African Peace operations and the Power of Regional Interests

DIIS Report on regional interests in African peace operations. The past decade has seen African countries step up their contributions to peace operations. African soldiers now constitute half of all United Nations (UN) peacekeepers across fifteen missions worldwide, and together, UN and AU missions include a combined total of 85,000 African troops.

In many of these missions, neighbouring and regional states in close proximity to and at times directly involved in situations of conflict provide a significant proportion of mission personnel.

This report addresses the challenges arising from this development. It focuses on how the strategic regional interests of neighbouring countries involved in peace operations are shaping the ability of these missions to perform their allotted tasks.

Taking into account the vast differences between AU and UN missions, the report explores the operational consequences of increasingly including and even relying on regional and neighbouring countries. To do so, it analyses two complex and important contemporary missions in Africa, the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), and the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).

The report highlights the severe operational consequences of strong regional interests but also alludes to the importance of African solutions to Africans problems and of strong regional support to peace operations.

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