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  • Author: Richard Gowan, Louise Riis Andersen
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: With a global recession looming due to COVID-19,the large blue-helmet UN missions will be harder to sustain, both financially and politically. So the UN is learning to “think small”. Recommendations ■ The Secretariat should work with member states to improve the UN’s mechanisms for deploying bespoke, case-specific peace operations and SPMs at short notice. ■ Member states should stand ready to deploy small numbers of military and police personnel to serve in more flexible forms of UN operations and to offer specialized expertise and training as requested. ■ Member states should pay their respective share of the UN peacekeeping budget on time and increase their voluntary contributions.
  • Topic: United Nations, Peacekeeping, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Africa, Mali, South Sudan
  • Author: Arthur Boutellis, Michael Beary
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: Since 2013, after years of near absence from the continent, a number of European countries, along with Canada, have again deployed to UN peacekeeping missions in Africa. The European presence in UN peacekeeping in Africa is now nearly at its largest since the mid-1990s. These countries provide much-needed high-end capabilities, as well as political and financial capital, to UN peacekeeping operations. Nonetheless, securing and sustaining European contributions to these types of peacekeeping operations remains an uphill battle for the UN. This paper draws lessons from this renewed engagement by European countries and Canada, both from their point of view, as well as from that of the UN Secretariat, UN field missions, and other troop contributors. It aims to explore how these bodies and other countries can best work together in a collective endeavor to improve UN peacekeeping’s efficiency and effectiveness. Toward this end, the paper recommends a number of actions to the UN Secretariat: Build peacekeeping operations around first-class medical systems; Focus on improving processes for casualty evacuation; Strengthen the UN’s capacity to foster partnerships among troop-contributing countries; Engage Europe strategically and politically; Be flexible and make European contributors (and others) feel included in planning; Continue educating European contributors about UN peacekeeping; Do not limit engagement with European contributors to high-end capabilities; Ensure European contributors adhere to UN standards; and Encourage European contributors to commit to longer deployments.
  • Topic: United Nations, Peacekeeping, Multilateralism
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Canada
  • Author: Charles T. Hunt
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: Since first deployed in 1960, United Nations police (UNPOL) have consistently been present in UN missions and have become increasingly important to achieving mission objectives. Since 1999, these objectives have often included the protection of civilians (POC), especially in places like the Central African Republic, Darfur, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali, and South Sudan. But despite its rise in prominence, the protective role of UNPOL is generally undervalued and regularly overlooked, and missions have tended to overly rely on militarized approaches to POC. This report examines the roles and responsibilities of UNPOL regarding POC. It outlines UNPOL’s contributions to POC and perceived comparative advantages, using examples of their role as compeller, deterrent, partner, and enabler. It also identifies and draws lessons from challenges to police protection efforts, including ambiguous mandates, policies, and guidance; poor coordination; problematic partnerships; and deficits in capabilities, capacities, and tools. Drawing on these lessons from past and current deployments, the report proposes recommendations for how member states, the Security Council, the UN Secretariat, and field missions can improve UNPOL’s efforts to protect civilians going forward. These recommendations include: Clarifying the role of UN police in POC through mandates, policies, guidance, and training to align the expectations of UN peace operations, the Secretariat, and member states for what UNPOL are expected to do; Involving all UN police in POC and giving them a voice in decision making and planning to infuse whole-of-mission POC efforts with policing perspectives and empower UNPOL to act more readily; Enhancing partnerships between UN police, host states, and other mission components to enable more responsive, better coordinated, and more comprehensive approaches to POC; and Providing more appropriate and more flexible capabilities, capacities, and tools to address critical capabilities gaps and adapt existing resources to better meet UNPOL’s latent potential for POC.
  • Topic: Security, United Nations, Peacekeeping, Reform, Rule of Law, Civilians, Police
  • Political Geography: Africa, Darfur, Mali, South Sudan, Central African Republic, Congo
  • Author: Christian Lara, Gabriel Delsol
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: In 2017, the UN launched a system-wide effort to support the implementation of the sustaining peace agenda in Burkina Faso. Since then, a rapidly deteriorating security situation and an imminent humanitarian crisis have forced the UN, the Burkinabe government, and their partners to recalibrate their efforts. This ongoing recalibration, together with the changes resulting from the UN development system reforms, makes this an opportune moment to assess the state of efforts to sustain peace in Burkina Faso. This paper examines the implementation of the UN’s peacebuilding and sustaining peace framework in Burkina Faso, looking at what has been done and what is still needed. It focuses on the four issue areas highlighted in the secretary-general’s 2018 report on peacebuilding and sustaining peace: operational and policy coherence; leadership at the UN country level; partnerships with local and regional actors; and international support. Burkina Faso provides lessons for how the UN’s sustaining peace efforts can respond to growing needs without a change in mandate. Continued support for the UN resident coordinator in Burkina Faso is necessary to ensure that these efforts are part of a holistic approach to the crisis, together with local, national, and regional partners. Such support could underpin Burkina Faso’s status as a buffer against spreading insecurity in the Sahel and make the country a model for the implementation of the sustaining peace agenda in conflict-prone settings without UN missions.
