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.
Reports by region: Africa
Peace Operations in Africa: Lessons Learned Since 2000Africa Center for Strategic StudiesPublished July 25, 2013
The UN Intervention Brigade in the Democratic Republic of the CongoInternational Peace InstitutePublished 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.
South Sudan: Investigating Sexual Violence in Conflict Proves ChallengingRefugees InternationalPublished 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.
Rethinking Force Generation: Filling Capability Gaps in UN PeacekeepingInternational Peace InstitutePublished 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.
Peace Operations, the African Union, and the United Nations: Toward More Effective PartnershipsInternational Peace InstitutePublished 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.
Advancing Peace and Security in AfricaBrookings InstitutionPublished 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).
Promoting Peace in the Post-2015 Framework: The Role of Rising PowersPublished 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.
Peace, Justice, and Reconciliation in AfricaInternational Peace InstitutePublished 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.
Building Police Institutions in Fragile StatesPublished January 18, 2013
The aim of this report is to look at what the United States has been doing to help reform or transform the police in three African states: Liberia, Sierra Leone, and South Sudan. It provides recommendations of what could be done better, or differently, based on an assumption that the federal budget for overseas policing will remain small. The findings are based on meetings with policymakers and other experts in Washington, D.C., as well as interviews with program implementers, government officials, police, and civil society representatives in all three countries.
UN Peacekeeping: The Next Five YearsCenter on International CooperationPublished November 30, 2012
This paper, commissioned by the Permanent Mission of Denmark to the United Nations, analyzes current trends in United Nations peacekeeping and makes predictions about the development of UN operations over the next five years (to 2017). It covers (i) the changing global context for UN operations and efforts to enhance the organization‟s performance over the last five years; (ii) trends in troop and police contributions; (iii) projections about potential demand for UN forces in various regions, especially the Middle East and Africa, in the next five years and (iv) suggestions about the types of contributions European countries such as Denmark can make to reinforce UN missions in this period.