More than 50 peace operations have deployed in Africa since 2000, including multiple African-led or hybrid African Union/United Nations initiatives. The frequency of these deployments underscores the ongoing importance of these operations in the playbook of regional and multilateral bodies to prevent conflict, protect civilians, and enforce ceasefires and peace agreements. Recent operations have featured increasingly ambitious goals and complex institutional partnerships. The achievements and shortcomings of these operations offer vital lessons for optimizing this increasingly central but still evolving tool for addressing conflict and instability.
- Over 50 peace operations have been deployed to 18 African countries since 2000.
- “Partnership peacekeeping,” which involves collaboration between various multilateral and bilateral actors and institutions, has become increasingly common.
- Force generation efforts should focus on deploying the capabilities needed to realize mission objectives and not solely on numbers of peacekeepers.
- Peace operations must be seen as part of an effective political strategy aimed at conflict resolution not a substitute for it.
- Maintaining legitimacy among international and local stakeholders is a crucial part of achieving success.
- International disagreements persist over the fundamental purpose of peace operations, particularly with regard to the use of military force.
Violent conflict and the power of armed nonstate actors remain defining priorities in 21st century Africa. Organized violence has killed millions and displaced many more, leaving them to run the gauntlet of violence, disease, and malnutrition. Such violence has also traumatized a generation of children and young adults, broken bonds of trust and authority structures among and across local communities, shattered education and healthcare systems, disrupted transportation routes and infrastructure, and done untold damage to the continent’s ecology from its land and waterways to its flora and fauna. In financial terms, the direct and indirect cost of conflicts in Africa since 2000 has been estimated to be nearly $900 billion.1 The twin policy challenges are to promote conflict resolution processes and to identify who can stand up to armed nonstate actors when the host government’s security forces prove inadequate.
Whether the focus is on al Shabaab in Somalia, the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda or M23 rebels in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the Janjaweed in Darfur, Sudan, or al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and Ansar al Dine in northern Mali, peace operations have been designated a leading role in dealing with these “spoiler” groups.2
Following a U.S.-led international withdrawal from peacekeeping in Africa after the “Black Hawk down” episode in Mogadishu in October 1993, a new wave of peace operations were deployed to the continent in the late 1990s with the missions to the DRC, Sierra Leone, and the Central African Republic. During the 21st century, 52 peace operations have been deployed to 18 African countries (see Table). Since 2011 alone, 10 new peace operations have been deployed in 8 African countries. They were conducted by a range of international organizations, principally the United Nations (UN), African Union (AU), European Union (EU), and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). A small number were also undertaken by Africa’s other Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and individual states, principally France, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.
What Are Peace Operations?
Peace operations involve the expeditionary use of uniformed personnel (police and/or military), with a mandate to:
- Assist in the prevention of armed conflict by supporting a peace process
- Serve as an instrument to observe or assist in the implementation of ceasefires or peace agreements
- Enforce ceasefires, peace agreements, or the will of the UN Security Council in order to build stable peace
This encompasses UN, UN-authorized, and non-UN operations, which may range in size from small observation and security sector reform missions involving less than 50 personnel to multidimensional operations involving tens of thousands of soldiers, police, and civilians.
The United Nations has been the predominant peacekeeper on the continent during this period. Since mid-2006, it has spent over $36 billion and now maintains approximately 70,000 peacekeepers in its 11 operations in Africa (plus its Support Office to the AU Mission in Somalia, UNSOA).3 Nevertheless, since 2003 the AU has hugely increased the tempo of its missions in an attempt to operationalize its new principle of “non-indifference.” To that end, the AU has authorized more than 40,000 peacekeepers to deploy into Burundi, the Comoros, Darfur, Somalia, Central Africa, and Mali.4 One important trend has been the increasing number of operations that involve collaboration among two or more international institutions, most notably involving the UN, AU, EU, and various bilateral partners. Such “partnership peacekeeping” has become the new norm in Africa whereby African states provide the majority of the personnel but other actors provide significant forms of assistance in terms of funding, training, logistics, and planning.5
Despite deploying into difficult environments and being given a long list of difficult tasks, many of these operations have proved to be effective tools of conflict management.6 Among other things, they have assisted states during the risky transition from war to peace; helped mitigate humanitarian crises and protect civilians; changed the incentives for war and peace among the belligerents, sometimes by actively coercing spoilers; assisted in the reduction of uncertainty between various conflict parties; helped prevent accidents and control skirmishes that otherwise might have escalated to war; and facilitated political dialogue between belligerent groups.
