United Nations Peacekeeping Operations: Ad Hoc Missions, Permanent Engagement

By Ramesh Thakur; Albrecht Schnabel | Go to book overview

6
Towards more effective peace
operations: Learning from the
African “laboratory”?
Mark Malan
African countries have historically played an important role in international peacekeeping. Like other poor nations, they have been willing and able to provide sizeable contingents for UN peacekeeping operations, thus increasing the geographical spread of troop contributors and enhancing the representative nature, perceived impartiality, and legitimacy of such missions. However, African states are now more likely to be called upon to organize and sustain their own peace support operations for dealing with regional conflicts in Africa, or to contribute the bulk of formed military units where the United Nations launches such missions.There are thus two basic issues at stake when analysing African peacekeeping capacity:
African participation in and leadership of international peacekeeping operations under the auspices of the United Nations;
African efforts to launch, lead, and sustain their own peacekeeping interventions under the auspices of the Organization of African Unity or one of the “subordinate” subregional organisations (with varying degrees of direct or indirect assistance from and cooperation with the

United Nations and other elements of the “international community”). The first issue is complex enough, and is inextricably linked to current trends and developments affecting the concept and conduct of UN operations. It is also of critical importance to African countries, which represent 25 out of 89 UN member states that are currently contributing military and police personnel and assets to UN peace operations. Indeed, Nigeria

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