanitarian and development NGOs, and occasionally private security firms. This paper examines the tensions among these various actors in terms of differences in organizational goals and cultures. Particular emphasis is given to the tensions between military and police and between military and civilian actors. These tensions make it more difficult to successfully organize integrated missions in the field. Evidence from peace operations in Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Côte d’Ivoire is presented.
Who’s Willing and Able? Recent Trends in Managing Conflict in Africa
This project aims to address the significant challenges confronting the African actors at the forefront managing conflict and dealing with state fragility on the continent. I began the research with a simple observation. Since the end of the Cold War, Africa’s relatively more powerful states have been increasingly asked to provide peacekeeping forces to assist their weaker neighbors embroiled by civil war. Supporting this trend, a variety of subregional, regional and international bodies have facilitated the deployment of troops from these stronger countries such as Nigeria, Senegal or Uganda on the ground in African states in crisis. I ask if this contemporary trend of “African solutions for African problems” is enough to manage conflict and confront state fragility on the continent. The international community finds it convenient to argue for the regionalization of peacemaking and peacekeeping efforts in Africa. But what kinds of “African solutions” are being provided? In recent years, we have seen more activist states with strong militaries come to dominate interventions on the continent. Has this type of Africanization of intervention helped people in need or does it further strong state interests both on the continent and abroad? In addressing this question, this paper looks at nineteen fragile African states wracked with civil conflict between 1989 to 2010 in which another African state(s) intervened with its own armed forces, either as part of a multilateral grouping or unilaterally. I deploy a mixed methodological approach combining illustrative vignettes of the critical cases along with an empirical analysis which is aimed at capturing overarching generalizations. The overall objective of this research is to arrive at a better understanding of the critical actors that are increasingly being turned to manage peacekeeping operations and to react to fragile states on the continent. The hope is that this paper will further the dialogue on the future of conflict management in Africa for both scholars and policy-makers alike.
Regional and Sub-regional Peacekeeping in Africa: Balancing and Conflicting Interests of the UN, AU, SADC and ECOWAS and Member States
The scope, decision, and the implementation of peacekeeping missions requires balancing interests of international, regional, and national actors. This paper seeks to evaluate the development of peacekeeping operations of both Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) based on previous interventions. It draws on the ECOWAS missions in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea-Bissau and SADC operations in Lesotho and the Democratic Republic of Congo to evaluate the strength of the mechanisms for intervention. What accounts for greater successes of one organization over another? What are the impacts for regional peacekeeping mechanisms emanating from these cases? How do the degree and scope of coordination affect regional peacekeeping institutions?
This paper establishes that peacekeeping interventions can lead to conflicts among participating states themselves, states and organizations, and even among organizations. In order to maximize the effectiveness of peacekeeping operations and to create best practices with forward-looking implications, regional international peacekeeping regimes, once operational, require the on-going development of norms and procedures. Thus, as institutions, peacekeeping arrangements evolve over time by strengthening or atrophying in their capacity to resolve conflicts. Both horizontal cooperation and conflict (i.e., among member states, among NGOs, or between regional organizations) and vertical cooperation and conflicts (i.e., between states and regional organizations, NGOs and states, regional organizations and international organizations, and NGO and regional organizations or international organizations) impact peacekeeping ventures. The successes and failures of specific operations in turn, affect the future shape of ECOWAS and SADC operations and intervention.
By dissecting the configuration of intervention (i.e., the why, how, and when) and the coordination among the sub-regional, regional, and international actors, this paper seeks to ascertain how coordinating mechanisms between regional actors and larger organizations (i.e., African Union (AU) and the United Nations) developed within the plethora of the potential conflicts noted. The most effective missions require both horizontal and vertical coordination and conflict minimization for regime development and peacekeeping success on the ground.
From MICEMA to AFISMA: The Evolving Response of the International Community to the Situation in Mali
The institutional and security crises in Mali have prompted the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to authorize, at the end of March 2012, the planning for the standby force deployment in what has been coined the ECOWAS Mission in Mali (MICEMA). The context surrounding discussions about the mission has been fraught with misunderstandings, tensions and contradictions between ECOWAS, as well as, to a lesser extent, the African Union and the United Nations, on the one hand, and the transitional Malian authorities, on the other. This paper explores the enactment of the principle of subsidiarity between the AU and ECOWAS on a difficult terrain (characterized by independence claims, drug trafficking, religious extremism), in the midst of the conflicting interests of West African states, of other states in the region, and of extra-continental powers. If ever deployed, this peace support operation will be the first ECOWAS mission since Liberia and Sierra Leone, some 20 years ago, to engage in a peace support operation of the type the AU is currently waging in Somalia. This phenomenon, in turn, buttresses arguments that a doctrine of peace operations led by African actors with a specific understanding of the use of force – which arks back to earlier operations in West Africa – is currently emerging on the continent in an attempt to face the ongoing complex security challenges.
EU Peacekeeping in Africa: Towards an Indirect Approach
Alexander Mattelaer and Esther Marijnen
The role of the EU as a peacekeeping actor in Africa is shifting from direct engagement to an indirect approach. Rather than putting European boots on the ground, the EU increasingly limits itself to enabling African peacekeeping efforts. This paper seeks to describe this shift on the political and operational levels and provide a multifaceted explanation for it. While most accounts trace the origin of this changing role to a lack of political unity or the increasing pressure on European defence budgets, we argue that the EU tries to maintain its African engagement in spite of such constraints. The EU pursues an approach of ‘affordable influence’: it constantly tries to maintain political leverage by financing African peacekeeping missions, building local capacity and offering technical expertise and ‘policy guidance’. In order to ensure sufficient political buy-in from all actors involved, the EU’s policy discourse constitutes an uneasy amalgam of peacebuilding discourses, pragmatically mixing good intentions with hard-boiled interests.
When the Neighbors Keep a Foot in the Door: Regional Interventions and Peacekeeping in the DR Congo and Somalia
Peacekeeping missions in sub-Saharan Africa have changed significantly since the first large operation during the Congo crisis in 1960-64. Apart from shifts in the nature and setup of UN peacekeeping, the remarkable move from the principle of non-intervention to “non-indifference” in Africa itself and the emerging African Peace and Security Architecture have attracted much attention. This paper argues that despite this new setting there also is a continuity of interventions by African powers in conflicts – outside the UN or AU frameworks. More importantly, such interventions by individual states have occurred side by side with internationally mandated missions in two central theatres of armed conflict: Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Both are the centerpiece of a regional conflict formation with non-state armed groups, but also state forces operating across borders on a regular basis.
