Reports by region: Africa

  • Criminalizing Sexual Exploitation and Abuse by Peacekeepers
    By Carla Ferstman
    United States Institute of Peace
    August 29, 2013

    Despite peacekeepers’ enormous contributions to and sacrifices for the cause of peace and security, they have increasingly been associated with sexual exploitation and abuse of the vulnerable populations they are mandated to protect. Tragically, they benefit from near total impunity. It is a reality that the presence of peacekeepers in countries with precarious legal and social structures can foster sexual exploitation and abuse.

    In countries as diverse as Angola, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), East Timor, Eritrea, Kosovo, Liberia, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, and Somalia, numerous examples of rape, pedophilia, prostitution, and other forms of sexual exploitation and abuse have come to light in recent decades. The effect of such abuses is stark. Not only is it a direct one for the most vulnerable segments of society, its ramifications for the reputation of peacekeeping initiatives and the UN generally are also extremely wide, potentially impeding the organization from successfully carrying out other aspects of its mission.

    All Regions, UN Peace Operations | September 12, 2013
  • Community Self-Protection Strategies: How Peacekeepers Can Help or Harm
    By Aditi Gorur
    Stimson Center
    August 5, 2013

    In the face of deliberate violence against civilians, communities often have no one to rely on for protection but themselves. These communities may pursue a wide variety of activities to counter, mitigate, deter or avoid threats. A diverse range of actors has recognized the importance of considering a community's self-protection strategies before intervening. These actors advise that external protection providers should ideally enhance these strategies as appropriate, or at least avoid undermining them. However, protection providers such as United Nations peacekeeping operations are still grappling with how best to accomplish this goal and, as a result, run the risk of endangering the communities they seek to protect.

    This brief aims to contribute to what is currently known about self-protection strategies and to raise questions about how peacekeepers can safely and effectively support those strategies. It does not aim to make recommendations about specific actions that peacekeeping operations should pursue, but rather presents options for exploration by peacekeeping operations and for future studies. It is part of a series of publications from a three-year project which explores how external protection actors can safely and effectively engage conflict-affected communities in external protection strategies.

    African Union Peacekeeping, NATO & EU Peacekeeping, Protection of Civilians, All Regions, UN Peace Operations | August 5, 2013
  • Peace Operations in Africa: Lessons Learned Since 2000
    By Paul Williams
    Africa Center for Strategic Studies
    July 25, 2013

    Violent conflict and the power of armed nonstate actors remain defining priorities in 21st century Africa. Organized violence has killed millions and displaced many more, leaving them to run the gauntlet of violence,disease, and malnutrition. Such violence has also traumatized a generation of children and young adults,broken bonds of trust and authority structures among and across local communities, shattered education andhealthcare systems, disrupted transportation routes and infrastructure, and done untold damage to the continent’s ecology from its land and waterways to its flora and fauna. In financial terms, the direct and indirect cost of conflicts in Africa since 2000 has been estimated to be nearly $900 billion. The twin policy challenges are to promote conflict resolution processes and to identify who can stand up to armed nonstate actors when the host government’s security forces prove inadequate.

    Africa | July 25, 2013
  • The UN Intervention Brigade in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
    International Peace Institute
    July 11, 2013

    After nearly fourteen years of peacekeeping in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the United Nations established a new, more aggressive kind of force for the conflict-stricken nation in March 2013: the Intervention Brigade. Situated within the existing United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), this offensive combat force is designed to break the persistent cycles of violence in DRC and protect civilians by carrying out targeted operations to neutralize rebel forces.

    Africa, UN Peace Operations | July 11, 2013
  • South Sudan: Investigating Sexual Violence in Conflict Proves Challenging
    By Marcy Hersh
    Refugees International
    June 17, 2013

    In 2009/10, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolutions 1888 and 1960 establishing Women’s Protection Advisors (WPAs). These officials are tasked with building capacity to address conflict-related sexual violence within UN peacekeeping missions and reporting incidents for the monitoring and reporting arrangements as a basis for Security Council action against perpetrators. Today, six WPAs are assigned to the United Nations Mission in South Sudan. The rollout of WPAs in that country has been marked by recruitment delays and training gaps which have ultimately led to poor practice in data collection, endangering sexual violence survivors.

