Reports by region: Africa

  • Local to Global Protection
    Humanitarian Practice Network
    Published October 16, 2012

    Promoting local perspectives in humanitarian crises Local to Global Protection (L2GP) is an initiative intended to document and promote local perspectives on protection in major humanitarian crises.

    Based on studies in Burma/Myanmar, Sudan, South Sudan and Zimbabwe, the L2GP initiative explores what people living in areas affected by natural disasters and complex emergencies do to protect themselves. The studies also describe how people and communities perceive the protection efforts undertaken by others such as local authorities, UN, NGOs, etc.

    PoC with Responsibility to Protect, Protection of Civilians, All Regions | Posted October 16, 2012
  • Broadening the Base of United Nations Troop- and Police-Contributing Countries
    By Alex J. Bellamy and Paul Williams
    International Peace Institute
    Published September 13, 2012

    This report represents the first of a series of publications stemming from the Providing for Peacekeeping project, a partnership with IPI, Griffith University, and the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University.

    The report analyzes the practical steps needed to broaden the base of UN troop- and police-contributing countries. It identifies current trends, summarizes the main reasons why states contribute to UN missions, examines factors that might inhibit contributions, identifies potential future major contributors, and addresses some of the major challenges facing the UN as it seeks to find more high-quality peacekeepers.

    The paper concludes with recommendations on how the UN might begin to “expand the pool” of contributing countries and improve overall peacekeeping capabilities. Specifically the report makes recommendations regarding how the UN may:

    - Provide incentives to encourage more than token troop contributions;

    - Improve public diplomacy for UN peacekeeping;

    - Improve the way that requests for police and troops are made; and

    - Strengthen strategic analysis of TCC/PCCs and develop long-term force-generation strategies.

    Security Sector Reform, All Regions, UN Peace Operations | Posted September 13, 2012
  • UN Peacekeeping Transitions: Perspectives from Member States
    By Arthur Boutellis
    International Peace Institute
    Published September 13, 2012

    This issue brief addresses the nature and timing of peacekeeping transitions, paying particular attention to the perspectives of UN member states and decisions by the Security Council. In light of the impending drawdown or reconfiguration of a number of peacekeeping missions, it identifies a resurgent interest among member states in the challenges posed by peacekeeping transitions.

    All Regions, UN Peace Operations | Posted September 13, 2012
  • Preventing Conflicts in Africa: Early Warning and Response
    By Mireille Affa’a-Mindzie
    International Peace Institute
    Published September 13, 2012

    In the wake of the crises in Mali and Guinea-Bissau in 2012, IPI co-organized a meeting with the Permanent Missions of South Africa and Azerbaijan to address the role and effectiveness of regional and international early-warning and response mechanisms.This meeting note summarizes the discussion at the meeting. In particular it analyzes the AU’s Continental Early Warning System, the UN’s root-cause approach, national early-warning structures in Ghana and Kenya, the role of civil society, and the challenges of adopting a timely response.

    Africa | Posted September 13, 2012
  • DR Congo: M23 Rebels Committing War Crimes
    Human Rights Watch
    Published September 11, 2012

    M23 rebels in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo are responsible for widespread war crimes, including summary executions, rapes, and forced recruitment. Thirty-three of those executed were young men and boys who tried to escape the rebels’ ranks.  Rwandan officials may be complicit in war crimes through their continued military assistance to M23 forces, Human Rights Watch said. The Rwandan army has deployed its troops to eastern Congo to directly support the M23 rebels in military operations.  Human Rights Watch based its findings on interviews with 190 Congolese and Rwandan victims, family members, witnesses, local authorities, and current or former M23 fighters between May and September.

    Click here for full text.

    Africa | Posted September 11, 2012
  • UN Peacekeeping Transitions: Perspectives from Member States
    International Peace Institute
    Published September 4, 2012

    This issue brief addresses the nature and timing of peacekeeping transitions, paying particular attention to the perspectives of UN member states and decisions by the Security Council. In light of the impending drawdown or reconfiguration of a number of peacekeeping missions, it identifies a resurgent interest among member states in the challenges posed by peacekeeping transitions.

    Amid much debate over the financing of peacekeeping missions and responsibility for peacekeeping versus peacebuilding, the report makes a number of recommendations for member states to consider:

    - Discussions on transitions need to focus on deciding where and when peacekeeping is the appropriate tool, not just on the cost implications of drawdowns and withdrawals.
    - Despite appearances, thematic debates that include peacebuilding concerns are particularly relevant to Security Council practices, as peacebuilding activities can create the conditions that allow for a successful reconfiguration or withdrawal of peacekeepers.
    - Discussions on transitions present an opportunity to involve host-country authorities and develop sustainable transition plans from the start of a mission, rather than only as it ends.

    A summary of a roundtable discussion held at IPI on the drawdown or withdrawal of peacekeeping and special political missions is also available in a meeting note entitled UN Transitions: Mission Drawdown or Withdrawal.

