The United Nations has eight peacekeeping operations in Africa. As the number of simultaneous missions has increased, one of the challenges facing peacekeeping operations in Africa is how quickly to deploy troops to war zones. CIC's Richard Gowan comments
Lists of African success stories do not tend to include Chad. More than half of the country’s citizens live below the poverty line. Yet this year, Western powers and the U.N. have turned to Chad to help manage new crises in Mali and the Central African Republic (CAR).
Five countries have won two-year terms on the U.N. Security Council, including two potentially controversial countries. Chad has faced U.N. scrutiny for its use of child soldiers among the ranks of its military, while Saudi Arabia regularly faces international criticism for the state of human rights, and especially women’s rights, in the oil-rich kingdom.
The wars in Mali and Syria have followed very different trajectories over the past month. While Syria has become symbolic of international inaction, France’s use of force in Mali has shown that some Western governments are still willing to launch new interventions abroad. And while there have been no dramatic military shifts in Syria, French troops have pushed deep into northern Mali with growing speed.
Organized crime, public and private sector corruption, and the involvement of political actors in criminal activity are all long-standing features of political societies, regardless of country. But for developing countries, addressing these issues takes on heightened urgency and complexity: organized crime can derail development progress and foster broader insecurity. Delinking organized crime from politics while enhancing legitimate governance and the delivery of services will remain the most important challenge for many developing countries.
Is the United Nations on the verge of a disastrous summer? The organization is always vulnerable to political shocks as it juggles its peacekeeping duties, humanitarian aid and crisis diplomacy. It now faces an especially perilous period as it tries to navigate the wreckage of peacemaking in Syria while launching a potentially flawed peace operation in Mali. U.N. troops are also preparing to mount risky offensives against militias in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). If the U.N.
China has offered to send more than 500 soldiers to the UN force seeking to contain Islamist militants in Mali in what would be its biggest contribution to UN peacekeeping. The move could be a bid to overcome tensions with the West over the Syria conflict and to strengthen its relations in Africa, where it is a major buyer of oil and other resources, diplomats and experts said.
The Aid Worker Security Database (AWSD) records major incidents of violence against aid workers, with incident reports from 1997 through the present. Initiated in 2005, to date the AWSD remains the single most comprehensive global source of this data, providing a much-needed quantitative evidence base for analysis of the changing security environment for civilian aid operations. For more detail on the AWSD click here.