Peacekeeping & Africa

In the last five years, peacekeeping in Africa has grown dramatically, hosting more peacekeepers than any other region. Since 2005, eight peacekeeping operations have been created, in Burundi, Cote d'Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ethiopia/Etrtrea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, the Western Sahara and Sudan.

With demand for peace operations continuing to increase worldwide and good reasons to deem political will of member states for peacekeeping missions problematic even when it exists, questions regarding the potential of African organizations to respond to regional peace and security crises effectively are more relevant than ever.

The African Union (AU) and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), collaborating with the UN, have successfully deployed troops and led recent operations in Cote d'Ivoire, Burundi, Liberia and Sudan. Both organizations are developing standby force concepts, increasing headquarters capacity and continue to look for ways to strengthen their ability to organize, deploy and manage peace operations. But although these organizations as well as a number of African nations have plenty of will for peacekeeping, they often lack resources and technology, the necessary combat capabilities, to do so.

This is the first of a series of posts exploring the evolving African peacekeeping capacity and the question of how "African will to solve African problems" can best be supported by the international community and realized.

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