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Africa

NUPI conducts wide-ranging research on Africa.

In particular we focus on issues related to social and economic development: fundamental questions concerning the conditions for state formation and democracy, as well as specific studies of individual countries and areas. Other important thematic areas include how post-conflict counties can avoid relapse, and the role of international peace operations in such circumstances – not least, the activities of the UN and the African Union.
Publications
Publications
Report
Charles T. Hunt, Fiifi Edu-Afful, Adam Day

UN Peace Operations & Human Rights: A Thematic Study Executive Summary

This study of the Effectiveness of Peace Operations Network (EPON) examines the contributions of the UN’s human rights work within a wide range of UN peace operations, including peacekeeping missions, special political missions (SPMs), and regional prevention offices. The core questions of this study were: (1) How does the UN’s human rights engagement contribute to the overall impact of UN peace operations, including the protection of civilians (POC)? (2) Overall, how do UN peace operations themselves contribute to human rights outcomes? and (3) What lessons can be drawn by comparing different UN peace operations in terms of building better synergies between human rights-focused activities and the other work of missions? The goal of the report is to offer a comparative, empirically backed assessment of the ways UN peace operations efforts to advance human rights contribute to mission effectiveness and broader mission objectives. Lead author Prof. Charles T. Hunt – Senior Fellow, United Nations University Centre for Policy Research/ Senior Research Associate, Institute for Security Studies/Professor of Global Security, RMIT University Co-authors Ms Emma Bapt – United Nations University Centre for Policy Research Dr Adam Day – United Nations University Centre for Policy Research Dr Fiifi Edu-Afful – Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) Ms Abigail Gérard-Baldé – Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC) Ms Hafsa Maalim – Independent researcher Ms Wendy MacClinchy – Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC) Ms Nadia Nata – Independent researcher Dr Claudia Pfeifer Cruz – Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)

  • Africa
  • Peace operations
  • Conflict
  • Fragile states
  • Human rights
  • United Nations
EPON HR Executive Summary report cover.png
  • Africa
  • Peace operations
  • Conflict
  • Fragile states
  • Human rights
  • United Nations
Publications
Publications
Report
Charles T. Hunt, Adam Day, Fiifi Edu-Afful

UN Peace Operations & Human Rights: A Thematic Study

This study of the Effectiveness of Peace Operations Network (EPON) examines the contributions of the UN’s human rights work within a wide range of UN peace operations, including peacekeeping missions, special political missions (SPMs), and regional prevention offices. The core questions of this study were: (1) How does the UN’s human rights engagement contribute to the overall impact of UN peace operations, including the protection of civilians (POC)? (2) Overall, how do UN peace operations themselves contribute to human rights outcomes? and (3) What lessons can be drawn by comparing different UN peace operations in terms of building better synergies between human rights-focused activities and the other work of missions? The goal of the report is to offer a comparative, empirically backed assessment of the ways UN peace operations efforts to advance human rights contribute to mission effectiveness and broader mission objectives. Lead author Prof. Charles T. Hunt – Senior Fellow, United Nations University Centre for Policy Research/ Senior Research Associate, Institute for Security Studies/Professor of Global Security, RMIT University Co-authors Ms Emma Bapt – United Nations University Centre for Policy Research Dr Adam Day – United Nations University Centre for Policy Research Dr Fiifi Edu-Afful – Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) Ms Abigail Gérard-Baldé – Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC) Ms Hafsa Maalim – Independent researcher Ms Wendy MacClinchy – Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC) Ms Nadia Nata – Independent researcher Dr Claudia Pfeifer Cruz – Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)

  • Africa
  • Peace operations
  • Conflict
  • Human rights
  • United Nations
EPON Human Rights report cover 2.png
  • Africa
  • Peace operations
  • Conflict
  • Human rights
  • United Nations
Media
Media
Media

BRICS - en allianse mot verden

BRICS utvidast. Russland overtar samstundes leiarskapen i organisasjonen som utfordrar Vesten. Kva kan skje? NUPI-forskar Julie Wilhelmsen er ein av deltakarane i denne samtala i NRK-programmet Debatt i P2.