But these operations have also generated controversy. On the ground, peacekeepers have not always extinguished the flames of war, effectively confronted illegal armed groups, or managed to protect the civilian victims of violence. Moreover, too many peacekeepers have been accused of incompetence, corruption, or sexually exploiting the people they were supposed to protect. At the UN, the Secretary-General told the Security Council in August 2011 that tensions and arguments will arise because “those who mandate missions, those who contribute uniformed personnel, and those who are major funders are separate groups” of countries.7 This has produced a significant mismatch between the states making the key strategic decisions about UN peace operations and the states risking their personnel on the ground. While Western states have pushed to establish more and more ambitious operations in Africa, they have been reluctant to deploy their own soldiers, instead preferring to offer financial, logistical, and training assistance. In financial terms, the cost of these operations has risen at a time when the recent global economic downturn has constricted resources (since mid-2008, UN peace operations in Africa have cost over $5 billion per fiscal year).
This brief reviews the major strategic and operational lessons learned from the more than 50 peace operations deployed to Africa since 2000 with the aim of making these and future operations more effective instruments of conflict resolution.
There are many mission-specific lessons to draw but seven general lessons bear highlighting:
An effective political strategy is a prerequisite for success.
Peace operations are instruments, not a strategy. To be successful, peace operations must be part of an effective political strategy and peace process not a substitute for them. Without a viable political strategy, peace operations should not be an automatic response to all wars. As former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice put it, “peacekeepers cannot do everything and go everywhere.”8 First and foremost, it is unwise to deploy peace operations in active war zones unless they are part of a viable political process for managing or resolving the conflict. Nor should peacekeepers be deployed unless they have active cooperation from the host government(s) in question. They should generally avoid crossing what has been dubbed the “Darfur line”— “deploying where there is no (real) consent by the state.”9 If civilians are being systematically massacred by their own governments and international society wants to stop it, then a military intervention is needed rather than a peacekeeping operation.
Strategic coordination is crucial.
Contemporary peace operations in Africa involve a variety of actors (states, international organizations, and nongovernmental organizations) working in the same environment. Strategic coordination between these actors is therefore crucial. It will be more likely to occur if policymakers recognize at least three things. First, since different organizations will always maintain their own distinct agendas, coordination will always be a political not just a technical exercise. Second, policymakers need to ensure that the relevant actors—especially states contributing personnel and members of the authorizing institution—share a similar vision of the operation’s purpose, mandate, and rules of engagement (ROE). Third, in Africa, the practical focus of many strategic coordination issues will be developing sensible divisions of labor in the complicated UN-AU-EU-U.S. nexus. While the United Nations remains the single most important organization for conducting peace operations in Africa, the African Union, European Union, and United States are all playing more significant roles. These partnerships must figure out how to respect the AU’s political authority but avoid the trap of overestimating its current capabilities with regard to deploying and sustaining peace operations in the field. A key priority is to clarify the relationship between Africa’s RECs, the regional standby forces, the new “African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises” (AICRC),10 and the AU’s Peace and Security Council.
Ends and means must be in synch.
Peace operations are unlikely to succeed if they are not given the resources necessary to achieve their goals. There are at least two dimensions to this issue. First, the goals of an operation should be set out in clear, credible, and flexible mandates with appropriate ROE. For example, policymakers should avoid replicating the strategic headache handed to MONUC/MONUSCO in the DRC, which was told to assist successive Congolese governments and their security forces and protect civilians, when the former were often a major threat to the latter. And AMISOM was handed the herculean challenge of protecting a transitional government in Mogadishu that was internationally recognized but deeply unpopular within many parts of Somalia. Both arrangements provided very weak foundations on which to build a sustainable political solution.
Second, once mandated, policymakers must prevent large vacancy rates (i.e., discrepancies between the authorized force levels and the actual numbers of personnel on the ground). Such personnel gaps not only hamper a mission’s ability to take advantage of the so-called “golden hour” immediately after the cessation of fighting but also signal to the conflict parties a lack of political will within the authorizing organizations. Large vacancy rates have damaged the performance of several peace operations, perhaps most notably during UNAMID’s first year in Sudan and AMISOM’s first 3 years in Mogadishu. Reducing vacancy rates would be easier if the UN and AU developed a broader pool of reliable troop- and police-contributing countries, and found more effective ways of finding strategic lift capabilities to ferry personnel into the theater of operations.11
Define and deliver “robust” operations.