  • Topic: Development, United Nations, Peacekeeping, Peace, Sustainability, Humanitarian Crisis
  • Political Geography: Africa, Burkina Faso
  • Author: Aly Verjee
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: More than five years after South Sudan’s first ceasefire agreement, ceasefire monitors are still on the ground. The hope was that their work would help overcome the mistrust between rival factions, halt ongoing violence, and deter further violations. Drawing on interviews with monitors, combatants, politicians, civil society representatives, diplomats, peacekeepers, and others, this report examines the history of ceasefire monitoring in South Sudan and offers recommendations for donors supporting future monitoring processes in South Sudan and elsewhere.
  • Topic: Peacekeeping, Conflict, Violence, Peace, Ceasefire
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Sudan
  • Author: Daniel Forti
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: In the face of evolving security dynamics and geopolitical pressures, the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council and the UN Security Council initiated the withdrawal of the AU-UN Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) in 2017. This transition is a uniquely complex undertaking—all the more so following Sudan’s political revolution in April 2019, which required the UN and AU to rapidly adapt their support to the country. This complex environment is putting all the principles of peacekeeping transitions to the test. This paper examines the dynamics of this peacekeeping transition in Darfur, focusing on UNAMID’s drawdown and reconfiguration, as well as the UN’s efforts to build the capacity of other actors to sustain peace following the mission’s exit. It highlights five broad priorities for this transition going forward: Strengthening political engagement between the UN Security Council and AU Peace and Security Council; Translating the AU-UN joint political strategy into an effective follow-on presence; Reinforcing the transition concept; Integrating human rights and protection in all areas of work; and Sustaining international attention and financial support. This paper is part of a larger IPI project on UN transitions and is complemented by similar case studies on UN peacekeeping transitions in Côte d’Ivoire, Haiti, and Liberia, as well as a paper exploring experiences and lessons from these three transitions.
  • Topic: Security, United Nations, Peacekeeping, Geopolitics, Crisis Management, African Union
  • Political Geography: Africa, Darfur, Haiti, Liberia, Côte d'Ivoire
  • Author: Fiona Blyth
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: When the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) deployed in 2007, the AU and the UN Security Council expected that the United Nations would eventually take over from the AU force. But while a UN peacekeeping operation remains a theoretical option for the council, its prospects have diminished. Instead, the focus of Somali and international efforts has shifted to planning for AMISOM to transition directly Somali security forces without an interim UN mission. This issue brief outlines the factors behind this shift in intentions, including the new Somali administration’s commitment to assuming responsibility for security, a general agreement that the time had come for an exit strategy, and the Security Council’s reduced appetite for peace operations. It also lays out the objectives, approaches, and status of implementation of the Somali Transition Plan. Despite steady progress, there is still a long way to go in implementing this plan. Reforms are encountering resistance from vested interests, and al-Shabab poses an ongoing threat. Any sustainable transition from AMISOM must be a long-term project that includes not just a military handover but also political decisions on security and the structure of the state. It also depends on aligning national priorities and international efforts and the willingness of all security actors in Somalia to work together in a pragmatic, transparent, and coordinated way.
  • Topic: Security, United Nations, Peacekeeping, Transition, African Union
  • Political Geography: Africa, Somalia
  • Author: Daniel Forti, Lesley Connolly
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: UN peace operations are going through an accelerated period of reconfiguration and drawdown. Between June 2017 and March 2018, long-standing peacekeeping missions in Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia closed, while the mission in Haiti was reconfigured into a transitional peacekeeping mission. Looking ahead, the Security Council has mandated the closure of the peacekeeping mission in Darfur and the initial drawdown of the peacebuilding mission in Guinea-Bissau, and its attention is starting to shift to other missions. With these upcoming transitions in mind, this issue brief explores experiences and lessons from recent UN transitions in Côte d’Ivoire, Haiti, and Liberia. Each of these transitions has been the subject of a detailed IPI policy report published as part of IPI’s project on “Planning for United Nations Peacekeeping Operations Transitions.” Drawing on this research, this issue brief recommends how to manage politics and recalibrate policies to better shape future transitions. Its recommendations include to: Adopt shared and long-term political strategies, particularly in Security Council mandates and benchmarks, as well as through regular sharing of assessments from the field. Ensure integration in field-level planning strategies well before the Security Council sets transition timelines, with senior leadership from the mission shaping the vision, driving planning, and providing concrete recommendations for the future UN presence in the country. Strategically engage the host society to align peacebuilding priorities and to communicate the core message that the mission is leaving but the UN is remaining in the country. Engage early to secure adequate financing, capitalizing on debates surrounding the transition while it is still on the Security Council’s agenda. Institutionalize dedicated transition support capacity within the UN system, including policy and programmatic guidance, operational support, planning expertise, and surge capacities. Sustain long-term peacebuilding through partnerships, ensuring that residual peacebuilding challenges are mainstreamed into national development plans and international and regional development frameworks.
