THE ROLE OF UNITED NATIONS PEACE KEEPING MISSION IN AFRICA
1.1 Background of the study
For donkeys of days, the world has witnessed armed conflicts marked by systematic violence and mass atrocities against civilians, and has increasingly looked to the United Nations, and in particular to UN peacekeeping operations, to prevent and or to halt such crimes. The failures of missions to provide security in complex crises such as Somalia, and to protect civilians from mass atrocities in Rwanda and Bosnia, tested the fundamental principles and capabilities of UN peacekeeping operations and demonstrated that reform was urgently required. Since then, notable efforts have worked to improve the overall effectiveness of UN peacekeeping operations, including their capabilities to protect civilians. For a decade, the UN Security Council has also expressed its resolve to support more effective missions, and to put a greater spotlight on the protection of civilians, as seen by its series of statements and resolutions, and the request that the Secretary-General issue regular reports on the protection of civilians in armed conflict. More tangibly, UN peacekeeping mandates have changed, as the Council has shifted peacekeeping well beyond its traditional role of monitoring the implementation of peace agreements over the last decade. Modern peacekeeping missions are multidimensional, addressing the full spectrum of peace building activities, from providing secure environments to monitoring human rights and rebuilding the capacity of the state. Increasingly, such mandates also instruct peacekeeping missions to put an emphasis on the physical protection of civilians. As part of this evolution, ten UN peacekeeping operations have been explicitly mandated to “protect civilians under imminent threat of physical violence.”3 The first mission provided with this explicit mandate language, the UN peacekeeping operation in Sierra Leone, UNAMSIL, was authorized in 1999 inter alia “to afford protection to civilians under imminent threat of physical violence.”4 By 2009, the majority of the nearly 100,000 uniformed UN peacekeepers deployed worldwide operate with such mandates. The link between the protection of civilians and peacekeeping mandates is central. First, the safety and security of civilians is critical to the legitimacy and credibility of peacekeeping missions. Missions rely upon their legitimacy with the local civilian population and external observers alike to help build peace and maintain political momentum behind the peace process. Moreover, wherever peacekeepers deploy, they raise expectations among the local population and among those who view missions from afar that the reason for their presence is to support people at risk. As seen in Rwanda, the Balkans, Sierra Leone, Haiti, DRC and Darfur, among others, peacekeeping operations that are ill-prepared to address large-scale violence directed against civilians will falter and may even collapse. While missions work to manage high expectations, they also need to address the security of civilians to build and maintain the legitimacy and credibility needed to carry out their other mandated tasks to assist with the political and local reconsolidation efforts and peace building.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is experiencing unrest primarily in its eastern region due to various ethnic and political differences. Violence and instability have always been an issue in this former Belgian colony. The issue at hand today is to try to maintain peace in an area that has experienced two wars within the past decade with violence continuing to this day. According to the United Nations, 3.8 million lives were lost to wars and there approximately 1,000 deaths per day as a direct result from the interior conflict of the DRC. In addition, about 2.4 million people have been internally displaced and 388,000 people have been refugeed out of the country due to persisting violence in areas such as North and South Kivu, The Democratic Republic of the Congo is experiencing unrest primarily in its eastern region due to various ethnic and political differences. Violence and instability have always been an issue in this former Belgian colony. The issue at hand today is to try to maintain peace in an area that has experienced two wars within the past decade with violence continuing to this day. According to the United Nations, 3.8 million lives were lost to wars and there approximately 1,000 deaths per day as a direct result from the interior conflict of the DRC. In addition, about 2.4 million people have been internally displaced and 388,000 people have been refugee out of the country due to persisting violence in areas such as North and South Kivu, Katanga, and the Itori region. However, violence and unrest is not limited to these areas. Sexual violence is the worst and most prevalent problem in the DRC, with a reported 14,200 cases of rape registered from 2005 to 2007. Other problems include malnourishment, disease, and deaths by landmines. The DRC has the potential of being one of Africa’s richest countries, but is held back by its instability and constant conflict. Surrounded by nine other nations, the DRC is often central to regional conflict. Current violence involves influence from both Rwanda and Uganda, who have consistently tried to invade the region.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
According to Master Sun Tzu (1905) stated that ” for we to have peace we must first of all understand war” that is why the united nation UN forces have been using force since the late 1950’s in different contexts and constellations and there has been a general acceptance for the institute of peacekeeping in state practice, however the concept of peace itself is war. The dangers associated with peace keeping are numerous as the opposition will never give in without a fight, this fight has led to chaos, civilian casualties and loss of life and property, it is on this note that the researcher intends to investigate the role of united nation peace keeping mission in Africa.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The main objective of the study is to ascertain the role of United Nations peace keeping mission in Africa. But for the purpose of the study the researcher intends to achieve the following objective;
i) To ascertain the role of united nation peace keeping mission in DR Congo
ii) To investigate the impact of peace keeping mission on the security of life and property of DR Congo
iii) To ascertain the relationship between the UN peace Keeping mission and restoration of peace and order
iv) To investigate the effect of UN peace keeping mission on the economic development of Africa
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTION
For the purpose of the study, the following research questions are formulated by the researcher;
i) What is the role of UN peace keeping mission in DR Congo?
ii) What is the impact of UN peace keeping mission on the security of life and property in DR Congo?
iii) Is there any relationship between UN peace keeping mission and restoration of peace and order in DR Congo?
iv) What is the effect of UN peace keeping mission on the economic growth of Africa?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
For the purpose of the study; the following research hypotheses were formulated;
H0: UN peace keeping mission does not play any role in restoring peace in DR Congo
H1: UN peace keeping mission plays a significant role in restoring peace and order in DR Congo
H02: UN peace keeping mission does not have any impact on the protection of life and property in DR Congo?
H2: UN peace keeping mission have a significant impact on the protection of life and property in DR Congo
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
It is believed that at the completion of the study, the findings will be of importance to the United Nation peace keeping envoy as the study will suggest ways of achieving more result in peace keeping mission in Africa. The study will also be of importance to researchers who wishes to embark on a study in similar topic as the findings will serve as a guide or reference point. The study will also be of importance to academia as the study will add to the pool of knowledge. Finally the study will be of importance to teachers, lecturers, students and the general public as the findings will expand the frontiers of knowledge.
1.7 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The scope of the study covers the role of united nation peace keeping mission in Africa with emphasis on DR Congo. But in the cause of the study; the researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study. Some of these constrain are enumerated below.
(a)Availability of research material: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient thereby limiting the study.
(b)Time: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
(c)Finance: The finance available for the research work does not allow for wider coverage as resources are very limited as the researcher has other academic bills to cover.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
United Nation (UN)
The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization to promote international co-operation. A replacement for the ineffective League of Nations, the organization was established on 24 October 1945 after World War 11 in order to prevent another such conflict. At its founding, the UN had 51 member states, there are now 193. The headquarters of the UN is in Manhattan, New York City and experiences extraterritoriality. Further main offices are situated in Geneva, Nairobi and Vienna.
Peacekeeping refers to activities intended to create conditions that favor lasting peace. Research generally finds that peacekeeping reduces civilian and battlefield deaths and reduces the risk of renewed warfare.
Within the United Nations (UN) group of nation-state governments and organizations, there is a general understanding that at the international level, peacekeepers monitor and observe peace processes in post-conflict areas, and may assist ex-combatants in implementing peace agreement commitments that they have undertaken
Africa is the world’s second-largest and second-most-populous continent. At about 30.3 million km² (11.7 million square miles) including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earth’s total surface area and 20.4 % of its total land area. With 1.2 billion people as of 2016, it accounts for about 16% of the world’s human population.
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