In 2000, the “Brahimi Report” concluded that once deployed, peace operations must be based on robust doctrine, force posture, and ROE that do not “cede the initiative to their attackers.” This would enable missions to achieve their mandated tasks as well as deter antagonistic parties from using force against peacekeepers and civilians. In practice, however, numerous peace operations have been unable to deter spoilers, protect civilians, and stop their own personnel from being killed or taken hostage.
Considerable progress has been made at both the UN and the AU with regard to understanding the political and military tasks required to protect civilians and both organizations have now developed mission-wide civilian protection strategies for several of their operations. But greater clarity is required over the obligations of peacekeepers to proactively protect civilians in conflict zones and when and how to use military force against armed nonstate actors. Operations which envisage threatening or using force to protect the mandate, civilians, and their own personnel clearly need to be authorized under Chapter VII of the UN Charter. (This includes AU or regional standby force arrangements.) But this alone does not clarify what types of military capabilities or ROE are most suitable for a particular operation.
Generate specific mission capabilities not just numbers of personnel.
Force generation has always been a crucial component of peace operations. But in order to be successful, peace operations must do more than deploy certain numbers of personnel into the theater of operations. Rather, they must achieve particular political effects on the ground such as to coerce spoilers, protect displacement camps and supply routes, demobilize armed factions, or promote the rule of law. Policymakers must therefore move beyond a narrow preoccupation with numbers of personnel for each mission and focus instead on what capabilities are necessary to generate the desired political effects. The more complex the tasks given to peacekeepers the more specialist capabilities they will require. Among the most important for multidimensional operations are engineer and medical units, sophisticated communications and logistics capabilities, field intelligence, and formed police units12 as well as special forces. To this list should be added the general need for more female peacekeepers (see below) and appropriate vehicles, particularly armored personnel carriers, helicopters, and unmanned aerial vehicles.
In peace operations, maintaining legitimacy in the eyes of the relevant audiences—including the conflict parties, local civilians, international NGOs, and foreign governments—is a crucial part of achieving success. Importantly, peacekeepers are never in total control of their legitimacy because it depends on the perceptions of other actors. The situation is made more complex because the relevant constituencies may well come to different conclusions about the legitimacy of the same actor or action. Operations perceived as legitimate by these key audiences will be more likely to achieve their objectives, not least because force generation will be easier and locals will support the force, including by providing peacekeepers with good intelligence. Operations perceived as illegitimate will struggle on both counts, as AMISOM, MINURCAT, and MONUSCO have all discovered at various points in their operations. Irrespective of the specific details of the mandate, a peace operation’s legitimacy can be eroded by various forms of behavior, most notably when peacekeepers are accused of committing war crimes (e.g., AMISOM), failing to protect civilians from violence (e.g., AMIS, MONUC/MONUSCO), corruption (e.g., MONUC, AMISOM), and sexual exploitation and abuse (e.g., MONUC, UNMIL). The potential for illegitimate behavior will be reduced if peacekeepers are well trained to cope with the challenges they are likely to face in the field, follow similar codes of professional ethics, are adequately paid during their tours of duty, and are punished appropriately if found guilty of illegal acts. Toward this end, AMISOM, MONUC/ MONUSCO, and UNAMID expanded efforts to incorporate protection of civilians into their missions over time enhancing their local legitimacy, respect for international humanitarian law, and effectiveness on the ground as a result.
Female peacekeepers enhance operational effectiveness.
Although female peacekeepers remain a rare sight, their presence is increasing. Among the most visible have been the two all-female formed police units deployed in Africa: by India in Liberia and Bangladesh in the DRC. Whether at the UN, AU, or EU, the presence of female peacekeepers has enhanced the operational effectiveness of missions in several ways.13 Not only does the presence of female peacekeepers enhance the gender equality goals of these institutions, it also significantly enhances situational awareness and acceptance of a force by local communities. Local women are also more likely to report incidents of sexual violence to female peacekeepers, and women’s presence in missions can reduce instances of sexual exploitation and abuse carried out by peacekeepers. Female peacekeepers can perform certain security tasks better than their male counterparts, including sensitive body searches, working with women’s prisons, and screening female combatants at disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration sites.