  • Topic: Development, United Nations, Peacekeeping, Crisis Management, Transition
  • Political Geography: Africa, Haiti, Liberia, Côte d'Ivoire
  • Author: Paul D. Williams
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: Deployed to Mogadishu in March 2007, the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) operates through a complicated and extensive system of partnerships. This has been referred to as the “AMISOM model” of “partnership peacekeeping.” While this specific configuration of forces and mechanisms is unlikely to be repeated, AMISOM remains the longest-standing case of a peace enforcement operation built on such international partnerships. If the AU and UN are going to continue deploying missions into such difficult environments, AMISOM’s experience offers lessons for how partnership peacekeeping can work better. This report summarizes the main operational-level lessons across seven themes: force generation, logistics, security sector reform, protection of civilians, strategic communications, stabilization, and exit strategy. Many of these lessons have not been truly learned, internalized, and acted upon by the actors and organizations in question.
  • Topic: Security, United Nations, Peacekeeping, Reform, Partnerships, Africa Union
  • Political Geography: Africa, Somalia
  • Author: Pearl Karuhanga Atuhaire, Grace Ndirangu
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Women In International Security (WIIS)
  • Abstract: Women who seek to participate in peace processes and political decision-making face many obstacles. To achieve sustainable peace and development, societies emerging from conflict must remove these obstacles. In so doing, they must recognize and prioritize that women are fully capable of active participation in all political processes. Women’s equal participation in leadership at every level and in every sector is imperative to eliminating gender-based violence, poverty and enabling sustainable peace. Across the globe, women are increasingly assuming political leadership. For example, Ethiopia elected a woman president in 2018, and half of the nation’s parliamentarians are women. In the Republic of Rwanda, women make up 78 percent of the representation in parliament.1 Leadership in politics and peacebuilding are linked. That is, women’s political leadership paves the way for women’s participation in peacebuilding processes and vice versa.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Gender Issues, International Cooperation, Peacekeeping, Women, Negotiation
  • Political Geography: Africa, Rwanda
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for the Study of the Economies of Africa (CSEA)
  • Abstract: The share of Africa’s youth in the world is expected to increase to a staggering 42 percent by 2030 and is projected to continue to grow throughout the remainder of the 21st century, more than doubling from current levels by 2055. Data on direct conflict casualties suggests that more than 90 percent of all deaths occur among young adult males. Today, some 50 percent of the 1.4 billion people living in countries impacted by crises and fragility are under the age of 20. The Security Council has recognized that an estimated 408 million youth (ages 15-29) reside in settings affected by armed conflict or organized violence whereby 1 out of 4 youth globally are affected by armed conflict. These figures are gut-wrenching but indispensable for our understanding of peacebuilding in today’s age. With a global population of over 1.8 billion, young people— though disproportionally affected by armed conflict and organized violence—could potentially employ the unique capacity and ability to take on our planet’s most deep routed conflicts. Their inclusion and leadership are therefore imperative to the successful pursuit of peacebuilding.
  • Topic: Population, Peacekeeping, Youth, Peace, Casualties
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Nontobeko Zondi, Wandile Langa
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: In 2016, ACCORD outlined its 2017-2021 Six-Pillar Strategy, which seeks to contribute to sustainable peace, security and development in Africa by mitigating conflict. One of the critical pillars of the Strategy is Pillar 2, which focuses on strengthening local and national infrastructures for peace. This Policy and Practice Brief aims to reflect on the practical experiences, challenges and lessons of ACCORD in advancing the concept of local and national capacity for peace, in the period 2018 to 2019. The preliminary reflections are drawn from ACCORD’s work in four countries, namely, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Lesotho and South Sudan.
  • Topic: Peace Studies, Peacekeeping, Peace
  • Political Geography: Africa, Burundi, Lesotho, Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Author: Lucile Maertens, Malkit Shoshan
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: The 2010 cholera outbreak in Haiti, triggered by the UN mission there, killed more than 9,000 people and affected nearly 807,000. This disastrous case drew attention to the negative effect UN peace operations can have on the surrounding communities and environment—something peacekeepers had started paying attention to with the deployment of new large-scale operations in the 2000s. As operations have grown in size, so too has the size of their environmental footprint. This report looks at the environmental impact of peace operations and how the UN has responded, including through policies and guidelines, dedicated staff, and training material. In particular, it assesses the challenges the Department of Field Support faces in implementing its Environment Strategy. Based on this assessment, which includes a detailed examination of the UN mission in Mali, the report puts forward a series of short-, medium-, and long-term recommendations. It concludes that a UN presence should not be a source of stress but should improve local environmental sustainability and build resilience.
  • Topic: Environment, United Nations, Peacekeeping, Peace
  • Political Geography: Africa, Mali, Global Focus
  • Author: Alexandra Novosseloff
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: The UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) completed its mandate on June 30, 2017, after more than thirteen years. One year later, the secretary-general is set to release his “comprehensive study of the role of UNOCI in the settlement of the situation” in the country. This presents an opportunity to examine the many stages or “lives” of a peacekeeping operation, something often overlooked. This report aims not only to contribute to this learning process but also to go beyond the scope of the secretary-general’s study to examine the trajectory of UNOCI over the years. It provides a historical account of the various phases of the Ivorian crisis and examines how UNOCI evolved and adapted to the circumstances and how the Security Council dealt with the Ivorian dossier. Based on this assessment, the report draws lessons from UNOCI for other peacekeeping missions. These include the challenges missions face when the consent of the host state is fragile, a permanent member of the Security Council is heavily involved, they have a mandate to certify elections, they take a robust approach to a crisis, they undertake both disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration and security sector reform processes, and the UN applies sanctions or arms embargoes.
  • Topic: Security, United Nations, Sanctions, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Africa, Côte d'Ivoire
  • Author: Alexandra Novosseloff
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: The UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) completed its mandate on June 30, 2017, after more than thirteen years. One year later, the secretary-general is set to release his “comprehensive study of the role of UNOCI in the settlement of the situation” in the country. This presents an opportunity to examine the many stages or “lives” of a peacekeeping operation, something often overlooked. This report aims not only to contribute to this learning process but also to go beyond the scope of the secretary-general’s study to examine the trajectory of UNOCI over the years. It provides a historical account of the various phases of the Ivorian crisis and examines how UNOCI evolved and adapted to the circumstances and how the Security Council dealt with the Ivorian dossier. Based on this assessment, the report draws lessons from UNOCI for other peacekeeping missions. These include the challenges missions face when the consent of the host state is fragile, a permanent member of the Security Council is heavily involved, they have a mandate to certify elections, they take a robust approach to a crisis, they undertake both disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration and security sector reform processes, and the UN applies sanctions or arms embargoes.
  • Topic: Security, United Nations, Sanctions, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Africa, Côte d'Ivoire
  • Author: Ralph Mamiya
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: Engaging non-state armed groups (NSAGs) is an essential tool for the protection of civilians (POC), a priority mandate and core objective for peace operations. Beyond the use of force to prevent or stop armed groups from threatening local populations, multidimensional missions can use a wide range of unarmed strategies, such as dialogue and engagement, to counter hostilities from non-state actors. This paper looks at how, when, and why UN missions engage with NSAGs. It gives an overview of current practice, drawing on the experiences of the missions in Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Mali. It then examines the risks of engaging NSAGs and how POC mandates can help missions navigate these risks. Finally, it looks at peace operations’ unique capacities to engage with NSAGs and how best to leverage them. Civilian protection is ever more urgent, and engaging NSAGs is crucial to this work. A pragmatic approach, anchored in POC considerations, can help guide missions through potentially polarizing debates and safeguard UN principles while simultaneously allowing them to adapt more effectively to the challenges they face.
  • Topic: United Nations, Non State Actors, Peacekeeping, Armed Forces, Civilians
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Africa, Central Asia, Mali, Central African Republic, Congo
  • Author: Namie Di Razza
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: In the non-permissive environments where they are often deployed, UN peace operations need to be increasingly creative to implement their mandate to protect civilians. They face particularly acute challenges in contexts marked by violent extremism, such as Mali, where attacks by terrorist groups have greatly constrained the capacity of peacekeepers to protect local populations. This paper explores the operational challenges that the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) faces in implementing its protection mandate. It analyzes protection threats related to violent extremism in Mali and explores the protection strategy, tools, and activities developed by the UN mission to address those threats. It highlights some of the practical constraints of operating in a hostile environment and added complications related to the mission’s proximity to non-UN counterterrorism forces. The Malian case demonstrates that each peacekeeping theater needs to be its own laboratory for POC and that approaches, tools, and mechanisms are not directly replicable from one UN mission to another. The report makes three recommendations to improve the delivery of MINUSMA’s protection mandate: Explore the full spectrum of military, police, and civilian tools; Ensure the independence of MINUSMA’s POC activities from counterterrorism agendas; and Design and articulate a political strategy that prioritizes POC.
  • Topic: United Nations, Peacekeeping, Violent Extremism, Civilians
  • Political Geography: Africa, Mali
  • Author: Daniel Forti, Lesley Connolly
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: From 2003 to 2018, the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) was ever-present throughout the country. The peacekeeping mission’s work, and its transition out of the country, are considered positive examples of how the UN can support countries through conflict and post-conflict phases. Nevertheless, UNMIL’s transition offers many lessons that member states, UN officials, and international partners can learn in order to strengthen future UN peacekeeping transitions. This paper examines the process of Liberia’s transition from a peacekeeping mission to a UN country team configuration, focusing on the period from July 2016 to July 2018. It identifies the political and operational dynamics that drove the transition, examines the policy processes and context within which the transition was executed, and assesses the ability of the UN’s post-mission configuration to sustain peace in Liberia. The paper underscores that member states and the UN Secretariat should change their approach to transitions from racing against deadlines to instead viewing them as processes that begin well before a peacekeeping mission closes and continue for several years after the mission ends. By viewing transitions as long-term, multi-stakeholder activities, member states have the opportunity to ensure that future transitions adopt integrated approaches with adequate political, operational, and financial support.
  • Topic: United Nations, Peacekeeping, Peace, Transition
  • Political Geography: Africa, Liberia
  • Author: Alexandra Novosseloff
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: In April 2016, after four years of progressive downsizing, the Security Council decided to close the UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) within a year. This decision reflected a consensus that it was time for UNOCI to leave and hand over to the UN country team with no follow-on mission. However, the transition was abrupt, without sustained dialogue, capacity transfer, or financial fluidity, leaving the UN country team unprepared to take on the mission’s responsibilities. This policy paper examines the political dynamics in Côte d’Ivoire and in the Security Council that led to the decision to withdraw UNOCI, as well as the stages of the withdrawal and handover. It also analyzes the gaps and shortcomings that left the country team ill-prepared to take over, highlighting two main challenges. First, the Security Council viewed the transition as a political process. Its objective of withdrawing the mission superseded all others, leading it to underestimate, if not overlook, the continued peacebuilding needs of the country. Second, the transition was accompanied by waning donor interest, undercutting programming by the country team in priority areas like reconciliation, security sector reform, human rights, and land tenure.
  • Topic: Security, United Nations, Peacekeeping, UN Security Council, Transition
  • Political Geography: Africa, Côte d'Ivoire
  • Author: Adriana Erthal Abdenur
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Igarapé Institute
  • Abstract: On July 10, 2017, the President of Guinea Bissau, José Mário Vaz, met politician Domingos Simões Pereira, who had served as Prime Minister from 2014 to August 2015. Although Pereira remained head of the country’s major political party, the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cabo Verde (PAIGC), he had been dismissed (along with the entire cabinet) by the president in August 2015 during a power struggle between the two men. In a public statement, Vaz had justified the dismissal by referring to a “breach of trust. ” For two years following this event, Vaz and Pereira had refused to speak to each other over differences regarding the implementation of the Conakry Accord, which sought to address some of the root causes of the country’s recurring political instability. Given the personal acrimony involved, as well as political differences, the meeting between Vaz and Pereira came as something of a surprise to observers. Yet behind the scenes, a small group of women facilitators had worked intensely for months to bring the two men in the same room. The meeting resulted from their persistent yet discreet efforts to help lessen tensions around the impasse by promoting dialogue among the key actors. This policy brief addresses the origins and development of the Group of Women Facilitators (Grupo de Mulheres Facilitatoras – GMF), focusing on the period from May to November 2017. Although the brief does not offer a systematic evaluation of the initiative, the general impact of the GMF during these six months on the Conakry Agreement debates and, more broadly, on Guinea-Bissau’s political scene are assessed in light of the objectives the group set out for itself in May. The analysis draws on a combination of desk review of policy documents from the Guinea-Bissau government, major international organizations such as the UN and ECOWAS, and civil society entities in GuineaBissau, as well as semi-structured interviews with group members and other stakeholders carried out in Bissau in November 2017.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Gender Issues, Peacekeeping, Women, Negotiation
  • Political Geography: Africa, Guinea-Bissau
  • Author: Brown Odigie
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: The years 2015 and 2016 were crucial for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) from the perspective of its efforts to ensure sustainable peace and stability in the region, through supporting the conduct of peaceful elections and the orderly transfer of power. A total of 10 of its 15 member states held elections in 2015 and 2016. ECOWAS has a rich history of managing political transitions and elections in the past 18 years, following the adoption of the 1999 Protocol Relating to the Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management, Resolution, Peace-keeping and Security (referred to as “the mechanism”), as well as the 2001 Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance. This Policy and Practice Brief (PPB) examines ECOWAS’ interventions around the electoral processes of its member states, with particular focus on its management of the 2016 post-election impasse in The Gambia. This highlights how effective a mediation process can be when mandates are grounded within institutions’ normative and legal instruments, and when international actors work in partnership with regional organisations with respect to the principles of subsidiarity, complementarity and comparative advantages. The lessons from this intervention might therefore be relevant to other regional economic communities (RECs), the African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN) in avoiding the pitfalls of working in silos or engaging in a multiplicity of interventions, which are often at cross-purposes.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Political Violence, Democratization, Peacekeeping, Elections, Democracy, Peace
  • Political Geography: Africa, Gambia
  • Author: Nontobeko Zondi
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: Since 2009, the Government of Liberia (GoL), working with its national and international partners, has continued to provide leadership in responding to a myriad of critical conflict factors. It has done this through various peacebuilding frameworks, such as the Strategic Roadmap for National Healing, Peacebuilding and Reconciliation in Liberia, the Liberia Peacebuilding Program (LPP) and the Agenda for Transformation (AFT). In addition, Liberia has concluded its post-Ebola recovery plans, supported by the United Nations (UN) and other partners, in the midst of the UN Mission in Liberia’s (UNMIL) transition in 2016, as well as within the context of the country’s 2017 national elections. It was against this backdrop that the Peacebuilding Office (PBO) within the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) and other partners had to rethink and reprioritise Liberia’s peacebuilding and reconciliation strategies, programmes and interventions, moving forward. As such, a comprehensive conflict-mapping and conflict analysis exercise was pivotal to allow for a systematic and empirical process in which Liberian conflict issues and potential conflict drivers could be identified. This Policy & Practice Brief (PPB) seeks to reflect on the 2016 National Conflict-Mapping Exercise (NCME) process, as well as the methodological approaches used to gather and analyse the data. It further highlights the importance of the NCME as a process and outlines the supportive role of international partners to the PBO, which guaranteed that the process is locally owned and steered by the PBO. Although it has a definitive end in the form of findings, the NCME itself should be seen as an important component for enhancing the coherence and coordination of peacebuilding interventions in Liberia.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, Peacekeeping, Peace, Reconciliation
  • Political Geography: Africa, Liberia
  • Author: Bernard Okok Obuoga
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: Cyclical conflicts which continue to plague the Great Lakes region of Africa necessitate a reflection on the effectiveness of peacebuilding interventions. While many reasons account for this, without knowledge of triggers of relapse into conflict, and without enhancing grassroots-based approaches to managing the causes of conflict, peace will remain elusive under existing intervention frameworks. The Great Lakes Project (GLP), a collaborative initiative by the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD), the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC), and the Nairobi Peace Initiative – Africa (NPI-Africa) – developed a three-year project in 2012, titled “Consolidating Peacebuilding in the Great Lakes of Africa”. The overall purpose of the project was to ensure that local communities were mobilised to engage with, and address, conflict factors through grassroots civil society organisations (CSOs). The project also sought to identify and address the capacity gaps of local CSOs working towards peace and ensure that systems were established to continuously address conflicts in the region. The International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) was identified as a critical partner in building peace in the region, considering its extensive network and access to state and non-state actors. This engagement therefore facilitated partnerships between existing CSO-platforms; strengthened their early warning systems and strengthened their conflict management capabilities towards building resilient infrastructures for sustainable peace. While undertaking its mandate, the GLP identified various challenges and policy gaps, which included the lack of strategic approaches to prevent conflict relapse. This paper illustrates and interrogates the dynamics of these shortcomings, and defines the role of inclusive, multi-stakeholder partnerships to address these.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Peacekeeping, Conflict, Peace
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Alors que le Nord du Mali connait un inquiétant regain de violence, les négociations de paix à Alger constituent une chance unique de sortie de crise. Mais après deux mois de discussions, la paix semble encore loin. Le gouvernement malien et les groupes armés engagés dans les négociations peinent à trouver un terrain d'entente. Des groupes influents et radicaux qui manquent à la table des négociations sont tentés de faire dérailler le processus par la violence. La résolution du conflit passe par l'articulation complexe d'intérêts divergents qui touchent à la sécurité du Sahara, à la nature de l'Etat malien et aux équilibres locaux entre des communautés divisées. Face aux affrontements armés, la tentation est grande d'aller vite et de signer un accord à minima garantissant la sécurité à court terme. La précipitation est mauvaise conseillère. Il faut se donner les moyens et le temps de construire les fondements d'une paix durable.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Diplomacy, Treaties and Agreements, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Sarah Hearn, Thomas Zimmerman
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: We initiated a project to study external actors' peacebuilding frameworks in Somalia. The purpose is to ascertain whether and how the international community is applying recent international learning on peacebuilding, and is able to forge coherent and effective approaches to helping countries pursue peaceful political settlements.
  • Topic: Security, Governance, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Africa, Somalia
  • Author: Sarah Hearn, Thomas Zimmerman
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: In this brief, we analyze the process that led to the "Somali New Deal Compact," the framework's potential effectiveness as a peacebuilding tool, and potential ways to strengthen it.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Governance, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Africa, Somalia
  • Author: Hannah Cooper
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: As 2014 starts, there are reasons to hope that peace may be in sight in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). National initiatives and committed regional and international political engagement in 2013 led to important advances and new framework agreements to resolve the conflict and insecurity. However, the people Oxfam talked to across eastern DRC reported that their situation remains precarious, particularly in remote areas where there is little state presence. Ongoing national, regional and international engagement is needed, as well as efforts to ensure that high level agreements and initiatives are systematically linked to community experiences. Without these, it is possible that this rare opportunity will be wasted.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Security, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Bianca Selway
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: With fifteen UN peacekeeping missions already in operation and another in the Central African Republic on the horizon, UN peacekeeping continues to be in high demand. Today, DPKO deploys more than 83,000 troops, 13,000 police, and 2,000 observers, contributed voluntarily by member states. A majority of these are provided by African and South Asian member states, which together provide 74 percent of the UN's uniformed personnel. Latin America has a longstanding history of participating in UN peacekeeping, stretching back more than fifty years to some of the earliest peacekeeping operations. At present, Latin America contributes almost 7 percent of all UN troops and nearly 2 percent of UN police. Two Latin American states occupy spots in the group of top twenty uniformed contributors: Uruguay with a total of 2,164 uniformed personnel and Brazil with 1,755. Latin American contributions are predominantly military contributions (as opposed to police) to the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), with support to missions in sub-Saharan Africa amounting to less than 2 percent of the total uniformed deployments to the region.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, United Nations, Foreign Aid, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Asia, Brazil, United Nations, Latin America
  • Author: Jaïr van der Lijn, Jane Dundon
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: Over the past two decades, personnel contributions from European and North America countries to United Nations peacekeeping operations and to missions deployed in Africa have reduced significantly. This is partly explained by the common assumption in Western governments and security establishments that missions in Africa are more dangerous than missions in other regions of the world, and that contributing to UN peacekeeping operations is more risky than to those conducted by ad hoc coalitions or regional organizations such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
  • Topic: Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, North Atlantic, United Nations, North America
  • Author: Morten Bøås
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Norwegian Centre for Conflict Resolution
  • Abstract: Political instability and administrative weakness have been permanent features of the Central African Republic (CAR) ever since independence. This is, therefore, the history of a collapse foretold. Michel Djotodia may have had good intentions when he put together the Séléka alliance; the problem was that the only thing that kept it together was the desire to get rid of François Bozizé. When Bozizé was gone, the coalition's internal coherence also disappeared. Thus, for lack of other options, the alliance members continued to make their livelihoods based on plunder. As the situation worsened, the communities plundered established their own militias, and the stage was set for a simmering sectarian conflict between Christians and Muslims. It is in this mess of communal violence that the international forces are supposed to re-establish law and order. The main challenge, however, is how to avoid adding fuel to the sectarian fire. The international forces must tread carefully, and any attempt at disarming militias must be conducted with this in mind. What has happened and is happening is tragic, but it is neither genocide nor a full-blown sectarian conflict. This can still be avoided if the international forces behave impartially with regard to the two main religious communities in the country.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Cooperation, Religion, Sectarian violence, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Daniel Hampton
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Over 60,000 African troops from 39 different nations serve in peace operations worldwide. Maintaining African peacekeeping capability requires an ongoing training process to sustain the skill proficiency of troop contingents for rapid deployment and crisis response. Continued reliance on international trainers undercuts the institutionalization of African peacekeeping capability. An African-led training model would not only be more sustainable but would draw on the relevant, practical experience that African peacekeepers have gained over the years.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Regional Cooperation, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Touko Piiparinen
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Last March the UN Security Council authorised the so-called Intervention Brigade to undertake 'targeted offensive operations' against illegal armed groups operating in the Eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The Brigade, which undertook its first operations in August, differs from traditional UN peacekeeping in terms of its robust mandate and mobility. The UN has simultaneously adopted a new technology, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), in the DRC, which represents the first-ever use of UAVs as a part of UN peacekeeping. UAVs will be deployed in the DRC at the end of November, and start operating in early December The Intervention Brigade and UAVs have been hailed as a turning point in UN peacekeeping. However, they should not be perceived as completely new or standalone instruments of UN conflict management. They could instead be best understood as a continuum and extension of the long held state building doctrine applied by the UN. These new instruments enable the UN to perform one of its key functions of state building and protection of civilians, namely controlling and policing the whole territory of a state where an intervention has been undertaken more effectively than before. The lessons learned from the UN peace operation in the DRC indicate that the UN state building doctrine remains self-contradictory on account of the tendency of UN state building missions to spill over into wars and the mismatch between the ambitious goals set for state building and the chronic lack of resources. The Intervention Brigade and UAVs can potentially help the UN to resolve that mismatch by enhancing the UN's state building and protection capacities. However, they cannot resolve the other major disadvantage of state building, namely collateral damage inflicted in state building wars, and may even aggravate that problem.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Development, Humanitarian Aid, Science and Technology, Fragile/Failed State, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Isaline Bergamaschi
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Norwegian Centre for Conflict Resolution
  • Abstract: This policy brief deals with the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). It explains its first achievements and the two main challenges it has faced so far: issues of leadership, including co-ordination between actors and capacities, on the one hand, and issues related to security conditions and the absence of peace, on the other. Finally, the policy brief proposes some recommendations to the actors involved – MINUSMA itself (i.e. its civilian and military personnel) and the UN member states supporting it.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Peace Studies, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Diana Felix da Costa
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Norwegian Centre for Conflict Resolution
  • Abstract: Despite the Murle group being politically and economically marginalised, local and national political and popular discourses portray this group as the main aggressor in South Sudan's Jonglei State. This widely asserted narrative ignores the fact that responsibility for the cycle of violence in Jonglei rests with all those perpetrating violence and certainly not solely with one group. While sharing an overarching ethnic identity, when it comes to issues of peacebuilding, the Murle can be neither seen nor treated as a consolidated group. Rather, there are cattlekeeping Murle living in the lowlands of Pibor county and agrarian Murle living in the Boma Plateau; there are also age-sets, clans and many other differentiating factors. Accusing all Murle of responsibility for violence only serves to magnify the sense of marginalisation and isolation felt by the Murle as a whole. This policy brief seeks to address some of the differences between the cattlekeeping lowlands Murle and the cultivating highlands Murle from the Boma Plateau. By doing so, it highlights the importance of understanding cultural specificities and the local political economy and, when it comes to peacebuilding, of differentiating who is responsible for a specific conflict and who has influence over those responsible.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Economics, Ethnic Conflict, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan
  • Author: Michael Olufemi Sodipo
  • Publication Date: 08-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Northern Nigeria has been the locus of an upsurge in youth radicalization and virulent militant Islamist groups in Nigeria since 2009. Nigeria's ranking on the Global Terrorism Index rose from 16 th out of 158 countries in 2008 to 6 th (tied with Somalia) by the end of 2011. There were 168 officially recorded terrorist attacks in 2011 alone. Bombings across the northeast prompted President Goodluck Jonathan in May 2013 to declare a state of emergency in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe States. Many Nigerians have come to question whether the country is on the brink of a civil war.
  • Topic: Security, Political Violence, Economics, Islam, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria, Somalia, Yobe State, Borno State, Adamawa State
  • Author: Paul D. Williams
  • Publication Date: 07-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Violent conflict and the power of armed nonstate actors remain defining priorities in 21 st 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 and healthcare 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.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Development, Peace Studies, Treaties and Agreements, Fragile/Failed State, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Lori-Anne Théroux-Bénoni
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: After the November runoff of the 2010 presidential elections in Côte d'Ivoire, the country's Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) announced that in the preliminary results, Alassane Ouattara, candidate of the Rassemblement des Républicains, had won. The Constitutional Council cancelled the results from several northern electoral areas favourable to Ouattara, however, and declared Laurent Gbagbo, the incumbent president who ran for La Majorité Présidentielle, the winner.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Democratization, United Nations, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Each year Oxfam undertakes a far-reaching survey of unheard, conflict-affected people in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Three-quarters of the 1,705 people polled in 2011 said that they felt their security had not improved since last year. In areas affected by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), this figure rose to 90 per cent, with communities telling Oxfam that they felt abandoned, isolated, and vulnerable. Communities everywhere painted a grim picture of continued abuse of power by militias, the Congolese army, and other government authorities, wearing away their livelihoods and ability to cope.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Civil War, Armed Struggle, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Africa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Author: Arthur Boutellis, Guillaume Lacaille
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: As they prepare to discuss the renewal of MONUSCO's mandate six months ahead of general elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the members of the UN Security Council are facing a dilemma. Should they limit the role of MONUSCO to the continued protection of civilians in eastern Congo, as agreed with President Joseph Kabila, or should they expand its mandate in an attempt to enforce democratic principles before the elections at the risk of confronting the incumbent regime? This issue brief argues that MONUSCO should be limited to a technical role in the election—as requested by the Congolese authorities—but only on the condition that the international community reengages President Kabila in a frank political dialogue on long term democratic governance reforms.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Democratization, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Africa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Author: Delphine Djiraibe
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Political crises and armed opposition movements have plagued Chad for several years. After several failed peace initiatives, the August 13 Agreement was reached in 2007. The agreement is the most viable framework for bringing peace to Chad. It calls on the Chadian government to reform critical electoral institutions, undertake a credible electoral census and demilitarize politics in order to ensure fair and transparent elections. To date, the agreement has been poorly implemented. It jeopardizes the credibility of the upcoming legislative elections, currently scheduled for February 2011. Only comprehensive reform that addresses the development and governance challenges facing Chad will definitively end its political crisis.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Peace Studies, Treaties and Agreements, War, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Thierry Tardy
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Geneva Centre for Security Policy
  • Abstract: A consensus seems to exist on the need to tackle contemporary intra-state conflicts through a multiplicity of actors who display different comparative advantages and levels of expertise. For the United Nations as well as for the regional organisations that, since the end of the Cold War, have emerged as crisis management actors, working together is the way forward. The UN and the EU run or have run simultaneous operations in Africa (Democratic Republic of the Congo and Chad) and Kosovo and have largely institutionalised their cooperation; the UN took over operations initially deployed by the African Union in West Africa and in Burundi and the two institutions have created a hybrid UN-AU mission in Darfur; the EU is assisting the AU in the building-up of its Stand-by Force and finances AU operations; the EU, the OSCE and NATO have for some time shared the burden of security management in the Balkans. As noted in a UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) document, “reinforcing interoperability with key partners […] can enhance cooperation and ensure that we maximise finite global peacekeeping resources”. Indeed, given the scope of crisis management needs, not least the UN overstretch, burden-sharing has become an imperative and its corollary, inter-institutional partnerships, equally central. Yet, the establishment of partnerships among international institutions is facing important political and technical difficulties that make the prospect for an interlocking system unlikely.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Globalization, International Cooperation, Peace Studies, Regional Cooperation, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kosovo, United Nations
  • Author: Paul Romita
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: Two referenda are scheduled for January 9, 2011, in Sudan. In one, the people of Southern Sudan will decide whether they will remain part of the Republic of the Sudan or form an independent country with its capital in Juba; in the other, residents of the Abyei region will determine whether or not Abyei will become part of Southern Sudan.
  • Topic: Civil War, Islam, Peace Studies, Treaties and Agreements, Sectarian violence, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Africa, Juba
  • Author: Ingrid Samset
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Norwegian Centre for Conflict Resolution
  • Abstract: On 28 May 2010, the United Nations Security Council made a critical decision on the future of the UN peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (Monuc) – the largest and most costly such operation in the world. The Council decided to reduce the number of peacekeepers by 2,000, and to transform Monuc into a stabilisation force, renamed Monusco.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Civil War, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Africa, United Nations
  • Author: Paul D. Williams
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: There have been 40 peace operations deployed to 14 African states since 2000. To be successful, peace operations must be part of an effective political strategy and peace process, not a substitute for them. Policymakers need to move beyond a preoccupation with the number of personnel deployed for each mission and focus on what capabilities are needed to generate the desired political effects. Maintaining legitimacy is a crucial part of achieving success.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, International Affairs, Military Strategy, Peacekeeping, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Africa