Humanitarian action and peace operations in Africa
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Humanitarian action and peace operations in Africa David Ambrosetti (CNRS – Université Paris Ouest Nanterre). I – Africa, a cradle of the humanitarian action and peace operations II – Effects and stakes of this international interventionism.

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I africa a cradle of the humanitarian action and peace operations

Humanitarian action and peace operations in AfricaDavid Ambrosetti(CNRS – Université Paris Ouest Nanterre)


I africa a cradle of the humanitarian action and peace operations

I – Africa, a cradle of the humanitarian action and peace operations

II – Effects and stakes of this international interventionism


I africa a cradle of the humanitarian action and peace operations

I – Africa, a cradle of the humanitarian action and peace operations

A) Two founding « episodes » in current humanitarian action: Biafra and Ethiopia

B) UN peace operations and Africa


A 1 biafra 1967 1970

A) 1. Biafra (1967-1970)

NigeriaAbujaIbo

Lieutenant-colonel Odumegwu Ojukwu

Joint Church Aid – 55 000 tons of supplies

International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) – 22 000 tons

Bernard KouchnerMédecins sans frontières (1971)

Jacques FoccartNuclear test in Reggane (déc. 1960)

Félix Houphouët-BoignyLéopold Sédar Senghor (Sénégal)

Markpress (Genève)


2 ethiopia 1984 1985

2. Ethiopia (1984-1985)

Wollo (nord)charity businessBob Geldof

Band Aid (nov. 1984)Live Aid (juil. 1985)

1 200 000 tons of aid

The DergMengistu Haïle-Mariam

Tigrean People’s Liberation Front

Eritrean People’s Liberation Front

Forced displacements of 600 000 persons, 200 000 died


B un peace operations and africa

B) UN peace operations and Africa

1. ONUC: a turn

2. The post Cold War renewal (1988-1993)

3. Blazing failures and withdrawal (1993-1999)

4. The current unprecedented rise of UN peace operations (2000 decade, till now)


1 the onuc 1960 1964

1. The ONUC (1960-1964)

Congo-Léopoldville / République démocratique du Congo (RDC) / Zaïre (Congo-Kinshasa)

Patrice LumumbaKatangaMoïse Tshombé

Dag Hammarskjöld (†en sept. 1961)

Resolution 143 of the UNSC  withdrawal of Belgian forces

19 500 personals

30 contributor states (Africa and Asia)


2 the end of the cold war and the renewal of peace operations 1988 1993

2. The end of the Cold War and the renewal of peace operations (1988-1993)

Perestroïka

Namibia Angola Mozambique

Somalia : Restore Hope (UNITAF / Dec. 92- March 93) et ONUSOM II (ONU / March 93 – March 95)

28 000 personals

Mohamed Farah Aideed

June 1993 (24 Pakistani blue helmets)

3 October 1993 (18 US Marines and one UN Malaysian)

US Congress (Jesse Helms)

Boutros Boutros-Ghali UN Secretary-General

Kofi Annan Deputy-UNSG Chief of the DPKO


3 blazing failures and withdrawal 1993 1999

3. Blazing failures and withdrawal (1993-1999)

MINUAR in Rwanda (5 October 1993)

General R. Dallaire

Michael Barnett – US delegation to the UN

President J. Habyarimana († 6 April 1994)

Rwandan Patriotic Front (P. Kagamé)

Hutu PowerCol. Théoneste Bagosora

Resolution 925 – withdrawal of 2 000 Blue Helmets in the heart of the genocide (« g »-word)

500 000 to one million died

Then Bosnia - Zaïre 1996-1997

Withdrawal: 70 000 UN personals in 1993, 13 000 in February 1998. Budget decline (from 3,6 billion $ to 1 billion $)


4 the current unprecedented rise decade 2000

4. The current unprecedented rise (decade 2000)

Lakhdar Brahimi report (July 2000)

Peace building, even state building

Security Sector Reform

Regionalization (African ownership)

UNAMSIL in Sierra Leone (1999-2005)

UK leader, rescuing the UN in May 2000

Revolutionary United Front (RUF)

President Ahmed Tejan Kabbah


I africa a cradle of the humanitarian action and peace operations

African dossiers = some 70-75 % of the UNSC agenda

In 2010, Africa

= half of the UN operations deployed around the world (8 out of 16)

= three-quarters (73 500) out of the 100 000 personals in uniform deployed around the world

Sudan alone = a third (30 000, 20 000 for Darfur and 10 000 for South Sudan)