In Somalia, the establishment of the African Union Mission (AMISOM) was meant to replace Ethiopian military involvement, but the neighbor’s forces have repeatedly intervened after an official withdrawal in 2009. Furthermore, Kenya directly intervened in Somalia after October 2011 and only got approval from the AU later, followed by the plan to incorporate Kenyan forces into AMISOM. Both countries’ stated intention was to fight armed groups, mainly Al-Shabaab, and to secure stability along their borders.
Similarly, the Eastern DRC has time and again seen military interventions by neighboring Rwanda – based on an agreement between the Congolese and the Rwandan Presidents after November 2008. Military action was directed against the remaining Rwandan Hutu rebel group FDLR in Eastern Congo where most of the forces of the UN peacekeeping (and now stabilization) mission in the country are deployed since 1999. There have also been joint operations of Congolese and Ugandan forces against the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in 2009. The establishment of a multinational force under an AU umbrella to hunt down the LRA has just been announced in March 2012.
In both cases, the interventions had two key characteristics: a) they overall took place with the agreement of the affected country, in Somalia of the Transitional Federal Government, and b) the operations (initially) were not part of the international missions, but also not directed against them. Even if the first point eases concerns under international law, the consequences in political and military terms are largely unknown. Have parallel operations by international missions and individual (regional) powers functioned as a division of labor or rather undermined each other due to different interests and strategies? How have the different players interacted and adapted to the changing setting? In addressing these questions, the paper will also look into reasons why this diverse picture of interventions has occurred in Central and East Africa in contrast to West Africa, another main theatre of conflict where responses to crisis and conflict have been more coherent.
An Evolving Model of African-led Peace Support Operations? Lessons from Burundi, Darfur and Somalia
This paper provides conceptual and empirical analyses of the increasing role of the African Union (AU) in peace support operations in Africa. The thesis of this paper is that African-led peace support operations as presently constituted is ad hoc and, with considerable difficulties largely linked to limited technical and financial resources. It is therefore expedient for African states to complement existing funding and capacity building support programmes with the establishment of the African Peace Fund as a dependable, sustainable and predictable means of supporting peace operations in Africa.
The history of the practice of traditional peacekeeping first arose from the missions authorized and primary implemented by the United Nations (UN). The actors, mandate and missions have significantly changed and expanded since the beginning of the twenty-first century. Regional organisations such as the AU, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and the European Union (EU) are more involved in peace operations. Their mandates have also evolved from merely observing peace (notably, the UN Emergency Force in Egypt (UNEF 1), the first UN Peacekeeping operation) to more complex operations requiring extensive civilian protection. Such expansion in the mandate of peace support operation has led to scholarship on both the conceptual linkages and contestations with Responsibility to Protect (R2P). In Africa, the traditional UN dominance in peace support operations is rapidly being replaced with leadership of the AU in the deployments of various operations in the continent. The transformation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) to the AU led to a more interventionist normative and institutional arrangements. For instance, Article 4(h) of the AU Constitutive Act confers on the Union “the right to intervene” in cases of gross violation of human rights. Consequently, the AU Mission in Burundi (AMIB), AU Mission in Sudan (which later was transformed to the UN-AU Mission in Darfur) and the current AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) is putatively a realization of Africa’s prominent role in peace support operations in Africa.
Yet, these operations have been characterized by some strengths and enormous challenges. It seems the AU lead role in Africa’s missions is operationalizing the rhetorical abstraction of ‘African solutions to African problems’. Also, the AU is seemingly demonstrating its capacity, and willingness to transcend the moribund reputation of the OAU. However, the difficulties of AU-led operations are visible in the limited technical and financial resources available in establishing and sustaining these missions. This means that the AU is still largely dependent on the support of the UN and traditional donor states for successful deployments. For example, the AU Peace Fund is primarily tied to the Africa Peace Facility (APF), an EU support towards AU-led peacekeeping missions. At the same time, non-traditional donor states like China, Turkey and Qatar are gradually assuming influential roles in peace and security in Africa. The constellation of external actors often with different and sometimes opposing priorities in the so-called ‘African peace support operation’ potentially undermines the successful impact of the various operations. Except African states are able to muster the political will to establish a dependable, sustainable and predictable Peace Fund, the emerging Africa-led peace support operations will remain an ad hoc rather than a strategic model for contemporary peace operations in the continent.
Whose Money Funds African Peace Operations? Negotiating Influence and Autonomy with External Partners
The question of African ownership and Africanisation of peace operations has been the object of a growing literature. So far, the attention has been mainly put on the political and legal dimensions of this phenomenon. Questions addressed have revolved around the following issues: is the increased participation of African actors good news? Are they in a better position to solve African conflicts compared to international actors? What is the legal basis for their action? Which autonomy is granted to them by chapter VIII of the UN Charter?
This paper aims at putting into light one aspect which has been underestimated in the literature though it actually largely affects the aforementioned debates, i.e. the funding and material support of African peace operations. The dependence of African initiatives over international assistance has certainly been noted, but the diverse and recurrent manifestations of this situation in the African personnel’s everyday practices have not been systematically assessed.
Through an historical perspective, going from OAU operations in Chad to African interventions in Central African Republic and AU initiatives in Darfur and Somalia, this paper will first describe the continuity of Africa’s material dependence over non-African actors in the field of security, and more particularly multilateral interventions. It will also tackle more recent debates around the reinforcement of African capabilities and resources, including the establishment of an African standby force and the debate at the UN Security Council regarding the possibility to fund regional initiatives through UN assessed contributions (i.e. the debate around the so-called ‘Prodi’ report).
Whether in these high-level discussions, or in specific institutional creations aimed at implementing peace operations (like the former, ad hoc, Darfur Integrated Task Force within the African Union and its relations with the AU Peace and Security Department), we will trace the constant negotiations that take place between African decision-makers, African peace and security officers, and their non-African (mostly Western) partners. Undoubtedly, these negotiations are fraught with political implications. They themselves involve political and technical resources that are unequally distributed among actors.
