Whither peacekeeping in Africa: Revisiting the evolving role of the United Nations
Post-Cold War turbulence between 1990 and 1994 led to huge UN peacekeeping operations and the cost of these operations increased six-fold over this period. However, as the number of peacekeepers declined sharply towards the end of the 1990s, critics were quick to contend that the UN Security Council had been lax in carrying out its mandate and responsibility to maintain international peace and security. Specifically, it was argued that the Security Council had limited responsibility and commitment to deploy Blue Helmets in sizeable numbers on the African continent where involvement in conflicts had been among the UN’s most challenging endeavours. The tide has turned in vi African Security Review 18.1 Institute for Security Studies recent years and today the UN deploys more peacekeepers in international peacekeeping theatres than ever before – the majority on African soil. The question arises: What does this imply with regard to the political will of the international community to invest in or contribute to peacekeeping operations in Africa? Furthermore, where does this leave important African players such as the AU and the envisaged African Standby Force? Against the above background this article aims at providing a better understanding of UN peacekeeping operations with special reference to African peacekeeping challenges.
The use of force in UN peacekeeping: The experience of MONUC
UN peacekeeping missions are often criticised for their failure to protect civilians and use force against militias and other armed groups operating complex conflict environments such as the Democratic Republic of Congo. Faced with these challenges UN peacekeeping missions such as MONUC are often reluctant to apply military force. The reasons for this can be found in a range of political, institutional and operational constraints that limit the effective use of force by UN missions and bring into question the efficacy of UN peacekeeping missions in complex conflicts. Despite these constraints, in the period 2005–2007 MONUC was able to apply force effectively to change the security dynamics in the eastern Congo, particular in the Ituri district. However, challenges elsewhere, especially in the Kivus region, again showed the limits of UN peacekeeping.
AMIS in Darfur: Africa’s litmus test in peacekeeping and political mediation
Allan Vic Mansaray
This article aims to look at the Darfur conflict within the framework of conflict resolution and peacekeeping under the African Union. The operational effectiveness of the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS), which was mandated to deal with the conflict, is critically examined. In addition to analysing the adequacy of the mandate attention is focused on the critical issues of finance, logistics and, most importantly, politics as it relates to the AU-led mission. The article concludes that efforts to operationalise the efforts the African Union’s peace and security architecture, including the African Standby Force, are steps in the right direction but with enormous challenges.
Peacekeeping and peace enforcement in Africa: The potential contribution of a UN Emergency Peace Service
Annie Herro, Wendy Lambourne and David Penklis
This article argues that a United Nations Emergency Peace Service could have helped to overcome some of the practical and political obstacles faced by the UN Assistance Features vii Mission in Rwanda (1993–1994) and the AU Mission in Sudan and UN support packages in Darfur (2006–2008). From a practical perspective such a service could have provided sufficient numbers of highly trained and well-equipped troops at short notice to supplement these peacekeeping missions, or offered ‘first-in, first-out’ assistance. From a political perspective, since the personnel of such a service would be at the disposal of the UN, it could have overcome governments’ unwillingness to expose their nationals to security threats in countries perceived to be of little economic, political or strategic significance. Filling these gaps might help to alleviate the short-term suffering of the civilian populations until a more robust peacekeeping operation could be deployed and a viable political solution achieved.
Africa Watch Dealing with the fast-changing environment in the eastern DRC
The recent split in the CongrÃ¨s National pour la Défense du Peuple (CNDP) and the arrest of General Laurent Nkunda have changed the political and military situation in the eastern DRC. To complicate matters, Rwanda has re-entered the DRC under the pretext of joint operations going after the Forces Démocratiques pour la Libération du Rwanda. This came within a month of the Ugandan Defence Force entering the Ituri area in pursuit of the Lord’s Resistance Army. The Forces Armées de la République Démocratique du Congo, Rwandan Defence Force and CNDP forged an unholy alliance and went after the FDLR in a joint operation. According to the RDF the operation would not last longer than 21 days. These actions have resulted in a lot of unhappiness among Congolese citizens and even politicians. The possibility of unrest in the bigger cities like Kinshasa, Kisangani, Lubumbashi, Bukavu, Goma and Kalemi is a reality. That MONUC was not involved in the planning of joint operations aggravates the situation. The possibility of human rights violations and war crimes are real, indeed. There is a need for political intervention from the Southern African Development Community and the African Union to bring the roleplayers back to the formal process and implement the Amani Process.
Developing indicators for evaluating the national implementation of regional law on arms in Africa
The spread of arms and the resulting armed violence undermine good governance in Africa more than in any other continent. The Southern African Development Community viii African Security Review 18.1 Institute for Security Studies (SADC), the Eastern African states, and the Economic Community of Western Africa States (ECOWAS) are advancing towards a regional approach to tackling the scourge of small arms proliferation and have enacted legally binding instruments in this regard. The main reason for the subregional approach is that Africa is the worst-hit region in the world by unrestrained arms availability. This has devastating consequences that imperil human security and threaten the continent’s achievement of development goals.
Lighting up the intelligence community: An agenda for intelligence reform in South Africa
In 2006 the South African Minister of Intelligence established the Ministerial Review Commission on Intelligence in order to strengthen controls of the civilian intelligence organisations, ensure alignment with the Constitution and prevent illegality and abuse of power. At the end of 2008 the commission released its report. This article sets out an agenda for intelligence reform in South Africa by presenting the commission’s findings and proposals regarding adherence to the Constitution, the White Paper on Intelligence, ministerial control and responsibility, the domestic intelligence mandate, intrusive measures, and transparency.
SADCBRIG intervention in SADC member states: Reasons to doubt
Deane-Peter Baker and Sadiki Maeresera
The Southern African Development Community Brigade (SADCBRIG) is a regional multidimensional peace support operations instrument as provided for by the African Union Standby Force Policy Framework. One of the five regional brigades that make up the African Standby Force, the SADCBRIG will be a tool of the subregion’s political leadership for military intervention in any future conflict situation while diplomatic solutions are being sought. This article argues that the political/strategic challenges that the subregion is likely to face in tasking the brigade in one of its future roles – uninvited military intervention in a member state in order to restore peace and security – make it unlikely that the brigade will be employed for this purpose, at least in its envisioned rapid response role.
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