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The Evolution of Peace Operations in Africa: Trajectories and Trends

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The scale of contemporary United Nations (UN) and African Union (AU) peace operations in Africa represent a significant shift in the political will of the international community to invest in UN and African peace operations. A macro-pattern has developed where most European and American peace and stability operations are deployed in NATO or European Union (EU) operations in Europe and the Middle-East, whilst most UN peace operations troops are contributed by the developing world and deployed in Africa. However, there is a new willingness in Europe to consider deploying some of its peacekeepers to Africa in EU or UN peace operations. From a UN and African perspective, the USA and Europe have a major political and financial influence on, and stake in, the future of peace operations in Africa. The AU and regional entities like ECOWAS, IGAD and SADC have significantly increased their capacity to undertake and manage peace operations over the last decade. The AU has deployed its first three peace operations, AMIB in Burundi, AMIS in Darfur and AMISOM in Somalia. However, the single most important factor when considering the future of peace operations in Africa is how they are financed, as that determines the size, scope and duration of the missions, and therefore has a direct bearing on their impact. The lack of clear and predictable financial arrangements is now the most important factor hindering the further expansion of African peacekeeping.


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