In these day-to-day negotiations, African actors and organisations’ autonomy is directly at stake (no matter how chapter VIII of the UN Charter is to be interpreted). Yet, the indisputable enduring influence of Western actors on African peace operations shall not hide more complex motives, interests and outcomes in the African actors’ points of view. Particularly, rich lessons are to be raised from the discrepancies that may exist between African actors directly liaised with external actors in the field and African political decision makers speaking from multilateral arenas.
In any ways, the financial and material concerns are indispensable elements to take into account if one wishes to understand African dispositions for participation in peace operations, which, in some aspects, have become a real business.
Chinese Contributions to Peacekeeping in Africa: The Evolution of a New Actor on the Continent
Ian Taylor – see profile
Since 1990, China has contributed over 7,000 peacekeepers to United Nations operations, and Chinese peacekeepers have served in places such as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Liberia, and Sudan. In fact, China currently sends more peacekeeping troops abroad than any other permanent member of the UN Security Council. Indeed, China has, in the past decade or so, emerged as an important contributor to United Nations peacekeeping operations, with Chinese peacekeepers serving in places as diverse as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Liberia, and Sudan. This is a major development in Sino-African relations. China’s stance on peace operations is closely tied to its attitude on state sovereignty and this limits the type of interventions that Beijing is prepared to sanction vis-à-vis its role in peacekeeping missions. It has long been a central tenet of Chinese foreign policy post-1949 that the normative principles of state sovereignty and noninterference must serve as the bases for international relations between states. Though this position is shifting somewhat, as Beijing’s growing involvement in peace operations demonstrate, this remains fundamental. China’s valorisation of sovereignty springs from its experiences in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This Century of Humiliation, in popular Chinese parlance, lasted from the First Opium War in 1839 to the triumph of the CPC in 1949 – when, per Mao Zedong, the Chinese people stood up (zhongguo renmin zhancilai le). Yet it appears that Chinese policy in this regard is evolving. It appears that an increasingly important aspect of China’s African policy involves peacekeeping. Where it will lead remains open to question. The lack of strategic trust between China and many Western countries with regard to military involvement – including peacekeeping – around the world, not least in Africa, is however problematic. China is highly sceptical about the motives behind much Western interest in peace operations and understandably rejects US leadership at the UN and/or US interpretation of international relations. This study discusses why and how China’s role in peacekeeping in Africa has played out and the likely directions this is to take in the future.
China’s Peacekeeping Efforts in Africa: Assessing the Contributions, Future Prospects, and Challenges
Chin-Hao Huang – see profile
Over the last two decades, and particularly since the early-2000s, Chinese armed forces – including the People’s Liberation Army and elements of China’s domestic security forces – have been increasingly exposed to, and in support of, the global norms of UN peacekeeping, not least through expanded participation in international peacekeeping operations. To date, as the largest Security Council P-5 troop contributor, more than three-fourths of Chinese troops are deployed in Africa. As such, China is increasingly in a position to strengthen peacekeeping operations, contribute to stability, security, and security sector reform in Africa, and expand its regional multilateral military cooperation, all of which raises the prospects for China to become more integrated in the international community and a responsible, and responsive, major power. Given these important developments and their implications for the future of peacekeeping operations in Africa, this paper seeks to identify the key determinants that undergird China’s evolving foreign policy approach toward peacekeeping principles and praxis in Africa, ascertain the degree and trace the process in which increasing interactions between China, the African Union, and the broader international community have led Chinese policy elites to consider greater flexibility in their views toward sovereignty and the changing nature of peacekeeping, assess how a rising China may exert its influence through its expanding role in peacekeeping, and analyze the strategic implications of these security developments for Africa.
Indian Peacekeeping in Africa
Zachariah Mampilly – see profile
This paper examines recent Indian peacekeeping efforts in Africa. New Delhi has long been invested in promoting goodwill among African states by participating in United Nations peacekeeping operations. India is the third largest contributor of personnel to UN peacekeeping operations and touts its longstanding record of contributing to various missions across the world including in Somalia, Mozambique, Angola, Sierra Leone, and more recently, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan. As part of a broader push to build stronger ties to African countries, India has redoubled its commitment to peacekeeping efforts over the past decade, and in the views of many in the UN peacekeeping system, the capacity of Indian peacekeepers makes them essential to any peacekeeping effort on the continent. India does have several unique competencies that it touts in relation to its African peacekeeping efforts. In addition to its history of peacekeeping going back to the Korean War, India also possess the capacity to provide well trained troops who are accustomed to operating in a diverse array of terrain, and unlike countries such as Pakistan and Bangladesh (the two largest contributors), India possesses stand alone capability to support a peacekeeping operation on its own.
Yet, remarkably little is actually known about how Indian peacekeepers operate on the ground. Based on field visits to eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (and possibly South Sudan in the near future) during which I conducted a wide variety of interviews with members of the mission as well as with knowledgeable Congolese and international sources, this paper examines the actual performance of Indian peacekeepers in Africa.
In addition, the paper will assess India’s strategy of using peacekeeping as a tool of foreign policy. The paper is part of a larger project on Indian / African relations that I will be working on as a Fulbright fellow at the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania beginning in September. In addition to peacekeeping, I am also examining several other key sectors in which India is engaged including aid and development, trade and investment, security cooperation and other forms of non-governmental interaction. Hence, rather than bracketing peacekeeping, I will situate it within the broader context of Indian foreign policy and South / South cooperation more generally.
Brazil’s Peacebuilding in Africa and Haiti: An Emerging Challenge to the Liberal Peace?