DRC = 20 000Liberia = 11 000Côte-d’Ivoire = 8500

Pakistan, Bangladesh and India (3 major troop contributors) = 28% of the total

9 African states among the 20 major contributors

Negligible financial contributions: Zambia and Somalia = 0,001% of the UN budget each ; South Africa = 0,29%


Ii effects and stakes of this international interventionism

II – Effects and stakes of this international interventionism

  • Some figures: a call for modesty

  • Strategic learning from African actors

  • The « Africanization » of peace and security matters in Africa: towards a new peace and security architecture in Africa


A some figures a call for modesty

A) Some figures: a call for modesty

1. The decrease of death tolls due to armed violence in Africa

  • Human Security Center: Death tolls related to armed conflicts regularly increased from 1960 to 1990. Decreasing since then.

  • In 1960, Africa = 68 % of the total of people killed in armed conflicts around the world ;

    13 % in 2005 (African bank for development).

  • Proposed causes : transformations of the forms of violence and improvement of sanitary conditions and humanitarian relief.


2 engaged means remain modest

2. Engaged means remain modest

Multidimensional operations, very intrusive

 Security Sector Reform (Sierra Leone, RDC, Liberia, Côte-d’Ivoire)

But limited means:

  • UN peace operations = 7,7 billion $ per year around the world; UNAMSIL in Sierra Leone (750 million $ per year in 2002 for 17 500 personals in uniform)

  • Comparison : arms trade around the world = 30 billion $ per year; and the total of state military budgets around the world = 800 billion $ per year.

  • 20 000 personals in uniform to cover the whole Darfur (size of France, very divided habitat, rudimentary or inexistent infrastructures)

    Weak strategic commitment, short-term objectives, improvisation, personal professionalization improved but still insufficient

     scandal of sexual abuses (Sierra Leone, Liberia, DRC)


B strategic learning from african actors

B) Strategic learning from African actors

  • Commitment of African states in peace operations

    • Access to foreign currencies, opportunities for training (Burundi), “risky” military kept away, multilateral visibility as a regional power

  • Sidelining and direct opposition strategies

    • Political weakness of international forces rapidly analyzed and exploited (Somalia 93, Rwanda 94, Sierra Leone 2000, UA au Darfur 2004-2007)

    • Obstacles, UN (Western) personal expelled (Eritrea and the border commission for Badme 2005 ; Sudan and Jan Pronk 2006 ; Chad et MINURCAT 2010)

  • Medias, humanitarian action and military strategies

    • Kamajors and LURD (Danny Hoffman)


C the africanisation of peace and security in africa

C) The « Africanisation » of peace and security in Africa

1. Context

  • Pan-African Movement  Organization of the African Unity (OAU, May 1963)

  • Bilateral interferences from ex colonial powers  20 French armed operations from 1963 to 1983.

  • First OAU peace operation in Chad in 1981. Withdrawn in June 1982 on a failure.

  • OAU Mechanism for prevention, management and resolution of conflict in 1990 (military observation missions in Rwanda, Burundi, Comoros)

  • Continental integration weakened by a rapid process of sub-regional cooperation  seven regional organizations in Africa today

     ECOMOG by ECOWAS in Liberia (1990-1997) and Sierra Leone (1991-1999)


2 the african union au in 2002

2. The African Union (AU) in 2002

  • Innovations

    • Inspired by the European Union (Commission) and the UN (PSC)

    • Article 4 of the constitutive Act

    • Department of Peace and Security

  • Operations in Burundi, Darfur and Comoros

  • The African Stand By Force and the Continental Early Warning System (AU and the five Regional Economic Communities): in progress


3 limits

3. Limits

  • External:

    • Strong commitment of foreign partners:

    • Peace Facility of the EU, then the Europe / Africa Partnership in Lisbon, financial support from the G8  « a rush among donors  » in the context of a “new scramble for African mineral resources”

    • Donor conditionality: strong presence of foreign (Western) experts in Addis Ababa surrounding these projects

    • AU used in a ad hoc way, selectivity according to the interests of the foreign powers with important projection forces in Africa (US, France, UK)

    • Reluctance to provide the African forces with better military equipment

  • Internal:

    • Weak political commitment of the African states  only when competition for regional hegemony

    • Military contributors: Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda

    • Financial contributors: Ethiopia, Libya, Kenya

  • Difference to make between « Africanization » and « ownership » (Benedikt Franke)


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