The South African military and peacekeeping: Reflections on conditions, capacity-building and prospects

Neethling, T. (2003)

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Journal Article

Since the advent of a new dispensation in South Africa, expectations in Africa and elsewhere have steadily grown regarding South Africa's potential role as a peacekeeper in African conflicts. In fact, South Africa has been identified by many observers as the one state able to ensure effective peacekeeping on the African continent. On paper, South Africa's military capabilities appear impressive in terms of African standards. However, in reality there are current impediments to a major role for the South African military in Africa, of which the delicacy of the ongoing transformation process of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) and financial constraints are significant. Moreover, it would seem that South Africa has thus far preferred the role of diplomatic peacemaker to that of forceful peacekeeper.

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