Kai Michael Kenkel – see profile
This paper analyzes the peacebuilding efforts of Brazil, an emerging power for which peacebuilding is a key element of its international presence, and which has been strongly critical of the dominant liberal paradigm. Peacebuilding is key to Brazil’s approach as the country by tradition participates (with the contested exception of MINUSTAH) only in Chapter VI peace operations, abjuring the robust use of force. As a result, in order to gain a seat in global decisionmaking bodies, in the absence of hard power and the will to use it Brazil must point out the security implications of its domestic development successes. An activity such as peacebuilding which marries development and security concerns is an ideal settings for Brazil’s foreign policy aims. The South American giant has also placed significant emphasis on Africa in part as a means to end of underscoring – as a voice for the global South – its claim to greater international influence. This paper will examine the motivations that underpin Brazil’s commitment to peacebuilding operations, as well as its commitment to that practice in Africa, which has taken place largely on a bilateral basis. On this foundation, the paper analyzes claims about this engagement’s place in Brazil’s relationship with global structures. Brazil has been heavily critical both of Western R2P interventions and of the liberal precepts of UN peacebuilding, and its representatives take pains to underscore the originality and exceptionalism of its own incipient peacebuilding paradigm. This paper argues that rather than actually translating the critique into action, Brazil parlays domestic developmental experiences into more effective iterations of the same liberal “rules of the game”. The paper juxtaposes concrete examples of Brazilian peacebuilding experiences in Haiti and Guinea-Bissau with corresponding elements of the “liberal peace” and its critiques, such as elaborated by Oliver Richmond, David Chandler and Roland Paris. In doing so, it identifies elements that nonetheless constitute the foundation for truly innovative future challenges to the liberal peace.
Fighting for Peace in Somalia: Collective Conflict Management in Action
Paul D. Williams – see profile
This paper will provide a critical analysis of the variety of military operations conducted by external actors in Somalia between 2006 and 2012. The principal operations were carried out by Ethiopia, Kenya and the African Union, as well as a coalition of countries which conducted various maritime operations aimed at ending piracy off the Somali coastline. None of them were examples of traditional peacekeeping but were instead variants of peace enforcement. The African Union’s largest and longest running military operation, the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) is this paper’s primary focus because it involved so many different actors: while the African Union and United Nations provided the authority for the mission, two African states (Uganda and Burundi) provided the bulk of the troops, while the United States, the European Union, the United Nations and several other states provided essential equipment and training as well as logistical and financial assistance.
AMISOM deployed to Mogadishu in early 2007 lacking adequate resources, troop numbers and a supportive political framework, and facing a growing popular insurgency. Yet by early 2012, AMISOM had adapted to these challenges to make major military gains and become Somalia’s longest running peace operation. With an authorized strength of over 17,000 soldiers, AMISOM has been tasked with, among other things, countering insurgents beyond Mogadishu, VIP protection, security sector reform, supporting political dialogue and reconciliation, as well as maritime security tasks.
The multiple actors involved in these military operations raised important challenges particularly those related to the development of a political strategy, strategic coordination, and military effectiveness. In terms of impacts, while the various military operations all made some dent in the Al-Shabaab insurgency, none of them succeeded in defeating the rebels, creating a durable and inclusive peace process, or establishing a legitimate and effective government in Somalia.
Two Countries, Three Missions: Can Post-Secession Peacekeeping in the Whole-of-Sudan Address Root Causes of the Conflict?
Sophie Besancenot – see profile
In 2009 Foreign Policy ranked Sudan third failed state in the world after Somalia and Zimbabwe and before the DRC, Iraq and Afghanistan. The criteria of “uneven development” was graded particularly high in comparison to other failed states (Foreign Policy 2009). From its foundation, Sudan failed to establish itself as a cohesive state: “The Sudan since independence has been either a failed or failing state” (Prunier and Gisselquist 2003, 123).
In 1983, the SPLM/A was founded in the South to fight for self-determination. A full-fledged peace and wealth-sharing agreement was reached in 2005 with the government in Khartoum. A large UN Mission, UNMIS had been deployed after Resolution 1590 was passed in 2005 to ensure the implementation of the peace agreement during the six years transitional period. Due to the ambiguity of its mandate, it had however difficulties to protect civilians (Arenas-Garcia 2010).
While the North-South conflict had started to be considered resolved, another full-scale conflict started to erupt in the North Western part of Sudan which is the size of France, Darfur. The crisis had the potential to be “Southern Sudan speeded up” (De Waal 2005). The AMIS peacekeeping mission of the African Union in Darfur did not reach the numbers required by its mandate to protect civilians. Eventually, in 2007 the UNAMID force was set up as a hybrid force between the United Nations and the African Union. The international community pushed to extend the UNMIS mandate to the Darfur region to have one single operation. Yet this became impossible when the Sudanese government made clear that it would only accept a mission with a strong “African” component and had a say on which nationalities it was ready to accept in the mission (Liégeois 2009). The mission could not easily keep peace in an ongoing conflict situation.
In the 2011 January 9th referendum, Southern Sudanese voters massively decided for secession. Resolution 1996 (2011) established the UNMISS, a new mission to help establish peace and security in South Sudan for an initial period of one year on the basis that “[…] security and development are closely interlinked and mutually reinforcing and key to attaining sustainable peace” (United Nations Security Council 2011). Last, another less known mission, UNISFA, is deployed in the contested border region of Abyei, composed only of an Ethiopian contingent since mid-2011.
The question will be whether the three very different peacekeeping missions in Sudan (UNAMID, UNMISS, UNISFA) are together able to address challenges of the post-secession context. The article will be based on my one-month research stay at CEDEJ in Khartoum in February 2012, a conference I attended in Berlin on peace operations in South Sudan, phone interviews with current and former peacekeeping actors and document analysis.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo: A Laboratory for International Peace Operations
Meike Froitzheim – see profile
The conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) which unfolded in the mid-1990s has not only been referred to as “Africa’s world war” (Prunier 2009) in which more than 5 million people have lost their lives since 1998, untold numbers became refugees and millions were injured, raped, and orphaned, but it has also provoked massive interventions by the international community. However, and despite the large budget expended by numerousness actors, no sustainable peace has so far been established in the DRC and especially in the country’s eastern provinces. The reasons for the apparent failure of the international peacebuilding efforts are mainly located in material constraints and the lack of political will (Doyle and Sambanis 2006), coordination problems between and among actors (Lurweg 2011) and the imposition of liberal values (Richmond 2005). Furthermore, the relationship and the prevalent power disparity between the external interveners and the local counterparts, the so-called intervened upon, is more and more identified as an obstacle (Autesserre 2010).
