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Africa: Peacekeeping Trends, 1
Jan 31, 2004 (040131)
(Reposted from sources cited below)
"The rising demand for UN peace operations risks overstretching not
only our capacity to manage such missions, but also the resources
that Member States are able or willing to make available. ... there
is a manifest imbalance between the 30,000 NATO peacekeepers
deployed in tiny Kosovo and the 10,000 UN peacekeepers deployed in
Congo, which is the size of Western Europe."
- UN Deputry Secretary-General Louise Frechette.
African regional institutions are taking increasing responsibility
for peacekeeping as well as for diplomatic initiatives. But both
African and UN officials note that implementing fragile peace
agreements will require more not less support from rich countries
and from the UN system.
This issue of AfricaFocus Bulletin contains a variety of background
material and references to UN and African Union (AU) documents,
including excerpts from recent statements and data on the current
status of peacekeeping operations and plans. Another issue sent out
today contains excerpts from an essay from the new Human Rights
Watch World Report on regional intervention and human rights in
++++++++++++++++++++++end editor's note+++++++++++++++++++++++
UN Deputy Secretary-General on Peacekeeping Deficit
27/01/2004 Press Release DSG/SM/212
Excerpts from Keynote Address by United Nations Deputy
Secretary-General Louise Frechette to the Sixth IDSA Asian Security
Conference in New Delhi:
[Full text is available on http://www.un.org]
Our mission in Sierra Leone is now downsizing with a view to
withdrawal, after the end of the RUF insurgency and an election
generally acknowledged to have been free and fair as well as
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the foreign armies have
now withdrawn, a Government of National Unity has been established,
and the UN mission is helping to stabilize the country as it moves
- still hesitantly - towards lasting peace.
Indeed, almost wherever in Africa there is hope of ending a
conflict - and that is now true in quite a few countries - we find
that the United Nations is called on to deploy its peacekeeping and
peace-building experience. We now have an important mission in
Liberia; discussions are continuing on a possible UN-led operation
in Cote d'Ivoire; we are also likely to be asked to help the
parties implement a peace agreement in the Sudan; and there may
well be calls for a mission in Burundi, if the present hopes of
peace there are fulfilled.
Our ability to meet the peace-keeping demands placed on us has been
strengthened by the response of Member States to the Brahimi
report. Our missions are better integrated, we are able to deploy
more rapidly, and we are doing a better job of ensuring that
lessons are learned for future operations. An important component
of these reforms was the improvement of our stand-by arrangements
and on-call lists of troops and civilian police. As you may know,
the head of our Civilian Police Division is an Indian - indeed,
another Indian woman - Kiran Bedi.
But despite this improvement, the rising demand for UN peace
operations risks overstretching not only our capacity to manage
such missions, but also the resources that Member States are able
or willing to make available. Already there has been a marked shift
in the composition of our peacekeeping forces, with the share
provided by OECD countries declining and that of developing
I would be sorely remiss if I did not here acknowledge the role of
India - which, along with Pakistan and Bangladesh, now provides the
bulk of non-African peacekeepers deployed in Africa, and is thus
one of the few hold-outs against a trend towards the
regionalization of peacekeeping. The nations of this region have
played critical roles in many difficult and dangerous UN missions
-- and their ongoing commitment to peacekeeping is something the
Secretary-General deeply values, and that our Organization sorely
Regional arrangements for maintaining peace and security are, of
course, envisaged in Chapter VIII of the UN Charter, and it
certainly makes sense for Europeans to take the lead in peace
operations in the Balkans. But the fact is that resources are not
distributed among the world's regions in the same proportion as
needs, and there is a manifest imbalance between the 30,000 NATO
peacekeepers deployed in tiny Kosovo and the 10,000 UN peacekeepers
deployed in Congo, which is the size of Western Europe, and where
some 3.5 million people may have died as a result of fighting since
1998. If the United Nations stands for anything, it must surely be
for greater solidarity between strong and wealthy nations on the
one hand and relatively weak and poor ones on the other.
Ghana: New Training Centre Opened for African Peacekeepers
UN Integrated Regional Information Networks
January 28, 2004
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan is Ghanaian, but that's not the
only reason that a new centre for training African peacekeeping
troops, has been opened in the capital of his own country.
Ghana has a long history of support for UN peacekeeping missions
and has built up expertise in how to run them.
The Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre on the
outskirts of Accra was built with the help of German aid money and
opened its doors to a first intake of military officers and
civilian officials from 15 different African states in November.
"Participants from the West African regional grouping, ECOWAS, [the
Economic Community of West African States] get the first choice
since the centre is meant to build capacity for the sub-region,"
Brigadier-General Charles Mankatah, the commandant of the new
college, told IRIN.
