These reports are part of a series of background documents prepared for the Commission on the Impact of Drug Trafficking on Governance, Security and Development in West Africa (WACD). The series editor is CIC Fellow Camino Kavanagh.
For the first time, the United Nations Security Council has passed a resolution allowing UN troops to go on the offensive in a mission against armed rebels. The combat intervention brigade will operate as part of the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the northeastern region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Monusco). The force will conduct targeted operations independently and with the Congolese army to neutralize and reduce the threat of armed militias, protect civilians and stabilize the environment.
Policy discussions about peacekeeping frequently get bogged down in technical details, such as the wording of United Nations resolutions, rather than tackling big strategic questions. This has been true of most commentary on the U.N. Security Council’s decision in late-March to mandate an “intervention brigade” to “neutralize and disarm” armed groups in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
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.
Despite the presence of 1,500 peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). U.N. planners believe that drones would improve the operation's ability to track, and possibly pre-empt, hostile militia movements in future. There are further plans to deploy drones to other U.N. missions in West Africa.
In Africa and the War on Drugs, Neil Carrier and Gernot Klantschnig provide an insightful overview of the history of African drug production, trade, consumption and policy, with a particular focus on khat and cannabis.