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Africa: Peacekeeping Trends, 1

AfricaFocus Bulletin
Jan 31, 2004 (040131)
(Reposted from sources cited below)

Editor's Note

"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 African conflicts.

++++++++++++++++++++++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]

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 peaceful.

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the foreign armies have now withdrawn, a Government of National Unity has been established, and the UN mission is helping to stabilize the country as it moves - still hesitantly - towards lasting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 countries rising.

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 needs.

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 established.

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 November.

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 peacekeeping forces.

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 30, 2004

[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 home-grown. ...

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 policing issues.

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 greater.

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 officers

Strength as of 30 November 2003
5,569 total uniformed personnel

Proposed budget:
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

Approved budget:
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 observers;

Approved budget:
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 personnel

Approved budget:
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

Approved budget:
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 ( 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, at:

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.

AfricaFocus Bulletin is a free independent electronic publication providing reposted commentary and analysis on African issues, with a particular focus on U.S. and international policies. AfricaFocus Bulletin is edited by William Minter.

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