Against this background, the aim of the paper is to analyse the actual impact of the international community’s peacebuilding endeavours in the conflict zone of eastern DRC. This approach is motivated by the understanding that although international peace operations are understood as an important instrument of the international community to prevent, contain or manage violent conflicts, they are not uncontested and it is highly disputed whether and to what extent they contribute to establishing peace in former conflict areas. This means that the impact of peace operations on the ground still remains largely unknown. In other words, there is little knowledge to what extent and through which particular measures international peace operations bring about positive changes in conflict environments such as eastern Congo. The study pays particular attention to the UN and the EU which provide the most important peacebuilding missions in eastern DRC*, but also includes the endeavours of other powerful actors, such as the UK, France and Belgium. The study is based on three extensive field works carried out in the Great Lakes Region and eastern Congo in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
* The UN is currently providing around 22,000 uniformed personnel for the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO), while the EU has been deploying a total of five civil and military missions in the DRC since 2003. Two EU missions, EUPOL RD Congo and EUSEC RD Congo, are still on-going, dealing with security sector reform issues.
Responsibility to Protect and Protection of Civilians in Peacekeeping Operations: The Risks of Issue-Linkage
Thierry Tardy – see profile
The parallel conceptual development and shared normative basis of the Responsibility to Protect (RtoP) and civilian protection in peacekeeping operations have led to a rapprochement between the two emerging norms. In 2009, in his efforts to operationalize RtoP, the UN Secretary-General explicitly called for the mainstreaming of the goals relating to RtoP in the areas of peacekeeping and peacebuilding.
This paper argues that the interdependence between RtoP and protection of civilians in peacekeeping operations should not be interpreted as being necessarily conducive to their parallel promotion or mutual strengthening. On the contrary, issue-linkage between them is likely to be counterproductive for three sets of reasons. First, RtoP is characterized by its exceptional nature and narrow agenda – in relation to the four threshold crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and ethnic cleansing – while the civilian protection in peacekeeping agenda is broad-ranging. Second, there are differences in the degrees of coercion that the two concepts can produce that make them sufficiently distinct not to be amalgamated in the conflict management toolbox. Third, the contentious nature of the two concepts, and in particular the coercive dimension of pillar three of RtoP, is such that a two obvious issue-linkage would be counterproductive as it would exacerbate the norm localisation challenge of two already resisted emerging norms.
‘Muscular’ Peacekeeping on Steroids: The Role and Impact of Intervention Forces on Peacekeeping
During the 1990s, the term muscular peacekeeping – peace operations forces with expanded mandates – began to enter the peacekeeping lexicon. This model became increasingly popular and used more often in a number of missions, including within Africa. At the same time, however, some limitations and weaknesses became apparent in the ability of United Nations missions to control the environment and to improve the overall security situation. These gaps have resulted in calls for more activist military intervention, and (more rarely) actual intervention by third countries in restoring security. Ideally, of course, such interventions would occur under the auspices of the United Nations or formal regional organizations, but due to national caveats or broader national strategic interests, unilateral (to a greater or lesser degree) interventions may be the tool nations choose to use.
This paper will focus on the British intervention in Sierra Leone and the French intervention in Côte d’Ivoire as somewhat prototypical examples of these types of interventions. There are a number of issues to be addressed and lessons to be drawn from these operations. Among the issues to be examined are: how can goals and strategies be reconciled between national and international forces; what are the impacts of conventional unilateral operations on the broader peacekeeping goals; how can a structure for coordination, command, and control be built (if this is in fact either possible or desired); if national objectives of the third country force are contrary to those of the United Forces, are there means of compromising these competing priorities on the ground; and how can tactics and operations by the unilateral forces and the United Nations or regional agencies be mutually reinforcing. Examining these two cases should provide lessons for how such increasingly complex operations can reach appropriate end states.
Primus inter Pares? France and Multi-Actor Peacekeeping in Côte d’Ivoire
The Ivorian crisis involved various external actors, among which France definitely stood out. The former colonial power intervened as a peace-broker, peacekeeper and, finally, as a peace-enforcer. Yet the French acted alongside the United Nations (UN), the African Union (AU), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), as well as individual regional and sub-regional powers. In light of France’s prominent role in the Ivorian crisis, the question thus arises whether France was only ‘first among equals’, or whether it was the predominant actor in the Ivorian theatre, and thereby hampered sub-regional, regional and international peacekeeping efforts.
Paris did not actively seek this role, but rather stepped in with Operation Licorne in late 2002 as ECOWAS proved unable to guarantee the ceasefire. Nevertheless, Force Licorne was a useful tool to advance French interests in Côte d’Ivoire. Therefore, France used its influence in the UN Security Council to carve out a largely autonomous role for its troops alongside the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI). While this allowed the Elysée to reduce its peacekeeping expenses, it also gave the UN additional military might at no cost. The support of Force Licorne was crucial for the UN before and, especially, during the post-electoral crisis. But France’s muscular intervention on the side of the UN and, ultimately, Alassane Ouattara, was rendered possible by inter-African disagreements, which forestalled an ECOWAS or AU peace operation.
This paper argues that the French played a determinant role, and have through their interventions strongly influenced the Ivorian crisis up to this very day. While they did not undermine African peacekeeping initiatives and lent their muscles to UNOCI, they nevertheless undermined the credibility and impartiality of the UN. Thereby, French forces helped prevent more bloodshed, but also gave credibility to the rhetoric of Laurent Gbagbo and his followers that Ouattara was a foreign stooge. By overstepping their mandate, Force Licorne and UNOCI brought the civil war to an end, but have not resolved the crisis in Côte d’Ivoire, which remains confronted with a host of challenges.
The Perils of Peacekeeping as a Tool of R2P: The Case of Darfur
This paper looks at the responses of the Sudanese government to the deployment of robust peacekeeping missions on its territory. It contrasts Khartoum’s acquiescence of the UN Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS), deployed in 2005 after signing a peace agreement with the rebels from South Sudan, with its resistance against the deployment of a UN peacekeeping mission in Darfur. On the basis of Sudanese press reports as well as interviews with decision-makers in Khartoum, the paper goes beyond the usual explanations and looks at the normative dimension of the government’s responses to robust peacekeeping. It thus argues that the infusion of the debate about peacekeeping in Darfur with R2P language created a backlash from a government that perceived its sovereignty to be undermined. However, the attempt to conjure up anti-interventionist solidarity from international allies as well as from within the Sudanese political class ultimately failed, and the government was forced to accept the deployment of a hybrid peacekeeping mission, the UN-AU Mission in Darfur (UNAMID). Despite of this, since the deployment of UNAMID, Khartoum has continued to put operational and political obstacles, essentially preventing the mission from fulfilling its mandate. Thus, the paper aims to make sense of the politics of peacekeeping in Sudan, and, more generally, it seeks to shed light on situations when peacekeeping missions become agents of the R2P norm in a context of host government resistance against it.