    All Regions, UN Peace Operations | Posted September 4, 2012
  • The Role of UN Peacekeeping Missions in the Protection of Civilians
    Oxfam International
    Published September 4, 2012

    The UN Security Council’s (UNSC) role, to maintain international security, includes protecting civilians in armed conflict. Made explicit in 2009, the UNSC noted that "the deliberate targeting of civilians… may constitute a threat to international peace and security, and [the UNSC] reaffirms… its readiness to consider such situations and, where necessary, to adopt appropriate steps."

    States bear the primary responsibility for protecting their civilians, even though they may be unable or unwilling to do this. For this reason, the UNSC has developed means to improve the protection of civilians (PoC), including through UN peacekeeping missions. Since 1999, a number of missions have been explicitly mandated"‘to afford protection to civilians under imminent threat of physical violence."

    Conflict-affected communities where there is a peacekeeping mission present expect to be protected and consistently request better protection. This requires an ongoing effort by the UNSC, the UN Department for Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), Troop and Police Contributing Countries (TCCs and PCCs), and individual UN missions. There have been significant normative and technical developments to explain what PoC means and how PoC mandates should be implemented. There remain, however, many challenges to implement these mandates and guidelines to effectively protect civilians on the ground.

    Peacekeeping is a temporary solution. But it can help the state take on its responsibility to protect civilians, by supporting security sector reform and rule of law development.

    All Regions, UN Peace Operations | Posted September 4, 2012
  • Security Council Cross Cutting Report: Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict
    Security Council Report
    Published June 12, 2012

    This is Security Council Report’s fifth Cross-Cutting Report on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict following the publication of our first such report in October 2008. With this report we continue to systematically track the Security Council’s involvement in the protection of civilians since it first emerged as a separate thematic topic in 1999. The report looks at relevant developments at the thematic level since our last cross-cutting report and analyses Council action in country-specific situations relating to the protection of civilians, highlighting the case of Syria. It also discusses the impact of evolving Council dynamics and outlines some emerging issues for the Council’s future consideration. It is our hope that the report will serve as a useful resource for Security Council members and others as they prepare for the Council’s next open debate on the protection of civilians and beyond.

    PoC with Responsibility to Protect, Protection of Civilians, Security Sector Reform, All Regions, UN Peace Operations | Posted June 12, 2012
  • Transition Compacts: Lessons from UN Experiences
    By Rachel Locke and Vanessa Wyeth
    International Peace Institute
    Published May 15, 2012

    This meeting note captures the proceedings at a seminar on November 2, 2011 on “Transition Compacts: Lessons from UN Experiences.” The seminar sought to learn from previous agreements on peacebuilding and development priorities between national governments and international partners in fragile and conflict-affected states.

    During the meeting, the International Peace Institute presented a study on United Nations experiences with this first generation of “transition compacts,” a summary of which is included at the end of this note.

    The seminar was hosted by IPI and organized in collaboration with the United Nations and the International Network on Conflict and Fragility (INCAF), a subsidiary body of the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee. Participants included officials from the UN, its member states, the World Bank, and INCAF. The meeting was convened under the Chatham House rule of nonattribution.

    All Regions, UN Peace Operations | Posted May 15, 2012
  • Engaging Nonstate Armed Groups on the Protection of Children: Towards Strategic Complementarity
    By Jérémie Labbé and Reno Meyer
    International Peace Institute
    Published May 15, 2012

    This issue brief provides an overview of the legal, political, and operational frameworks protecting children from the effects of armed conflict, notably from violations by nonstate armed groups. The UN Secretary-General has repeatedly emphasized the need to “more consistently and effectively engage non-State armed groups in order to improve their compliance with the law,” including international human rights and international humanitarian law. This is of particular importance with regard to child protection as armed conflicts have far-reaching impacts on children, who are among the most vulnerable members of society.

    The report explores some of the limitations of these frameworks and their mechanisms, and discusses ways to maximize the comparative advantages of different actors when engaging nonstate armed groups to improve the protection of children’s rights.

    In part of the conclusion, the authors write:

    "A concerted and strategic use of complementary approaches, including those outside of the monitoring and reporting mechanism (MRM) framework, would contribute to improved protection of children from the effects of armed conflicts. Such “strategic complementarity” would help maximize the comparative advantages of each actor for different purposes: to overcome access problems, notably when the states concerned are opposed to the UN’s engagement with nonstate armed groups; to develop specific responses tailored to the characteristics and sensitivities of each nonstate armed group; and to offer alternative approaches to overcoming nonstate armed groups’ perceptions of some actors’ bias in particular contexts. Such alternative approaches already exist but are seemingly overlooked in the MRM framework. Better interaction with actors operating outside the MRM would respond to the legitimate concerns of duplicating efforts and sending mixed messages on the applicable standards."

    PoC with Responsibility to Protect, Protection of Civilians, All Regions | Posted May 15, 2012

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