Peacekeeping or peace enforcement? : a proposed model for intervention in Sub-Saharan Africa

Links, Stalin Bernard (2000-03)

Thesis (MPA)--Stellenbosch University, 2000.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The principles and characteristics of peacekeeping, as the United Nations (UN) in its search towards global peace and stability originally intended, are not adhered to in Sub-Saharan African countries. In this context, peacekeeping operations are perceived to be synonymous with biased armed intervention and the enforcement of peace through the application of force, often without the consent of the parties involved in conflict. As the political situation in many Sub-Saharan African states deteriorates, a greater need for peacekeeping and even peace enforcement operations has arisen. Mounting pressure on South Africa from regional forces, as well South Africa's own national interest to become involved in peacekeeping, calls for an evaluation of 'Sub-Saharan African peacekeeping' per se. This situation creates a dilemma as regards both the responses by regional organs and the reaction of states to the endemic and escalating conflicts in collapsing states. Can what is currently happening in Sub-Saharan African still be referred to as peacekeeping? Do we need a fresh approach to conflict resolution in Sub- Saharan Africa? Are the UN principles, set in a post-World War " global context, still applicable in a deteriorating intra-state context? In an attempt to find answers to these questions, this research focuses on the nature of peacekeeping operations from an analytical, comparative perspective with the aim of identifying commonalities and differences in the approaches and practices of countries that have participated in peacekeeping operations. Could it be that 'classical' UN peacekeeping has simply become historically outdated and that modern peacekeeping operations are dictated by the socio-political environment and thus requires a new approach? It would appear that the concept of peacekeeping needs to be re-defined from an African perspective in order to equip regional organs with a firm theoretical foundation for possible future involvement in Sub-Saharan African peacekeeping and peace enforcement endeavours. The UN's peacekeeping performance on the African continent over the past decade has raised serious doubts as to whether the UN has the capacity or will to deal effectively with inter-state and more specifically, intra-state conflict. Consequently, Sub-Saharan African peacekeeping is currently standing at a crossroad. It is also evident that a transition needs to be made from 'classical' UN peacekeeping principles to a 'modern' African approach in touch with Africa's prevailing circumstances and demands. From the research findings and case studies, a conclusion is drawn concerning how 'modern' peacekeeping practices compare to 'classical' peacekeeping, as envisaged in Chapter VI of the UN Charter. In addition, a model is proposed for dealing with the unique challenges of Sub-Saharan African intra-state conflict.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die beginsels en kenmerke van vredebewaring, soos die Verenigde Nasies (VN) in sy soeke na wêreldvrede en stabiliteit oorspronklik beoog het, word nie in Afrika suid van die Sahara eerbiedig nie. In die konteks, word vredebewaringsoperasies geag as sinoniem te wees met partydige gewapende inmenging en die afdwing van vrede deur die aanwending van mag, dikwels sonder die toestemming van diegene wat in die konflik betrokke is. Die verslegtende politieke situasie in vele lande in Afrika suid van die Sahara bring mee dat 'n groter behoefte bestaan vir vredebewaring en selfs operasies om vrede af te dwing. Toenemende druk op Suid-Afrika deur streeksmagte sowel as Suid-Afrika se eie nasionale belang om by vredebewaring in Afrika betrokke te raak, noodsaak juis 'n evaluasie van vredebewaring in Afrika suid van die Sahara. Hierdie situasie veroorsaak 'n dilemma in sover dit die reaksie betref van streeksorganisasies sowel as dié van mislukkende state wat toenemend by inheemse konflik betrokke raak. Kan dit wat tans in Afrika suid van die Sahara aan die gebeur is steeds beskou word as vredebewaring? Word 'n nuwe benadering tot die beslegting van inheemse konflik in Afrika suid van die Sahara vereis? Is die VN beginsels soos gestel binne 'n globale na-tweedewêreld- oorlogse konteks steeds van toepassing op 'n verslegtende intra-staat konflik konteks? In 'n poging om antwoorde te vind op dié vrae, fokus die navorsing op die aard van vredebewaringsoperasies vanuit 'n analitiese, vergelykende perspektief. Hierdie fokus het ten doel om ooreenkomste en verskille in die benaderings tot en toepassings van vrede in lande wat aan vredebewaringsoperasies deelgeneem het, te identifiseer. Is dit dalk moontlik dat 'klassieke' vredebewaring histories verouderd is en dat 'moderne' vredebewaringsoperasies deur die sosio-politiese omgewing dikteer word en as sulks, 'n nuwe benadering vereis? Dit wil voorkom asof die konsep van vredebewaring vanuit 'n Afrika perspektief her-definieer behoort te word sodat streeksorganisasies toegerus kan word met stewige teoretiese grondbeginsels waarop toekomstige vredebewaringsoperasies in Afrika suid van die Sahara gebaseer kan word. Die VN se vertoning in die bewaring van vrede en meer spesifiek, dié se vertoning die afgelope dekade, laat ernstige twyfel ontstaan oor dié organisasie se vermoë of wil om effektief met konflik binne en tussen state te handel. As gevolg hiervan, bevind Afrika suid van die Sahara haar by 'n kruispad wat die bewaring van vrede aanbetref. Dit is ook duidelik dat daar 'n verskuiwing behoort plaas te vind vanaf 'klassieke' vredebewaringsbeginsels na 'n meer 'moderne' Afrika benadering wat in pas is met Afrika se eiesoortige omstandighede en eise. Vanuit die navorsingsbevindinge en gevallestudies word daar in die gevolgtrekkings gekyk in hoe 'n mate 'moderne' vredebewaring in die praktyk met 'klassieke' vredebewaring, soos beoog in Hoofstuk VI van die VN Handves, vergelyk. Aansluitend hierby, word 'n model voorgestel vir die hantering van die intra-staat vraagstukke wat voortspruit uit konflik binne state in Afrika suid van die Sahara.

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