In light of these general lessons, a number of practical steps can be taken to address the challenges raised by contemporary peace operations in Africa:
Clarify the purpose of peace operations.
Greater clarity and a wider consensus are required about the tasks that peace operations should be able to deliver (and those that are beyond them). Currently, the UN and AU have divergent philosophies on the purposes of peace operations. Based on over 60 years of experience and approximately 70 missions, the UN believes “peacekeeping operations” are unlikely to succeed where one or more of the following conditions are not in place: (1) a peace to keep, where the signing of a ceasefire or peace agreement is one (but not the only) important indicator of when parties are genuinely seeking peace; (2) positive regional engagement; (3) the full backing of a united Security Council; and (4) a clear and achievable mandate with resources to match. The UN has therefore developed three core principles to govern its operations: (1) consent of the parties, particularly of the host country government; (2) impartiality; and (3) non-use of force except in self-defense and defense of the mandate.14 The AU, on the other hand, argues that its “peace support operations” must be able to address the entire spectrum of conflict management challenges and has criticized the UN’s peacekeeping doctrine for rendering it unable to enforce peace in ongoing war zones, such as Somalia, the DRC, and Mali. Unlike the UN, the AU has therefore developed “a different peacekeeping doctrine; instead of waiting for a peace to keep, the AU views peacekeeping as an opportunity to establish peace before keeping it.”15 Clearly, a workable compromise must be found on the fundamental purposes of peace operations. While the AU must find the means to generate, deploy, and sustain its operations in theaters which the UN believes are not suitable for its peacekeeping operations, the UN must find a way to effectively respond to crises where the preferred conditions for its peacekeeping operations are not met.
Prioritize peace operations to support effective peace processes.
Policymakers should put more resources into designing effective peace processes that address the causes as well as the symptoms of armed conflicts. The merits of deploying a particular peace operation should be assessed with direct reference to the prospects for constructing a successful peace process. The difficulty of conducting effective peace operations amid stalled and unsustainable peace processes in Sudan, Somalia, the DRC, and Côte d’Ivoire emphasize the importance of this point. Constructing effective peace processes is never solely about providing more money, although funds spent wisely will usually help. Rather, it requires the provision of better and sustained mediation from senior political figures as well as greater organizational support for them. Yet the UN has only a small standby team of mediation experts while the AU has none at all. Moreover, mediators and their teams who are permanently based in the region concerned will be more likely to have a positive impact than special envoys who make only fleeting visits to the conflict zone in question.
Design better entry and exit strategies.
Knowing when and where to deploy peace operations and when they should leave are fundamental but underdebated questions. With regard to getting in, more thought needs to be given to the issue of consent: whose consent is essential, whose consent is desirable but not essential, and what should be done if these actors withdraw their consent or place additional conditions upon it after peacekeepers deploy? In particular, policymakers need to decide what roles peace operations can play in preventing a sitting government from perpetrating atrocities against elements of its own population. It was therefore most unfortunate that the UN Security Council’s decision to authorize military force to protect civilians in Libya in 2011 caused such heated disagreements with the AU (and arguments within the AU itself). The greater the level of international consensus on these fundamental issues, the better. A lack of consensus complicates the design of exit strategies for peace operations, an issue that needs more systematic analysis, particularly on the best benchmarks to assess mission performance. This is particularly important for operations with state-building components to their mandates and those helping to strengthen state authority in the face of armed challengers (e.g., AMISOM, MONUSCO, UNMISS, AFISMA/ MINUSMA). Combined with the issue of consent, such benchmarks would help clarify how to proceed when controversy emerges over how and when to end operations (as has occurred with regard to UNMIL, ONUB, MINURCAT, UNMIS, and MONUC).
Invest more and better resources.