Emerging Models of Peace – or is the Liberal Peace Still the Only Game in UN Town?
Since Boutrous Boutros-Ghali in 1992 outlined ‘An Agenda for Peace’, multidimensional UN peace operations in Africa have been informed by the vision of a Liberal Peace. At the present juncture, however, the continued dominance of liberal peacebuilding is uncertain. Emerging powers from the Global South – China, India, Brazil and South Africa – are coming to the field with a different set of standards, experiences and objectives; and the Western powers have begun questioning the strategic value and operational effectiveness of promoting liberal-democratic political institutions and economic liberalization to solve localized conflicts.
When taken together the disillusion of the West and the rise of the Rest suggest that the Liberal Peace is losing its value as a helpful narrative for understanding – and criticizing – the design of complex UN peace operations. The question is what – if any – alternative model(s) of peace will take its place?
The subtle shift in Western rhetoric towards ‘stabilization’ suggests a less ambitious agenda that is more concerned with maintaining status quo than with promoting a comprehensive agenda of societal transformation. The simultaneous move towards ‘contextualizing’ interventions to make them ‘fit’ local political dynamics may, however, also indicate a welcomed farewell to the highly standardized models of intervention that have long been known to impede peacebuilding success.
The emerging powers have – neither as a group, nor on an individual basis – outlined any explicit alternatives to the predominantly Western model of liberal peacebuilding. Yet, studies of their evolving policies indicate several areas of contestation. These include a more conservative interpretation of sovereignty and a stronger focus on development as opposed to security issues as the legitimate area of international engagement.
Based on a reading of recent debates within the UN Security Council and General Assembly on post-conflict peacebuilding, including the nexus between peacekeeping and peacebuilding, this paper explores the incipient models of peace that are emerging from different centers of global and regional power, and discusses how and in what ways these models would shape and reshape international peacekeeping practices in Africa.
The Dilemmas of Consent
The consent of the warring parties and of the state authorities of the host country has always been a prerequisite for starting a UN operation and a key principle of the UN doctrine. To some extent, it is the principle of consent which distinguishes peacekeeping from other forms of multilateral intervention and ensures the compatibility between peacekeeping and the rule of state sovereignty. However, consent is often uncertain and fragile. In recent years a number of UN operations have experienced serious difficulties with state authorities, as examples from Chad, the DRC, Côte d’Ivoire, Darfur and Eritrea show. The fragility of consent poses a very significant challenge to the UN and, more broadly, to the international efforts to help post-conflict countries. The UN doctrine stresses that consent is not given or withdrawn once for all but can be managed by understanding it in the framework of a political process. It also establishes a distinction between consent at the “strategic” and at the “tactical” level and considers that peacekeepers can operate without the latter but not the former. However, the UN doctrine fails to respond to many of the dilemmas that practitioners meet in the field and downplays the tension between consent and other principles supported by UN peacekeeping (such as protection of civilians or support for democratization). This paper conceptualizes state consent as the result of a bargaining process between international peacekeepers and host state authorities and tries to account for its volatility. It assumes that state authorities and warring parties have incentives in faking consent. State authorities may accept the deployment of UN peacekeepers because they expect them to provide material and non-material resources, such as security, legitimacy and economic goods. However, they will also try to avoid that the presence of UN peacekeepers affect their interests and may especially resist demands for the opening of political competition and democratization. The manipulation of consent is particularly evident in Africa, where States share a history of political and economic extraversion and of often ineffective international interventionism. The paper discusses recent African cases and explores the options that are available to the UN when consent deteriorates.
When They Overstay Their Welcome: UN Peacekeepers in Africa
In the last few years, United Nations (UN) peace operations were once more said to be at the crossroads, prompting extensive reviews and analyses in the academia as well as within the UN system (e.g. ‘over the horizon-initiative’). These have mainly focused on the UN’s overstretched capacities, incl. equipment, finance and personnel, the effectiveness of UN operations and their grappling with new and ambitious concepts, namely the protection of civilians.
This paper argues that there are indications that UN peace operations face a new and perhaps less expected challenge. The UN faces increasing resistance by the host countries that the UN is seeking to assist, especially, it seems, in the stages of a peace operation that focuses on post-conflict peace-building. In recent years, the governments of Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo have pushed through the reduction of peacekeeping personnel or forced the wholesale withdrawal of peace operations – despite the concerns of the UN. The case of Chad is similar. The peacekeepers there have a very restricted mandate, but at the request of the Chadian government, the mission was terminated in 2010. Recently, in Sierra Leone, the government of Sierra Leone was strongly suspected to have (successfully) asked the UN to withdraw its head of mission, perceived to be too critical and intrusive by the Sierra Leonean government.
It remains to be seen whether these examples signal a trend that will be emulated by the governments of other countries where there have been interventions. But they highlight a problem that has not been given due attention by academic observers and the UN: the consent of a host government to UN peace-building cannot (no more?) be taken for granted. Much of the debate on peacekeeping and peace-building emphasizes problems that are related to mandate implementation, notably of how to consolidate a fragile peace process, always presuming that all the main stakeholders agree to what the UN freely offers as ‘outside assistance’. The question that this paper is addressing then is: is there new hostility to UN missions in weak African states? Have African governments become more assertive and sovereignty-minded? Or is the refusal or withdrawing of consent by host governments a backlash and response to ever more intrusive and longer UN peace operations, deemed by policy-makers to be necessary to win the peace? What should and can the UN do if the assistance they offer in support of peace consolidation is rejected by their putative national ‘partners’, especially when the countries in question continue to face serious post-conflict challenges?
The Space between HQ Policy and Local Action: Unpacking Agency in Negotiating Local Peacebuilding
Recently more attention has been drawn to the nexus between peacekeeping and peacebuilding, in addition to an acknowledgement of the importance of understanding the political economy on the local level and its reciprocal relationships with national conflict dynamics. This literature has however been dominated by an understanding of international actors as fairly homogenous, e.g. arguing that a ‘dominant peacebuilding culture’ has precluded the contextualization of peacebuilding to local dynamics, including western-driven interpretations of ‘violence’ and ‘peace’. Drawing from fieldwork on the UN peacekeeping involvement in local peacebuilding in South Sudan, the article argues for a less reductionist and more nuanced view of local peacebuilding that places existing social structures and social networks at the centre of analysis and action, while also unpacking the categories of not only the ‘local actor’ but also the ‘external actor’. Local peacebuilding outcomes depend much more on negotiations between different actors, bargains and compromises, than on institutional policy decision-making deriving from headquarters. Our findings suggest that important efforts are made to contextualize peacebuilding activities to local circumstances, notwithstanding significant institutional obstacles limiting the impact of these efforts, in addition to significant challenges of coordination among international actors.
The UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan UNMISS is one of the most ambitious operations so far in the history of the UN in terms of local level peacebuilding. UNMISS is aiming to establish 35 County Support Bases (CSBs) that shall be a platform and a portal for early peacebuilding activities. The CSBs are part of a very ambitious plan to further strengthen the presence of national authorities on the local level. Based on a principle of equality between international peacekeepers and national authorities, each of the CSBs will co-locate local authorities with the UN, sharing the same standards of buildings, internet access and facilities. They will also facilitate access for other partners within and outside the UN system, including civil society organisations (CSOs). As such, the CSBs are carrying a great promise to the local population that the mission will be wise to heed. Unless the presences can be paralleled with service delivery and real peace dividends for local populations, they will result in anger and loss of confidence in both peacekeepers and local authorities. They will thus be a prism through which it may be possible to follow and measure to which degree the international community and the government in Juba is able to instil the trust and confidence needed to achieve ‘real’ peacebuilding from the ground up in South Sudan. The article will argue for further empirical scrutiny of if and how international peacebuilders are engaging with the micro-foundations of conflict on the local level, seeking to improve our understanding of the heterogeneity of actors and complex dynamics that are intrinsic to local peacebuilding, and the processes of negotiation, brokerage and mediation that take place at these levels.
The Role of Non-State Actors in Peacekeeping Efforts in West Africa
International Peacekeeping has largely been viewed as an activity that is driven by state actors. This view is supported by the fact that the decisions to deploy peacekeeping missions are made by states or intergovernmental organizations. The view is also reinforced by the fact that international peacekeeping often centres on the military troops deployed by states. While both of these point to the fact that international peacekeeping is a state action, the perception of international peacekeeping as state action alone misses the critical role of non-state actors without whom the peacekeeping missions cannot achieve their core goals of ending violence and providing humanitarian relief.
While the decisions as to whether to deploy a peacekeeping mission is made by states, too often it is non-state actors, most notably NGOs, which generate the moral outcry that captures the attention of the states. Thus, NGOs play a critical role before states make the political and military decisions on peacekeeping. Moreover, they shape those decisions by framing the political and moral discourses in the first place. International NGOs have been at the forefront of shaping such moral and political discourses globally and within the specific countries with the abilities to act. Domestic NGOs are not only critical partners of the international NGOs, but also the first to create awareness about the problems.
NGOs have also been critical players in delivering the services implicit in peacekeeping mandates – humanitarian relief, moving people, etc. – and helping negotiate ceasefires and peace agreements. The role of NGOs in helping state actors deliver services and end conflicts cannot be fully understood without recognising non-state actors in peacekeeping. In all African wars, a wide array of non-state actors have been involved in peacebuilding before peacekeeping missions are deployed and thereafter. While many of the major NGOs are well known, there is a need for more nuanced understanding of the wide array of non-state actors, the kind of roles they play, and where they make the most impact.
This paper will provide a conceptual frame for understanding the role of non-state actors in peacekeeping. It will not only underscore the importance of NGOs in the pre-deployment of peacekeeping missions and thereafter, but also map out the categories of non-state actors and how they impact the realization of the mandate of the peacekeeping mission.
The paper will draw upon the experiences of Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Côte d’Ivoire and define non-state actors as both formal NGOs and informal and ad hoc groups created to provide public good. The paper will focus on the following types of non-state actors: 1) international NGOs, 2) formally organized domestic NGOs, 3) women’s and youth organizations, and 4) ad hoc committees of religious and community leaders. In terms of the activities and impact, the focus of the paper will be on how they: 1) generate moral support for international intervention, 2) identify places in need of immediate relief, and 3) help mediate ceasefires and peace agreements.
Interrogating Operational Conflict Management Process between Military Peacekeepers and Humanitarian NGOs in West Africa
The face of peacekeeping activities across the globe has changed from traditional into wider peacekeeping since the end of the cold war. Managing and monitoring the activities of non-state actors involved in conflict zones has become part of the contemporary challenges encountered by peacekeepers in sub-Saharan Africa. Trans-national corporations, Humanitarian NGOs and even private military corporations and contractors with vested interests in countries that are experiencing conflicts had given additional responsibilities to peacekeeping forces, who have had to ensure that non-state actors did not contribute significantly to conflict escalation and conflict proliferation in areas where relative peace have been achieved. In West Africa, the ECOMOG (the peacekeeping military force of the Economic Community of West Africa) appears to have achieved some success in containing non-state actors in countries where they have carried out peacekeeping missions.
Humanitarian NGOs are assuming increasing responsibilities in conflict mitigation and peacebuilding in conflict zones. Beyond providing material reliefs to alleviate the sufferings of victims and vulnerable groups in conflict zones, Humanitarian NGOs have also assumed the responsibilities of monitoring the extent of protection of human rights of the vulnerable segments of the population by belligerent armed groups and peacekeepers in countries where peacekeeping activities are taking place. They also make significant contributions to political transition activities and post-conflict peacebuilding efforts, such as election monitoring, political party formations, establishment and monitoring of structures and institutions which support confidence building among populations that are caught in cross-fire and who have lost confidence in the political and economic structures that sustain conflicts in Africa. In the process of such interventions, there had been accusations that some of the NGOs sometimes take sides in local politics, thus putting military peacekeepers into much more difficult situation in their operations to ensure cease fire and conducive atmosphere for peace negotiation and peacebuilding. Often times, humanitarian NGOs refuse to co-operate with peacekeepers because they have different operating templates and procedures from those of military peacekeepers. In the quest to maintain their credibility, neutrality and accountability to donors, NGOs engage in altercations with peacekeepers in the operation field where military exigencies sometimes demand unusual practices.