The peacekeeping centre provides courses lasting two to four weeks
on topics such as conflict management, peace support operations,
governance and election monitoring for peacekeeping operations.
It is aimed at junior and middle ranking officers up to the level
of colonel who have to take operational decisions in the field.
The peacekeeping centre has also been designated to train officers
for a permanent ECOWAS stand-by force, which has yet to be
According to Ghana Defence Minister, Dr Kwame Addo-Kufuor, this
force will enable ECOWAS to undertake rapid interventions in future
hot spots in the conflict-prone region.
The first course, on Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration,
attracted candidates from as far away as Rwanda and the Democratic
Republic of Congo.
At least 15 more courses are planned between now and the end of
With the Americans and Europeans increasingly stretched in Iraq,
Afghanisan and the former Yugoslavia, African governments are
increasingly being encouraged to find their own solutions to
conflicts on the continent.
Ghana has long been a key contributor to both ECOWAS and UN
Over the last 40 years, it has taken part in 29 UN missions
worldwide in which 98 Ghanaians have lost their lives. During the
1990's the country played a leading role in ECOWAS military
interventions in Liberia and Sierra Leone.
The country presently has several hundred soldiers deployed in
neighbouring Cote d'Ivoire as part of a five-nation West African
peacekeeping force in the country.
There are currently six major UN peacekeeping operations underway
in Africa, the largest of which - Sierra Leone and Liberia - are
both in West Africa, so the new centre has no shortage of
candidates to train.
Germany was the largest single contributor to the establishment of
the college, providing a grant of 3.1 million euros (US$4 million)
to help build it. The official opening was therefore delayed until
last Saturday to coincide with a visit to Ghana by German
Chancellor Gerhardt Schroeder.
"This is what West Africa and Africa needs to solve its conflicts.
This is your own project. Start it and we will continue to support
you financially and with logistics," Henning Scherf, a member of
the German delegation, said at the opening ceremony.
The peacekeeping centre has the capacity to run courses, sometimes
concurrently, for 20 to 40 participants.
However this is set to increase. Britain, Italy, Canada and the
Netherlands are jointly funding an expansion which is scheduled for
completion in May 2004.
The names of all those who pass through the new peacekeeping centre
will be placed on a database, so that organizations such as the UN
can tap in to their expertise in the future.
Course fees range from US$2,400 to $4,200 per head, but the
international community has already provided three-quarters of the
entire training budget for this year.
Mankatah said the new centre in Ghana is designed to complement the
training already provided for African peacekeepers at military
academies in Nigeria and Mali.
The Nigeria War College provides high-level strategic training to
senior political planners and policy makers. While in Koulikoro,
Mali, the French government sponsors a tactical training centre for
non-commissioned officers active at the implementation level.
"This centre" explained Mankatah "will basically complement those
two institutions with training structured for middle-level
management personnel," that is junior to middle ranking officers,
civil servants and civilian middle management.
The concept of the peacekeeping centre in Ghana was first proposed
in 1997. Kofi Annan, after whom it was named, was not present at
the official opening ceremony.
Africa: A fragile peace on a bloodied continent
Jean-Marie Guehenno, United Nations Under Secretary General for
Peacekeeping Operations., in International Herald Tribue, January
[Excerpts only, for full article see
Can the peace hold in Africa? It depends on whether African states
and their supporters continue to be innovative in their search for
political solutions - and whether they build on what they have
learned in recent years.
Seven million people may have died in Africa's three biggest wars,
in Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan. That is horribly
close to the eight million killed in World War I. But after so many
years of destruction, something new is happening: at last. The
killing has largely stopped.
The war is over in Angola, and reconstruction is underway. In the
Democratic Republic of Congo, the five foreign armies are gone, the
military situation is mostly stable, and a transitional government
has set about its work. In Sudan, final agreement on a mammoth
six-year peace plan may be only weeks away.
One point to note in all this: the peace processes are mostly
These settlements have been worked out largely on an inter-African
basis. This is positive, first because inter-African rivalries
sometimes fueled those wars, and, second, because the accommodation
of African strategic interests will in large part determine how
likely the peace agreements are to hold. Post-colonial African
diplomacy has developed under some of the worst imaginable
conditions, yet it has developed and continues to improve.
Nigeria and South Africa, both until recently a part of the problem
rather than the solution, are increasingly confident and positive
players in the African peace process.
Unfortunately, an already poor region hardly has the resources to
build on the peace it has made. Apart from the immense problems of
economic reconstruction, there remain pressing humanitarian and
All three countries are devastated. Life expectancy in Angola and
Congo is under 40, and it's not much higher in Sudan. UN
humanitarian appeals for the three countries still run to $800
million this year just to meet basic needs such as food and
shelter. ...A lapse back into conflict is very possible. ...
Africans are bringing their biggest civil wars to an end. A
pragmatic optimism, based on experience and increasingly resilient,
is taking hold in African politics. The United States, the EU and
the UN Security Council have a range of tools, many of them new, to
extend this precious, and still fragile, progress. They should use
them now, for the chances of peace in Africa have never been
Current UN Peacekeeping Operations in Africa
(1) Liberia - UNMIL
Duration: September 2003 to present
Total authorized strength
Up to 15,000 military personnel, and up to 1,115 civilian police
Strength as of 30 November 2003
5,569 total uniformed personnel
1 August 2003 - 30 June 2004: $564.61 million
(2) Democratic Republic of the Congo - MONUC
Duration 30 November 1999 to present
Strength Authorized maximum strength
Military personnel: 10,800, civilian police personnel: 134
Current strength (30 November 2003)
Military personnel: 10,508; Civilian Police personnel: 103;
658 international civilian personnel
and 761 local civilian personnel
1 July 2003 - 30 June 2004: $608.23 million (gross)
(3) Ethiopia and Eritrea - UNMEE
Duration 31 July 2000 to present
Authorized maximum strength
4,200 troops, including 220 military observers
Current strength (30 November 2003)
4,085 military personnel, including 3,875 troops and 210 military
1 July 2003 - 30 June 2004: $196.89 million (gross)
(4) Sierra Leone - UNAMSIL
Duration 22 October 1999 to present
Authorized maximum strength
17,500 military personnel, 170 civilian police personnel
Strength as of 30 November 2003
11,278 troops, 241 military observers, 130 civilian police
1 July 2003 - 30 June 2004: $543.49 million (gross)
(5) Western Sahara - MINURSO
Duration April 1991 to present
Strength (30 November 2003)
239 total uniformed personnel; supported by some 145 international
civilian personnel and 112 local staff
1 July 2003 - 30 June 2004: $43.40 million (gross)
Note: Missions are expected to be needed this year in Sudan,
Burundi, and Côte d'Ivoire.
Contributors of Personnel to UN Peacekeeping Missions
As of December 31, 2003, African countries currently provide 14,815
of the 45,815 military and civilian police personnel engaged in UN
peacekeeping operations, almost exactly one-third of the total. Of
the 23 countries providing more than 500 personnel, 10 are African.
Nigeria and Ghana rank third and fifth among the countries
contributing personnel, along with Pakistan, Bangladesh, and India
(first, second, and fourth). The U.S., with 518, ranks 22nd, just
ahead of Tunisia with 509.
County and Number of Military and Civilian Police Contributed to UN
Operations, 31 Dec, 2003
Top 25 [for full list of 94 countries see chart on UN site]
1. Pakistan 6,248
2. Bangladesh 4,730
3. Nigeria 3,361
4. India 2,882
5. Ghana 2,306
6. Nepal 2.285
7. Uruguay 1,880
8. Jordan 1,818
9. Kenya 1,788
10. South Africa 1,415
11. Ethiopia 1,064
12. Ukraine 1,061
13. Zambia 910
14. Senegal 789
15. Poland 735
16. Morocco 657
17. Guinea-Bissau 650
18. United Kingdom 563
19. Portugal 562
20. Argentina 554
21. Ireland 534
22. USA 518
23. Tunisia 509
24. Slovakia 497
25. Austria 438
Arrears on UN Peacekeeping Operations, as of 30 Nov, 2003
Source: Global Policy Forum
Total owed by member states: $1,148 million
Amount owed by US: $482 million
US as percentage of total: 42%
Background Links for African Union Peace and Security Planning
The African Union website (http://www.africa-union.org) has the
list of countries which has signed the protocol on the peace and
security council, as well as other official documents, communiques,
and speeches. Look under "Official Documents."
In 2003 there was extensive consultation and detailed planning of
the frameworks for the new Peace and Security Council and African
Standby Force, with official implementation to begin this year.
Several detailed documents from this process are available on the
web site of the Institute for Strategic Research in South Africa,
These documents, developed by African Chiefs of Defence Staff,
project a framework allowing for African Union action and
coordination of efforts with both the United Nations and
sub-regional organizations such as ECOWAS in West Africa and SADC
in Southern Africa.
African Defence ministers met in Addis Ababa on January 20-21,
approving the proposal for creation of an African Standby Force.
The force is projected to include regionally based brigades, with
each country in a region pledging troops and logistical support,
initially to UN missions and later to AU observer missions.
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