Failed peace operations seriously damage the credibility of the organization(s) involved, do a great disservice to local civilians, and sometimes even endanger the notion of peacekeeping itself. As a consequence, once the decision has been taken to deploy an operation, maximum international effort should be expended to ensure that it succeeds. In time, a critical mass of successful missions will invigorate the peacekeeping brand and strengthen the credibility of the UN Security Council and other peacekeeping actors such as the AU and EU. Peacekeepers therefore deserve to be given more and better resources to fulfill the numerous tasks they are set. Specifically, resources are needed to ensure missions avoid overstretching their personnel, assets/capabilities, finances, and headquarters/command and control. Shortfalls in personnel and capabilities of the kinds discussed above should be relatively easy to overcome if the world’s most advanced military powers made a more serious commitment of their specialist capabilities to UN peace operations. The AU is also figuring out its own force generation strategies and how to persuade more of its member states to train and then deploy their troops and police for AU operations. In relation to command and control structures, more experienced management personnel are needed within the relevant secretariats of the crucial organizations, particularly military planners within the AU. In financial terms, the costs have increased as peace operations have been asked to carry out more and more tasks, often in remote areas with inhospitable environments. The good news is that compared to operations conducted by the world’s most advanced military states in NATO, peacekeeping by the UN and AU is cost effective. In the 21st century, the UN has consistently fielded around 100,000 uniformed peacekeepers at a cost of around $7 billion a year and is now making further savings as part of its Global Field Support Strategy. By way of comparison, this is less than 0.5% of global military spending and the annual estimated costs of fielding just 5,000 troops in the early years of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan ranged from $600 million to $2 billion.
Recruit more civilians.
Building a self-sustaining peace requires more than carrying out specific military tasks. It also requires a wide range of civilian skills.16 Contemporary peace operations therefore must strengthen their civilian components, especially police and civilians with expertise in rule of law, engineering, civil-military affairs, and development issues. Both the UN and AU are working on enhancing their civilian and policing standby rosters and rapid deployment capabilities. But much more needs to be done and it is often difficult to find significant numbers of well-qualified civilians who are willing and able to work in peace operations. Three conclusions stand out from these ongoing efforts. First, it would make sense to hire more locals to address some of the cultural, linguistic, and knowledge-based deficiencies that often bedevil peace operations. Second, more of them should be women: local women to help female empowerment in these conflict zones, as well as internationals, in part for the reasons cited above. And third, it is important to develop a bigger pool of highly qualified senior mission staff, which would go a long way to addressing these capacity challenges.
Despite a range of valid criticisms and serious imperfections, peace operations remain a principal tool of international conflict management and have helped reduce the burden of armed conflict and tackle spoiler groups across the African continent. Reform efforts should build on those elements that are working well and change those that have failed. Accordingly, policymakers and analysts alike should work to ensure that peace operations are given sensible operational directives, clear mandates, the right capabilities to achieve those objectives, and are but one component of a broader conflict resolution strategy. The resulting success stories would help reduce violent conflict in Africa and address the problem of armed nonstate groups. This would, in turn, open the door to more dynamic and sustained development across the continent.
Paul D. Williams is Associate Professor in the Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University. Among his publications is Understanding Peacekeeping, 2nd ed. (Polity Press, 2010).
- ⇑ Based on Paul Collier’s estimate that the cost of each “typical” civil war in a low-income country is approximately $64 billion. See his, “The benefits of reducing the incidence of civil war.” A conservative estimate could identify 14 such wars in Africa since 2000 (in Angola, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Libya, Mali, Nigeria, Somalia, Sudan [twice], and Uganda).
- ⇑ “Spoilers” are “leaders and parties who believe that peace emerging from negotiations threatens their power, worldview, and interests, and use violence to undermine attempts to achieve it.” Stephen John Stedman, “Spoiler Problems in Peace Processes,” International Security 22, no. 2 (1997), 5.
- ⇑ The U.S. Government contributed roughly one-quarter of this bill.
- ⇑ Paul D. Williams, The African Union’s Conflict Management Capabilities, Working Paper (Washington, DC: Council on Foreign Relations, October 2011).
- ⇑ Arthur Boutellis and Paul D. Williams, Peace Operations, the African Union, and the United Nations: Toward More Effective Partnerships (New York: International Peace Institute, April 2013).
- ⇑ Virginia Page Fortna, Does Peacekeeping Work? Shaping Belligerents’ Choices after Civil War (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2008). Scott Straus, “Wars do end! Changing patterns of political violence in sub-Saharan Africa,” African Affairs 111, no. 443 (2011), 179–201.
- ⇑ “Secretary-General’s Remarks at Security Council Debate on Peacekeeping,” United Nations, August 26, 2011.
- ⇑ Susan E. Rice, prepared remarks before a UN Security Council debate on peacekeeping, New York, New York, June 29, 2009.
- ⇑ Bruce Jones et al, Building on Brahimi: Peacekeeping in an Era of Strategic Uncertainty (New York: Center on International Cooperation, April 2009), 12.