The proposed presentation intends to interrogate how operational conflicts between the ECOMOG peacekeepers, UN peacekeepers and Humanitarian NGOs was managed in countries such as Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Ivory Coast where recent operations have led to somehow successful political transitions and relative peace. The insight gained from the study could enable one to proffer sustainable partnership operational mode between military peacekeepers and humanitarian NGOs in future peacekeeping missions. This can contribute significant ideas towards achieving more successful peace support operations in various conflicts across the world.
A Multi-faceted Problem, A Holistic Approach: Towards Deterring Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in Post-Conflict Environments
This paper aims to provide a more acute understanding of the manner in which United Nations peacekeepers can play an effective role in deterring sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) in post-conflict environments. This question is approached through an analysis of gender mainstreaming in UN peacekeeping, focusing particularly on the integration of women into UN peacekeeping operations. Results from this study indicate that, compared to both female peacekeepers from co-ed units and male peacekeepers, women from all-female units have a greater awareness of gender issues and SEA, sense of responsibility to address such issues, and experience doing so in a UN mission. The distinct gap in these measures between women from all-female units and co-ed units challenges the widespread assumption that women will inherently address gender-related issues and SEA and provide support to civilian women in UN missions. First, through an analysis of variables that may contribute to the proclivity of members of all-female units to be concerned with gender-related issues and SEA, this paper posits that all-female units may not be necessary. As such, distinct recommendations are presented for a more effective integration of women into co-ed units. Second, this paper proposes that the integration of women into peacekeeping operations will be most effective as a component of a broad-spectrum gender mainstreaming approach to conflict mitigation. In order to maximize the benefits of this approach, recommendations are presented for implementation both in the troop contributing country and in the host country.
Conclusions are based on a mixed-method study conducted in Bangladesh with previously deployed UN peacekeepers. The primary methods of the study include a literature review, in-depth semi-structured interviews, and surveys.
Female Peacekeepers: Antidote to Sexual Violence during Peacekeeping Missions?
Peacekeeping personnel have a long history of sexual violence (sexual exploitation and abuse; trafficking in women and children; and rape) and this has been widely documented. According to Aoi et al. (2007) sexual misconduct is one of a number of unintended consequences of peacekeeping operations because it is a ‘requisite’ of war; it has become a war in itself, that is a war on women’s (and even men) bodies. Consequently, this ill-discipline as a result of sexual violence degrades the usefulness of the peacekeeping operation because the protection of civilians which is a major mandate of peacekeeping missions has been violated.
The “Comprehensive Review 7, of the Whole Question of Peacekeeping Operations in All Their Aspects” found among other things that the peacekeepers enticed desperate women and female children to engage in sexual acts for food (which is most times scarce during and after conflict). In early 2003, the Secretary General of the United Nations (UN) brought out detailed rules for UN staff prohibiting sexual exploitation and abuse during missions (UN, 2003). Unfortunately, UN staff constitutes a very small fraction of peace-keeping missions – most peacekeepers are on loan from ‘donor’ countries and the UN has no direct disciplinary authority over them. They serve under the operational control of the UN but remain members of their own national military and are subject to discipline only by their governments.
According to some scholars, peacekeeping missions with a considerable number of females engage less in sexual violence. They are also identified as having high levels of internal discipline. In 2000, Resolution 1325 of the UN Security Council called on the Secretary-General to “progress on gender mainstreaming throughout peacekeeping missions and all aspects related to women and girls”. Succeeding Security Council resolutions outlined more inclusive methods for using peacekeeping missions to protect women and girls from sexual violence in conflict and post-conflict zones and these include increasing the number of women peacekeepers. Therefore Increasing women’s participation in peacekeeping has been an important goal for the UN and other regional and sub-regional peacekeeping since the passage in 2000 of UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 on women, peace and security.
Therefore this paper seeks to examine the statement “the presence of female peacekeepers reduces sexual violence by peacekeepers during missions” (it will explain how their presence reduces the prevalence of sexual violence or even prevents the act). The paper will achieve its aim by: briefly discussing the mandate of peacekeeping operations; giving examples of sexual violence by peacekeepers in African conflict theatres between 1999 till date; identifying and explaining motivations for sexual violence by peacekeepers; discussing Resolution 1325 specifically the aspect on women’s involvement in peacekeeping operations; providing statistics on number of female peacekeepers in African conflicts from 2001 till date; conduct a comparative analysis of two peacekeeping missions in Africa – one without women and one with women; and then draw conclusions.
Navigating the Complexity of HIV/AIDS in African Peacekeeping Missions: Challenges and Prospects
The end of the Cold War witnessed the resurgence of ethnic conflicts in Africa, which necessitated the deployment of peacekeeping missions in many crisis contexts. No doubt, the risk of HIV transmission increases in conflict and post conflict environment and international peacekeepers are at risk of contracting and spreading HIV/AIDS as are other armed services personnel. Furthermore, the nature of peacekeeping missions requires frequent rotation of troops, movement of large number of troop and police from contributing countries with different HIV prevalence rates, the volatile nature of peacekeeping environments in which peacekeepers spend long period away from their home countries and where access to medical care is limited, further exacerbates the transmission of HIV/AIDS. Response to this situation included the adoption of the UN Security Council Resolution 1308, among others, which stresses the need for the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) to incorporate HIV/AIDS prevention awareness skills and advice in its training for peacekeepers. However, an apparent shortcoming of this response is that troops on peacekeeping missions are generally under national commands and this constitutes a limit to the DPKO’s mandate. Also, existing literature on HIV/AIDS in peacekeeping missions has largely focused on the military and ignored its impacts on the civilian police contingents who are usually in the frontline of dealing with key groups that are vulnerable to high levels of HIV, including sex workers, trafficked women and children, children living and working on the streets, detainees, injecting drug users and stigmatized groups such as gay men. This paper discusses the role of peacekeeping missions in the spread and the control of HIV/AIDS, gender dimensions of HIV/AIDS within peacekeeping missions in Africa, the human rights conundrum generated by the testing of military personnel for HIV as well as offers an account and analysis of the steps taken within the UN peacekeeping missions and African regional peacekeeping initiatives to tackle the complex and multifaceted challenges of HIV/AIDS. While HIV/AIDS remains a scourge that could weaken peacekeeping missions in Africa, it seems inertia has set in in tackling the complexity of this HIV/AIDS phenomenon.