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PEACEKEEPING IN AFRICA: THE WAY FORWARDBy Dr. Monica Kathina JumaSenior Analyst & Project LeaderPeace and SecurityAU-NEPAD ProgrammeSaferAfrica, Pretoria.Presentation at the Conference onKeeping the Peace in a Tough Neighbourhood: The Challenges Confronting Peacekeepers in Africa14 September 2004SA Defence Intelligence College

  • History on peacekeeping dates to the 1960s.
  • Debate on PK has intensified since 1990s.

-Notion of African solutions to African problems.

-Regional leadership in PK.

-Sensitivity to African reality.

  • Since then increased participation of African security forces in PKO under the UN mandate both within/beyond African
  • With AU creation (2000) debate accompanied by policy development towards the creation of an African capability for peacekeeping.
what has emerged
What has emerged?
  • A policy framework embodied in the Protocol establishing the AU-PSC.
  • Continental vision of a Common African Defence and Security Policy.
  • Creation of regional mechanisms for CPMR e.g the OPDS in SADC.
  • Intensified debates at national level to redefine the role mission and structure of security sector in response to peacekeeping imperatives (defence reviews –SA; police sector reform –Kenya etc.)
  • Debates on the need for security strategy documents to guide SSR
why is african peace keeping an imperative
Why is African Peace Keeping an Imperative?

1. Experience dictates the need for African PK Capability

  • Logical conclusion of debate on African solutions for African problems – given the challenge of raging conflicts
  • Realisation of the AU/NEPAD vision of turning the continent around –resolving conflicts/sustainable peace and security.
  • Human security imperative and the need to create enabling environment for development – peace and security
  • Experience from the lethargy of the international community,usually

i) do not come in

ii) complicate situations of conflict

iii) or it is too little too late – failure to stay the course (mechanical entry, stabilisation? Election, and out!)


2. Changing Nature, Trends and Dynamics of conflicts

  • Regional conflict formation – regionalisation of conflicts
  • Regional consequence of conflicts.
  • Emerging threats: terrorism, cross-border crimes and trafficking (human and drugs) etc.
  • War economies = the centrality of resources to escalation, complication of conflicts, wars, tensions.
  • Human security imperative to create enabling environment for development – peace and security

3. Donor Fatigue and hesitation of international community to intervene

  • International community intervention fraught with hesitancy, miscalculations, lack of sensitivity etc.

4. Opportunity to reorient an institution that was at the heart of misrule and governance during the cold war era.

  • From Coups to stability
  • Role of military in democratic dispensation
  • Re-orienting functions of the SS in response to threats and interests of the continent – peace, security governance and development within the framework of good governance (civil control of the security sector)

What is the future of Africa’s PeaceKeeping?

Two trajectories

1) Africa takes the lead and builds an African capability that responds to its needs:

  • a range of capabilities that include EW.
  • Preventive diplomacy and mediation of conflicts.
  • Humanitarian and disaster response capacity.
  • Military intervention for peacekeeping and enforcement.

2) African PK capability that is heavily influenced and shaped from outside esp. if all aspects are funded and directed from outside.


Factors that will shape the PK

3 broad sets of factors:

Normative Factors:

  • Concretising the vision and framework of the AU – (operationalising the CADSP; clarifying critical aspects of the ASF – what happens when a crisis overwhelms the capacity of one region/brigade and requires joint operations beyond a region e.g DR Congo?
  • Clarity of ASF mandate/mission – what is the thresholds of its operation? when do other organs kick in/out?
  • Institutional building = capacity of the continent to operationalise all organs of the PSC/clear division of labour and responsibilities.
  • Engendering PK cause:
  • The impact of conflicts on the roles and responsibilities of women.
  • Increased involvement of women in security issues.
  • Experience indicates it adds value to the nature of PK including protection and assistance etc.
  • Carry the commitment on gender parity of the AU through core area of security.
  • Participation is right in line with Africa’s vision of renewal.

2. Political Factors

  • Commitment at the African level – esp. resources bcoz PK is expensive (SA spent USD 120 million in Burundi 2003). Proposal for .5% of national budgets for AU programmes – up for review.
  • Clarity in terms of devolution of right to intervene – relationship between the AU/RECs/national governments/UNSC =Mandates and coordination of activity.
  • Building a strategic management capacity at the AU.
  • Cultivating the right partnership with Africa’s partners –guided by the principle of burden sharing.

3. Technical factors

  • Capacity building at continental (organs of the PSC), regional (mechanisms for CPMR) and national level(restructuring of SSR to respond to mandates beyond core functions.)
  • Doctrine development for ASF that reflects the needs on the ground.
  • Curriculum development for joint training (interoperability, command structures etc)
  • Regionally - operationalisation of ASF brigades – building blocs of the ASF.
  • Bilateral/regional level – calls for trust and confidence building between different forces to ensure sharing of information, intelligence (joint exercises e.g EAC)
  • Development of Strategies for conversion of defence capability for civilian use:

-response to crisis beyond the core business of the military in line with the need to consolidate peace and spur development.

-reorienting the military and security sector to needs.

·   Designing national security strategies that:

-determine levels of security.

-nature and scope

-privilege peacekeeping role/mandate. 


If human security is the overall objective of the

new African vision, then it imperative that Africa deal

with challenges that obstruct the creation of right

conditions/enabling environment for development.

Instability and conflicts have been singled out, together

with misrule, as key causes of the continents woes. The

maintenance of peace and security is, therefore, a core

business in Africa - hence the imperative of an African

peacekeeping capability.

African PK is a reality for now and the future
  • However, its effective operation depends on a range of normative, political and technical factors and considerations
  • Work in the making and needs support at various levels.