- ⇑ In light of the AU’s inability to operationalize the rapid deployment concept of the African Standby Force, in early 2013, the AU unveiled the AICRC as an interim solution. Drawing from a reservoir of 5,000 troops, the AICRC would comprise tactical battle groups of 1,500 military personnel deployed by a Lead Nation or a group of AU member states. Its purpose is to conduct stabilization and enforcement missions, neutralize terrorist groups, and provide emergency assistance to AU member states. See Report of the Chairperson of the Commission on the Operationalisation of the Rapid Deployment Capability of the African Standby Force and the Establishment of an “African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises” (AU doc. RPT/Exp/VI/STCDSS/(i-a)2013, 29-30 April 2013).
- ⇑ Alex J. Bellamy and Paul D. Williams, Broadening the Base of United Nations Troop- and Police-Contributing Countries, Providing for Peacekeeping No. 1 (New York: International Peace Institute, August 2012). Birame Diop, David M. Peyton, and Gene McConville, Building Africa’s Airlift Capacity: A Strategy for Enhancing Military Effectiveness, Africa Security Brief No. 22 (Washington, DC: Africa Center for Strategic Studies, August 2012)
- ⇑ These are specialized, armored police units trained in public order management and consisting of approximately 125 officers from a single country.
- ⇑ Sahana Dharmapuri, Just A Numbers Game? Increasing Women’s Participation in UN Peacekeeping Operations, Providing for Peacekeeping No. 4 (New York: International Peace Institute, July 2013).
- ⇑ United Nations Peacekeeping Operations: Principles and Guidelines (New York: United Nations, 2008).
- ⇑ Report of the Chairperson of the Commission on the Partnership between the African Union and the United Nations on Peace and Security: Towards Greater Strategic and Political Coherence (AU doc. PSC/PR/2. (CCCVII), January 9, 2012), 19.
- ⇑ UN Civilian Capacities initiative. Cedric de Coning and Yvonne Kasumba, eds., The Civilian Dimension of the African Standby Force (Durban: ACCORD, 2010).
AFISMA = African-Led International Support Mission in Mali
AMIB = African Mission in Burundi
AMIS = African Union (AU) Mission in Sudan
AMISEC = AU Mission for Support to the Elections in The Comoros
AMISOM = AU Mission in Somalia
AULMEE = AU Liaison Mission to Ethiopia and Eritrea
CEN–SAD = Community of Sahel–Saharan States
ECOMIB = Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Mission in Guinea-Bissau
ECOMICI = ECOWAS Mission in Côte d’Ivoire
ECOMIL = ECOWAS Mission in Liberia
ECOMOG = ECOWAS Monitoring Group
EU SSR = European Union (EU) Security Sector Reform
EUFOR = EU Force
EUFOR-RD Congo = EU Force Democratic Republic of the Congo
EUSEC-Congo = EU Advisory and Assistance Mission for Security Reform in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
EUTM Somalia = EU Training Mission in Somalia
EUTM Mali = EU Training Mission in Mali
FOMUC = Multinational Force in the Central African Republic (CAR)
IEMF = Interim Emergency Multinational Force
IMU = International Monitoring Unit
JMC = Joint Military Commission
MAES = AU Electoral and Security Assistance Mission to The Comoros
MICOPAX = Mission for the Consolidation of Peace in CAR
MINUCI = United Nations (UN) Mission in Côte d’Ivoire
MINURCA = UN Mission in CAR
MINURCAT = UN Mission in CAR and Chad
MINURSO = UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara
MINUSMA = UN Stabilization Mission in Mali
MIOC = AU Observer Mission in The Comoros
MISSANG-GB = Angolan Technical and Military Assistance Mission in Guinea-Bissau
MONUC = UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
MONUSCO = UN Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
OAU = Organization of African Unity
OLMEE = OAU Liaison Mission in Ethiopia-Eritrea
OMIC = OAU/AU Mission in The Comoros
ONUB = UN Operation in Burundi
RCI-LRA = Regional Cooperation Initiative for the Elimination of the Lord’s Resistance Army
SAPSD = South African Protection Support Detachment
UNAMID = AU/UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur
UNAMSIL = UN Mission in Sierra Leone
UNISFA = UN Interim Security Force for Abyei
UNMEE = UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea
UNMIL = UN Mission in Liberia
UNMIS = UN Mission in Sudan
UNMISS = UN Mission in South Sudan
UNOCI = UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire