Academic journal article Strategic Review for Southern Africa

UN-AU Burden-Sharing and Hybridisation in Contemporary Peacekeeping Context with Specific Reference to UNAMID

Academic journal article Strategic Review for Southern Africa

UN-AU Burden-Sharing and Hybridisation in Contemporary Peacekeeping Context with Specific Reference to UNAMID

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

The nature of peacekeeping has changed since the second half of the 1990s. Specifically, the manner in which peacekeeping operations ate comprised, driven and funded has become embedded in burden-sharing between the United Nations and regional organisations, such as the African Union. Accordingly, hybridisation in African peacekeeping has assumed great significance. In this respect the establishment of UNAMID as a joint United Nations-African Union peacekeeping operation in Darfur (Sudan) is one of the most notable efforts in the field of security co-operation and hybrid arrangements involving both regional and global peacekeeping instruments and resources. This said, questions arise whether these partnerships introduce a new and more promising future for peacekeeping on the African continent, and whether they will provide a more sustainable basis for African peacekeeping endeavours. This article explores the establishment of UNAMID as a hybrid operation to stabilise the war-torn Darfur region of Sudan. As such UNAMID is assessed against the background of the emergence of new co-operative security arrangements in the field of African peacekeeping, and the need to work towards sustainable partnerships between the United Nations and the African Union within the paradigm of burden-sharing and hybridisation.

1. INTRODUCTION

On 31 October 2007, the United Nations (UN) Under-Secretary-General for peacekeeping, Jean-Marie Guehenno, stated in an address to the Fourth Committee of the UN General Assembly that 2007 had been a momentous year for UN peacekeeping. Opening the Committee's comprehensive review of peacekeeping operations, he stated that the UN Department of Peacekeeping had initiated a major reform of the support aspects of peacekeeping, and had mounted two unique and complex operations in Darfur (Sudan) and Chad/Central African Republic, while supporting 18 other operations.

The risks of these two operations (Darfur and Chad/Central African Republic), deployed in the centre of Africa over extended supply lines in inhospitable terrain, were most apparent in Darfur. The operation in Darfur--the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID)--"carried the greatest risk in the past 10 years of peacekeeping and it was imperative that the United Nations rose collectively to meet the challenges, or it would fail". On its part, the UN Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT) would be deployed in concert with the European Union (EU). (1) Both operations, Mr Guehenno stressed, called for intensive collaboration with partner organisations and would thus be challenging. In view of this, he also emphasised the unprecedented scale and complexity of contemporary peacekeeping operations, stating that peacekeeping had increased in scope, complexity and size over the past years. In this regard, a record number of personnel were deployed in the field, operating within a budget of nearly US$7 billion. (2)

The establishment of UNAMID is indeed of great interest and significance. Cilliers convincingly argues that African peacekeeping will at some point have to be placed on a more sustainable basis. In this regard, he asserts that more can and should be done by the UN and the African Union (AU) in pursuit of an integrated system that will play a meaningful role in keeping peace on the African continent. (3) The establishment of UNAMID is furthermore one of the most notable of recent efforts in the field of security co-operation and hybrid arrangements involving both global and regional actors, namely the UN and continental bodies such as the EU and the AU. Hence questions arise whether these initiatives in co-operative security introduce a new and more promising future for peacekeeping on the African continent, and whether they will provide a more sustainable basis for African peacekeeping endeavours. (4)

In view of the above, this article explores the establishment of UNAMID as a joint UN-AU peacekeeping operation--formally approved by UN Security Council Resolution 1769 of 2007--to bring stability to the war-torn Darfur region of Sudan. …

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