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Challenges for UN Peacekeeping in South Sudan

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Politics
Wordcount: 2527 words Published: 11th Sep 2017

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The challenges faced by AU and UN Peacekeeping operation in addressing the Security Dilemma in South Sudan Central African Republic. (A case study of Somalia and Sudan).


Since the emergence of human history warfare has been a worldwide social process, which has led to the evolution of the social role of soldiers and military institutions. Therefore peacekeeping is regarded as the contemporary cordial process institutionalised as an essential mission after the cold war. Despite been treated as a new mission emerging in the early 1990’s United Nations peacekeeping has been in existence over half a century ago and its aim was to use military existence as a means of achieving practical goals (James, 1997).

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Over the past five decades the issue of international peace and security has dominated the international political system. The uncertain and ambiguous development in international relation has continuously revealed the need to promote the partnership in international peacekeeping. In this respect the united nation has spent decades improving its capacity to deal with international peace and security threats effectively and consistently (Seagal and Seagal, 1993).

The awareness that OAU (Organisation of African Unity) failed to provide better life for the African people and in many instances fail to offer basic protection for several countries, which led to its replacement by the AU (African Union) in 2001. The new organisation aimed to address the various injustices being carried out by some of the member states against their citizens. The Au’s underlying am was to promote democratic principle institution, good governance and popular participation as well as the promotion of human rights peace, stability and security (Reynold, 2002). The African union has established various bodies, protocols, institutions and mechanism. It is mainly to concentrate on creating architecture of peace and security to fight out the throng of challenges it’s facing. Through the protocol relating to the establishment of Peace and Security Council 2002 (AU, 2002), mandated the 15 member of the PSC to conduct peacemaking, peace building and peacekeeping. The chairperson of the Au is guided by the commissioner responsible for peace and security to administer operational support to the PSC and take the necessary steps to prevent, manage and resolve conflicts.

Peacekeeping is one of the various activities initiated by the united nation and other international bodies in order to maintain international peace and security worldwide. According to Frank (1997) peacekeeping is a mechanism created to maintain peace, however when delicate it might be when the fighting stops they also play a role in implementing the agreement achieve by the peacemakers. Peacekeeping mission have played key roles in settling armed conflicts by manning buffer zones between adverse parties and only use force to protect themselves in situation that are life threatening. Peacekeeping operations are usually in small size units send to areas where peace processes and ceasefire agreement has been administered between adverse parties as well as helping in maintaining the ceasefire agreement as an equitable third party (Paul, 1993). The mission activities vary and are operated by multinational forces formed of peacekeeper mainly from united nation member states or other international bodies.

Problem statement

The main aim of this study is to examine the challenges and dilemma faced by AU and UN peacekeepers, therefore I will make use of the crisis in Somalia and Congo to analyse the likely challenges and dilemma’s to this phenomenon as well as the propound strategies to making peace keeping intervention more effective in Africa. The study will identify steps and strategies to be taken to cement and bolster peace as it is the major challenge to peacekeeping in Africa. In order for the peacekeeping to be effective hefty and accurate in its operational mandate hefty and accurate arm embargo enforcement, strict cease fire agreement, outlining effective war buffer zones as well as involving the civil society n the peace process (ww.un.org).

The African union and united nation has played key roles in negotiating of peace agreements, assisting in cutting down the level of conflicts various regions mainly in Africa. However few of these accords n certain countries failed to take hold in particular countries such as Angola 1993 and Rwanda 1994. Furthermore the current situation in Darfur Sudan, DRC and Somalia have seen lesser positive change, which resulted to serious refugee problem and internally displaced person compounding to more security situation in and around particular conflict areas (Berman and Sam, 2000).

It has been predicted that nearly of the countries involved in war in Africa lapse back to war within couple of years due to various challenges. This has therefore indicated that, n order to prevent conflicts re-occurring, the implementation of the peace agreement has to in a sustainable manner. These types of conflicts are known to be infectious and can easily spill over its effect to neighbouring countries unfolding new ones, for examples the war Chad and Central African Republic.

On e of the main is that there has been a systematic negligence of the African security situation by the three Western power UK, USA and France after the cold war. This signifies the importance of African nations to properly comprehend the ongoing global reform and try to establish a lasting solution to its conflicts. As the former United Nation secretary general Kofi Annan echoed in his advice that member states have to look for alternative solution of handling conflicts in various regions.

Research Question

Hence conflicts are most likely to occur; the African Union must start to look for particular mechanism the will help them address and manage conflicts within the continent effectively.

The research will therefore aim to answer to answer these particular questions.

  1. What are the challenges facing AU and UN PKOs in Africa and how can these challenges be tackled?
  1. What type of collective action should the African Union and United Nation take to ensure that national authorities manifestly stick to peace treaties in order to protect the life of the citizens?
  1. What are the other non military intervention tactics or strategies that can be use to bring peace and the prevention of civilian lives?

Research Objective

The purpose of this study is to look into the various mechanisms tactics and strategies that can be use in order to address the peacekeeping security challenges faced by the United Nation or the African Union in South Sudan and Central African Republic.

The man objectives of this study are:

  1. To identify the challenges confronting UN peacekeeping in Africa, using UN PKO in Somalia and Sudan as a case study.
  1. To design strategies and mechanism towards effective UN peacekeeping in Africa.

Literature Review

In order to understand peacekeeping and the related issues, the study needs to elaborate on the history, legality and the theoretical understanding of conflict resolution and then examine the peacekeeping concept and approaches which gives us a route to address the various challenges face by AU and UN peacekeeping missions.

Concept of Conflict

Conflict resolution emerge from the 1950s and 1960s during the peak of the cold war, when the conflict between the superpowers and the development of nuclear weapon which threatens humanity. A group of scholars realise the significant of studying conflict as a common phenomenon with related properties despite its occurrence in the field of international relation, domestic politics, industrial relation and community mediation in both civil and international conflicts (Waltz, 2007).

Conflict is therefore define as an influential process in which frameworks, behaviours and attitudes are continuously changing and influence one and another. Conflict evolves when two parties come into a disagreement or their relationship becomes oppressive.

Theories of conflict resolution

Conflict resolution is a broad term, which ensures that the main causes of conflicts are address and resolves. It is referred to the theory of problem solving in order to achieve the desired outcome. The resolution addresses the main causes of the conflict, the changing behaviours and attitude as well as the structures and this will ensure that the attitudes are not hostile  behaviours are no longer violent and the structures are not exploitative. Therefore the process entails the awareness of the problems by identifying its nature and applying the relevant resolution methods.

Preventive Diplomacy

According to (Battit, 2002), the term preventive diplomacy was first used by former UN secretary general Dag Hammarskjold in 1960 and since then the approach have evolve remarkably. It is referred to sprinkler system of intervention predominantly used to reduce and prevent violence. The main purpose of preventive diplomacy is to prevent arm conflicts from happening and it include actions such as mediation, adjudication, conciliation, facilitation and arbitration were conflict vast (Muggah and White, 2003). It is a scope used to forecast and hinder conflicts and therefore grasp the early warning surveillance and preventive deployment of forces. The gathering of information, negotiations and fact finding are the basis of preventive diplomacy.

The concept of peacekeeping

Peacekeeping has been define by Un ” as an operation which comprises of military personnel without enforcement powers created by united nation to help restore and maintain international peace and security in conflict affect area (United Nation, 1985). Peacekeeping is used to encompass a huge range of mission which includes peace building and diplomatic peacemaking components. The key function of peacekeeping is to facilitate the transition from conflict situation to state of peace (James, 1990).  According to Ratner, (1996) that peacekeepers need to maintain compliance of the host state and the other parties involve in the dispute to act impartially and act in a non violent manner

Challenges to peacekeeping

After various successful united nation peacekeeping operations such as the likes of UNAVEM, UNIMOZ and UNEF, most of the missions in Africa fail to be a success especially in Somalia. The challenges that hinder the effectiveness of AU and UN peacekeeping n Africa are not uncommon in the continent. The study will therefore analyse these challenges and offer solution that may bolster the capacity to manage future operations in Africa (Gockerham, 1995). The study will offer various strategies to help understand the sensitivity of the people cooperation and commitment of the warring factions. These strategies include rapid deployment, robust operational mandates, acquiring of troops from develop countries, effective arm embargo enforcement, adequate funding and logistic and the involvement of the civil society in the peace process.

Research Design

The research will use an empirical approach with the use of case studies of various peace keeping missions as well the behaviour governments and the international community. The study acknowledges that the AU and UN peacekeeping in Africa s afflicted with various challenges. Therefore the research will be design base on the case studies of previous peacekeeping operation in Somalia and Sudan.

Research Method

The instruments that will b use for data collection will be book, journals, magazines, the internet and newspapers. Electronic media, published and unpublished materials from libraries will also be used in collecting data. Additionally the study will aim to offer strategies and mechanisms that can be use to overcome the various challenges facing AU and UN Peace keepers in Africa to ensure that peacekeeping operations are successful and lead to continuous peace in Africa.


The approach of case study holds an uncertain place in the study of social science as the main criticism is based on its generalisability (Reinharz, 1992). According to Punch (1998) the properly conducted case studies, especially in situation where our knowledge is not deep, limited or non existence has a valuable contribution to make as an in-depth case study will provide the understanding of a significant aspect of a new and diligently research area.


April: Draft of the analysis chapters.

May: Draft of the theory chapter; implications and conclusions.

June: Revise first three chapters; Rationale, Literature Review, Research Methods and Design.

July: Revise Data Analysis and Theory chapters. Revise for final submission.


“African Union in a Nutshell”, African Union, 2007, http://www.africa-union.org/root/au/ AboutAu/au_in_a_nutshell_en.htm, accessed 8 February 2007.

Babbitt, E. F. (2012). Preventive diplomacy by intergovernmental organisations: Learning from practice. International Negotiation, 17, 349-388. http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/15718069-12341236

James, L. R. and M. D. McIntyre. 1996. “Perceptions of Organizational Climate.” In Individual Differences and Behavior in Organizations, edited by K.R. Murphy. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Muggah, R., & White, N. (2013). Is there a preventive action renaissance? The policy and practice of preventive diplomacy and conflict prevention. NOREF. Retrieved from: http://www.peacebuilding.no/var/ezflow_site/storage/original/application/00175abccdb1df5f006c8 e4.

Paul Reynolds, “African Union Replaces Dictators’ Club”, BBC News, 8 July 2002, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/2115736.stm, accessed 8 February 2007.0da206643.pdf.

Punch, K. (2000) Developing Effective Research Proposals, London, California, New Delhi : Sage.

Reinharz, S. (1992) Feminist Methods in Social Research, New York : Oxford University Press.

Segal, David R. and Mady Wechesler Segal. 1993a. Peacekeepers and Their Wives: American Participation in the Multinational Force and Observers. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press.

United Nations, The Blue Helmets, 1985, p. 3.


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