  • Security policy
  • Europe
  • Russia and Eurasia
  • The Middle East and North Africa
  • Africa
  • Asia
  • South and Central America
Screenshot 2024-02-27 at 13.07.04.png
  • Security policy
  • Europe
  • Russia and Eurasia
  • The Middle East and North Africa
  • Africa
  • Asia
  • South and Central America
Publications
Publications
Report

UNMISS 2022 Mandate Renewal: Risks and Opportunities in an Uncertain Peace Process

Ahead of the March 2022 renewal of the mandate for the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), the Effectiveness of Peace Operations Network (EPON) conducted an assessment focused on two core mandate areas: protection of civilians (PoC) and support for the peace process. Based on the assessment to follow, the report lays out several strategic considerations for the new UNMISS mandate

  • Africa
  • Peace operations
  • United Nations
UNMISS 2022 report cover 2.png
  • Africa
  • Peace operations
  • United Nations
Publications
Publications
Report

MONUSCO’s 2021 Mandate Renewal Transition and exit

In December 2021, in the context of mounting political tensions and growing insecurity in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) will decide whether to renew the mandate of the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO). The state of siege declared by President Tshisekedi in May 2021 has yet to stabilize the provinces in which it has been implemented. The political coalition in power remains fragile, and social and iden- tity-based conflicts are on the increase. Everyone expresses the need for stability, but effective strategies and decisive actions are still lacking. The joint transition plan developed by the United Nations team with participants from agencies, funds and programmes, and the DRC govern- ment recognizes the complexity of stabilization and provides a holistic plan for long-term sta- bility and peace recovery. This plan goes beyond traditional peace processes and expands its reach to social and economic issues. Although very ambitious, it offers a necessary bold step toward a responsible transition with clear benchmarks and a timeframe. This transition plan speaks to Congolese expectations toward MONUSCO, with priority accorded to the security situation in eastern DRC and the eradication of armed groups, based on three focus areas: the need for institutional reforms, an emphasis on holistic peacebuilding, and a people-centred approach to stabilization. The Security Council will have to decide how to strengthen and support these multiple reform processes by ensuring they are depoliticized and objective. Security sector reforms, administrative reforms, and fair redistribution of the dividends from natural resource exploitation will be central to the effectiveness of institutional reforms. The upcoming mandate should also look at how instability is caused/driven by not only violence and armed conflict, but also by socio-economic factors (inequalities, competition) and the weak social contract. For instance, despite the estimated labour participation of 64.07 per cent, the persistent high poverty rate (80 per cent, according to the 2019 UN Human Development Index Report) constitutes one element with the potential for social instability. One example of the weak social contract is the government’s struggle to provide essential services such as free education. Since the beginning of the 2021/2022 school year, in October 2021, many primary and secondary school children, and their teachers, have been protesting the lack of governmen- tal support to provide funding to public schools. These protests come in addition to others in sectors such as healthcare and public transport. All these elements fuel social and institutional instabilities, in turn affecting the prospects for a sustainable peace. It is important that the terms and framework of the mandate and logistical support to the DRC be expanded to include these areas as key determinants of stability. There is a need for a people-centred approach in defining stabilization, which must be locally owned and driven. While the UN mission supports the DRC in re-establishing peace, MONUSCO remains an outsider in this setting: it is up to Congolese and the DRC government to lead the process: local voices and adaptation to local contexts and strategies must be taken into consider- ation and included. MONUSCO can achieve its goals only if it focuses on ensuring local own- ership of the peace process. The Security Council can empower the mission to this end, through a more reflective and context-sensitive mandate.

  • Africa
  • Peace operations
  • AU
MONUSCO 2021 report cover 2.png
  • Africa
  • Peace operations
  • AU
Publications
Publications
Report
Alexandra Novossoloff

Assessing the Effectiveness of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) and The Office of the Special Adviser to the Secretary- Ge...

This report assesses the extent to which the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) along with the Office of the Special Adviser to the Secretary- General on Cyprus (OSASG) – also called the mission of the Good Offices – is achieving its mandate enshrined in Resolution 164 of March 1964. In 2024, the UN Missions in Cyprus will celebrate the 60th anniversary of their presence in the country, and it seems timely to analyse their impact and effectiveness over the years. The EPON report looks for the first time at what the peacekeeping research community has called “legacy operations”, those born during the Cold War and still in place today. UNFICYP is the eighth peacekeeping mission created since 1948. The report looks also at the interaction between peacekeeping and peacemaking in the context of a frozen conflict, often referred to by researchers and scholars as the “Cyprus problem”. Cyprus is a unique case in international relations and peace operations. Its capital city is the only remaining divided capital in Europe and in the world. Cyprus is the only country in the world to have “Guarantors” with a right to intervene and station troops on a permanent basis. The report acknowledges the role of prevention of UNFICYP to the extent that the people in Cyprus tend to forget that no cease-fire agreement exists between the parties. Peacekeeping has been successful at creating a comfortable status quo that peacemaking has yet been unable to break down. In this context, the lack of will from the parties to engage in a meaningful political process has limited the UN’s effectiveness.

  • Africa
  • Peace operations
  • United Nations
UNFICYP-OSASG 2021 report cover 2.png
  • Africa
  • Peace operations
  • United Nations
Publications
Publications
Report
Arthur Boutellis

MINUSMA’s 2021 mandate renewal in uncertain times

The Security Council will renew the mandate of the 8-year-old United Nations Multi-dimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) in June 2021 at a time of multiple transitions: on the Malian side with the Transition government due to end in February 2022, and on the mission side with a new SRSG. It also comes at a time of great uncertainties over the future of the peace process and political transition, but also over the future of the French regional military operations Barkhane and the Joint Force G5 Sahel. The overall security situation has deteriorated in Mali and beyond in the Sahel since 2013. Yet, Northern Mali enjoys a semblance of stability as the two rival coalitions of signatory armed groups found a modus vivendi. But progress in the implementation of the peace agreement is slow, state presence minimal, and attacks on a more resilient MINUSMA continue. Although violence has decreased in Central Mali since September 2020 largely due to the brokering of local agreements of different sorts, insecurity continues to spread further to the South of Mali. There seems to be a general consensus that the two strategic priorities of the MINUSMA mandate should remain to support the implementation of the Algiers Agreement by the Malian parties and to facilitate the implementation of a comprehensive politically led Malian strategy to protect civilians and re-establish State authority in Central Mali. The main issues for discussion will be how to carry out these priorities more effectively and how to best add to the mandate elements pertaining to supporting the Malian Transition without diverting limited resources away from the first two strategic priorities. Beyond the strategic priorities, issues of human rights and accountability, people-centered approaches, strategic communication, women’s participation, and climate-related security risks are also discussed in this report. Many of the challenges the mission is facing will however not be resolved by an adjusted mandate alone; but a clearer strategic direction from MINUSMA’s leadership strongly backed by a unified Security Council can certainly help.

  • Africa
  • Peace operations
  • United Nations
MINUSMA 2021 report cover 2.png
  • Africa
  • Peace operations
  • United Nations
Publications
Publications
Report

Assessing the Effectiveness of the United Nations-African Union Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID)

The United Nations-African Union Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) began its deploy- ment to Sudan in 2007 in the midst of widespread violence. UNAMID was the largest peace- keeping operation in the world at the time. Its drawdown and transition began a decade later, and today less than one-quarter of that force remains, concentrated in a small area in central Darfur. The intervening years witnessed a moribund peace process and a scorched-earth govern- ment military campaign against Darfuri rebels that killed thousands of civilians. A popu- lar uprising against the ruling system erupted in December 2018, and in April 2019, Omar al-Bashir, who had ruled Sudan since 1989, was deposed. The new transitional government and military-civilian Sovereign Council are now seeking to rescue a struggling economy and make peace with the people on Sudan’s peripheries. While the recently endorsed Juba Agreement brings new hopes for peace in Darfur, the way forward remains far from certain. With nearly two million IDPs, a deep humanitarian crisis, and rising levels of violence, Darfur in 2020 is far from being a stable place as UNAMID—the African Union and United Nations’ most important tool for security and stability—appears set to depart. This report assesses UNAMID’s impact over a ten-year period (2007-2017) and across its three strategic priorities: mediating between the government and non-signatory armed movements; protecting civilians, monitoring human rights, and facilitating humanitarian assistance; and supporting the mediation of community conflict. The report also makes observations and draws lessons from UNAMID’s transition (2017- 2020), a process still underway and for which it is too early to assess the definitive impact. Reflecting upon UNAMID’s unique features, the report includes lessons from the hybrid nature of the operation, as well as from the challenges posed by fragile host-nation cooper- ation. It draws on existing analyses and data as well as more than 140 interviews and focus group consultations with 700 community members in Darfur.

  • Africa
  • Peace operations
  • United Nations
EPON UNAMID 2020 report cover 2.png
  • Africa
  • Peace operations
  • United Nations
Publications
Publications
Report

Assessing the Effectiveness of the United Nations Integrated Multidimensional Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA)

The Central African Republic is emerging from a long history of slave raiding and trading, French concessionary colonialism, and authoritarian political rule. In December 2012, tensions escalated into civil war characterised by sexual and gender-based violence and near-gen- ocidal fighting. The United Nations Security Council authorised the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) to deploy in September 2014, under Chapter VII of the UN Charter. The Mission has the most complex of all current peacekeeping mandates. Of the three primary tasks in MINUSCA’s original mandate: (1) protecting civilians, (2) overseeing a political transition, and (3) extending state authority, the operation has fulfilled the second task, and is effectively working toward achieving the first and third. The Mission has helped to avert wide-scale killings and possible genocide, mitigate sexual violence, monitor human rights, protect vital humanitarian aid delivery, enable the development of female participation and leadership, build state capacity (especially in policing and justice), and enable democratic elections. In a creative, “bottom-up” approach to peace, the 15,000 members of MINUSCA have helped to establish dozens of local peace and reconciliation committees. Regional powers and MINUSCA have complemented this approach with a “top-down,” high-level, peace process that resulted in the landmark February 2019 Peace Accord. Several groups, however, con- tinue to spoil the peace. Armed groups control 75-80% of this lush, resource-rich, and land-locked country. The political economy of the conflict tends toward strengthening armed groups and spoilers. MINUSCA remains unpopular among many Central Africans. Dis- and misinformation about the upcoming 2020-21 elections and COVID-19 continue to under-mine progress. MINUSCA is helping to stabilise – providing a vital service to the country, region, and world – but it will be difficult to fully implement its mandate and depart a peaceful and prosperous Central Africa anytime soon.

  • Africa
  • Peace operations
  • United Nations
MINUSCA 2020 report cover 2.png
  • Africa
  • Peace operations
  • United Nations
Publications
Publications
Report
Jaïr van der Lijn, Linda Darkwa, Fiifi Edu-Afful, John Karlsrud, Natasja Rupesinghe

Assessing the Effectiveness of the United Nations Mission in Mali (MINUSMA)

Until 2016 MINUSMA managed to strengthen stability in northern Mali, decreasing the number of civilians killed in the conflict, and allowing large numbers of displaced persons to return home. MINUSMA also assisted the peace process, culminating in the 2015 Algiers Agreement. Many of these achievements are still standing. However, since 2016 MINUSMA’s effectiveness in terms of stabilisation and the protection of civilians has decreased. In the North, the signatory parties have been making slow progress in the implementation of the Algiers Agreement and the 2018 Pact for Peace. In addition, central Mali has destabilised significantly, as Jihadist activities have stoked a vicious cycle of inter-communal violence that has reached unprecedented levels. MINUSMA has only been mandated to help the Malian government address the situation since June 2018. As one of the largest multidimensional peacekeeping operations – currently including nearly 13,000 soldiers and 1,800 police officers from 57 contributing countries, and almost 750 civilians – MINUSMA has been provided with significant resources and an extraordinarily ambitious mandate. However, the Mission finds itself at a crossroads. It needs time to succeed, but this is valuable time Mali does not have. Civilians have come under increasing attack, and the US, in particular, is losing interest in supporting a costly UN peace operation that is not able to deliver quick results. This report considers the degree to which there is an alignment between the mission’s resources and its mandate. It also makes an assessment of the options available to the Mission to increase its effectiveness in the face of extremely challenging circumstances.

  • Africa
  • Peace operations
  • United Nations
MINUSMA 2019 report cover 2.png
  • Africa
  • Peace operations
  • United Nations
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