    Africa | June 27, 2013
  • Rethinking Force Generation: Filling Capability Gaps in UN Peacekeeping
    By Adam C. Smith and Arthur Boutellis
    International Peace Institute
    May 8, 2013

    Force generation is the process by which the UN Secretariat generates, rotates, and repatriates contributions of military and police personnel and equipment from member states, based on the requirements derived for each peace operation from its UN Security Council resolution. At the UN, force generation is a time-intensive, complex process that must be completed with great speed. It is based on plans developed without a precise understanding of the capabilities available to operationalize those plans. It is a highly technical process requiring intricate knowledge and careful logistics that must also be cognizant of—and sometimes subordinate to—politics. It requires deep institutional knowledge, but is largely conducted by military staff seconded from UN member states for only limited periods of time. Such contradictions highlight the political, bureaucratic, and logistical challenges to effective force generation that are systemic—and, in some cases, unavoidable.

    Africa, UN Peace Operations | May 14, 2013
  • Peace Operations, the African Union, and the United Nations: Toward More Effective Partnerships
    By Arthur Boutellis and Paul D. Williams
    International Peace Institute
    April 25, 2013

    Both the United Nations (UN) Security Council and the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU) have a vested interest in conducting more effective peace operations in Africa. Both councils want to build on the various UN-AU peace and security coordination mechanisms that have been established since 2006 and support the implementation of the AU’s principle of “non-indifference.” In many respects, considerable progress has been made with the UN and AU enjoying a deep, multidimensional and maturing relationship. Yet disagreements remain over how best to respond to particular peace and security challenges in Africa, and the AU still suffers from important capability gaps with respect to peace operations.

    African Union Peacekeeping, All Regions, UN Peace Operations | April 25, 2013
  • Advancing Peace and Security in Africa
    By Lesley Anne Warner
    Brookings Institution
    April 3, 2013

    This chapter is part of Top Five Reasons Africa Should be a Priority for the United States. African countries face various security challenges from violent extremist organizations, which are inextricably linked to U.S. national security. In a complex and globalized security environment, having strong and capable partners on the African continent to tackle transnational challenges advances U.S. national security interests. In this regard, the growing capabilities of African countries to respond to regional security challenges are an asset to the United States. Globally, African nations account for 10 out of the top 20 contributors to United Nations peacekeeping missions. Furthermore, African countries and the regional organizations to which they belong are starting to play a larger role in leading peacekeeping operations on the continent through the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), the AU-UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) and the possible African-led International Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA).

    Africa, United States | April 16, 2013
  • Promoting Peace in the Post-2015 Framework: The Role of Rising Powers
    By Robert Muggah, Ivan Campbell, Eduarda Hamann and Gustavo Diniz and Marina Motta
    February 1, 2013

    The international consultations underway to set out a new development framework post-2015 present an opportunity to reassess and refresh policy approaches to conflict- affected states. For this to be effective, rising powers, such as China, India, and Brazil, must be involved in and contribute to the debate. There is now a real opportunity to develop a legitimate global framework for conflict-affected states, traditional donors, rising powers, and others to agree on a set of genuinely shared goals and indicators that can guide their engagement and facilitate greater cooperation, coordination, and coherence.

    All Regions | February 14, 2013
  • Peace, Justice, and Reconciliation in Africa
    By AU Panel of the Wise
    International Peace Institute
    January 31, 2013

    Ending impunity and promoting justice and reconciliation reflect core objectives underpinning the African Union. Amid renewed debate about justice and peace on the African continent, this report investigates the issue of impunity and its relationship with peace, justice, reconciliation, and healing. The report proposes a draft Policy Framework on Transitional Justice for adoption by the relevant organs of the AU and recommends an advocacy role for the Panel of the Wise in promoting and reinforcing guiding principles on the rule of law and transitional justice across the African continent.

    Africa, African Union Peacekeeping | February 5, 2013

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