Peace operations have been a principal tool used to curb conflict in Africa over the past decade, with over 40 operations deployed since 2000. This article takes stock of lessons learned from these experiences and the implications they hold for improving the effectiveness of future peace operations in Africa. Other languages available here.
A detailed update on the growth of the continental (AU) and regional (RECs) institutions designed to execute strategy and operations for the five African peace brigades. Includes information on the logistical plans, command and control, equipment, and mandates of the ASF.
The small investigative teams appointed to monitor sanctions, analyze conflict trends, and identify governance gaps and institutional weaknesses in many conflict-affected countries present powerful complements to peacekeeping operations. Clarifying and coordinating roles, responsibilities, and strategies between these panels of experts and peacekeeping operations will produce mutual benefits and strengthen overall peace and post-conflict reconstruction processes.
Since 2004 the UN has sought to better align security, political, development, governance, and humanitarian activities within peace operations toward common strategic objectives. This “Integrated Approach” concept will require additional training for mission personnel regarding the peace and political process governing a particular post-conflict setting, the sequence of reconstruction strategies, and special coordination mechanisms with bilateral donors, the AU, and NGOs.
While security in Africa depends on African stakeholders assuming ownership over stabilization strategies, demands for “African solutions to African problems” oversimplify the resources and partnerships necessary to ensure peace. Using this mantra, autocrats can thwart democracy promotion and the priority the UN gives to African security efforts may be downgraded.
Fifty military, police, and civilian representatives from African states and organizations reviewed the AU’s peacekeeping mission in Darfur and proposed strategic- and operational-level recommendations regarding African-led peacekeeping mission structures, planning, operations, and resource allocations. Specific aims were also developed for African states, the AU, regional organizations and international partners.
Chapter on peacekeeping failures in Somalia, Rwanda, Angola, and Bosnia takes the less conventional view that the UN record actually includes a number of important, though understudied, success stories. Howard argues that UN peacekeeping succeeds when field missions establish significant autonomy from UN headquarters, allowing civilian and military staff to adjust to the post-civil war environment. Howard recommends future reforms be oriented toward devolving decision-making power to the field missions.
A brief history of the peacekeeping efforts of the OAU, followed by a description of the new peace and security architecture of the African Union. The article concludes with a look at the future of peacekeeping operations in Africa.
Security Topics: Peacekeeping