UN Peacekeeping in Africa: From the Suez Crisis to the Sudan Conflicts

In this wide-ranging book on UN peacekeeping missions in Africa, Dr. Adekeye Adebajo examines fifteen different operations on the continent spanning five-and-a-half decades. It is the first comprehensive historical and analytical review of UN peacekeeping efforts in Africa.

Beginning with the first UN peacekeeping mission deployed during the Suez crisis in 1956, Dr. Adebajo tackles many of the myths surrounding peacekeeping in Africa, and traces the influence of national interests in determining outcomes. “This book,” he says, “is about the games that great powers play.”

Dr. Adebajo identifies three factors that contributed to the success of some UN peacekeeping missions:

1) The interests of key members of the UN Security Council needing to be aligned to efforts to resolve the conflict, and their willingness to mobilize resources and support for peace processes;

2) the willingness of belligerent parties to cooperate with the UN to implement peace accords or, an effective strategy to deal with potential “spoilers”; and

3) the cooperation of regional players in peace processes.

Going forward, Dr. Adebajo argues that by working in a pragmatic and cooperative spirit, international and national officials can overcome many—if not all—the dysfunctions, operational failures, and shortcomings of earlier peace operations in Africa.

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Table of Contents:

  • Foreword—Terje Rød-Larsen
  • Foreword—James Jonah
  • Introduction: Blue Berets, Burning Brushfires
  • The Stealing of Suez and the Sahara: The UN in North Africa
  • “No More Congos!”: The UN in the Great Lakes Region
  • Orphans of the Cold War: The UN in Southern Africa
  • The Tragic Triplets: The UN in West Africa
  • Conflicts of Identity: The UN in the Horn of Africa
  • Conclusion: From Burden Shedding to Burden Sharing

About the Author
Dr. Adekeye Adebajo is Executive Director of the Centre for Conflict Resolution in Cape Town, South Africa. He served as the Director of the Africa Programme at the International Peace Institute between 2001 and 2003. He has also served in UN missions in the Western Sahara, South Africa, and Iraq. His previous publications include The Curse of Berlin: Africa After the Cold War, From Global Apartheid to Global Village: Africa and the United Nations, Liberia’s Civil War: Nigeria, ECOMOG, and Regional Security in West Africa, and Building Peace in West Africa: Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea-Bissau.

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