Success and Failures of Peacekeeping Operation in Africa

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1.0 INTRODUCTION

Peacekeeping is a core function of the United Nations (UN). Its ability to conduct peacekeeping is a remarkable instrument developed by the UN as a way to assist countries in conflict to create a lasting peace. The UN has tried its best to meet the demands of the different conflicts and changing political landscape. Some of the most challenging conflicts in the world at the moment are in Africa. Many factors contribute to the need for peacekeeping missions in Africa, not least the continent's history of colonialism and conflict. The end of the Cold War coincided with the collapse of state institutions in countries like Liberia, Somalia, Sierra Leone, and the Congo (DRC). Disputes over natural resources such as diamonds in Sierra Leone, gold and cobalt in the DRC which led to armed conflict that evolved into guerilla warfare involving mercenaries, warlords, militias, and child soldiers. A massive influx of weapons and small arms from Eastern Europe in the 1990s fed the conflict. The unrest and armed violence in many African countries with no central governing authority caused instability that often spilled over borders until the continent was now called with ‘The Dark Continent’. This was particularly true in West Africa, where longstanding cultural and trade ties cross national lines. The international community often responds to such chaos by sending in peacekeeping troops. The crisis in the Darfur region of Sudan and less-than-transparent governments and ongoing uncertainty in Sierra Leone, Angola, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) are just some examples of how was UN peacekeeping operations in Africa have been through. Until now, the United Nations has established a total of 63 peacekeeping operations around the world, which 44 of it was deployed in Africa. The UN has been successful in some of these missions, others have continued to operate for many years and some have failed to achieve their mandate. Between 1997 and 2009 UN has seen an increase in peacekeeping missions in Africa more than any other continent. There have been 41 UN Peacekeeping Missions in Africa since 1948. At the start of 2005, peacekeepers in Africa made up nearly 50,000 of the 65,000 UN peacekeepers deployed worldwide, according to a report from the Henry L. Stimson Center, African Capacity-Building for Peace Operations, UN Collaboration with the African Union and ECOWAS. 2.0 SUCCESFUL AND FAILURE OF UN PEACEKEEPING MISSIONS IN AFRICA

Of the UN missions conducted in Africa, some were successful and closed down while others have been running for many years without any signs of accomplishing their missions.

2.1 SUCCESSFUL OF MISSIONS

African Union - United Nation Hybrid Operation In Darfur ( UNAMID )

* Several meetings have taken place recently between the Sudanese Government, various rebel groups, other countries, and international organizations to discuss issues related to the resolution of the Darfur conflict, including the political process, security, freedom of movement, development, and water access. In July 2011, for example, the UN, AU, and the Arab League hosted a peace conference in Doha, Qatar.

* After six weeks of negotiations, the Sudanese government and the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM), one of several rebel groups operating in Darfur, signed a peace agreement. U.S. and UN officials support the accord and acknowledge that steps for peace have been made in the past year, but remain susceptible to reversal if the international community does not continue to encourage engagement between the Sudanese Government and rebel forces.  

* Successes include the recent establishment of the Darfur Joint Assessment Mission, as provided for in the Doha Agreement, which will identify and assess the region’s needs for economic recovery, development and poverty reduction. Nevertheless, significant obstacles remain, as other Darfur rebel groups, including the region’s largest rebel...
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