This work defines conflict broadly to encompass political instability and state failure, ethno-religious tensions, government and political corruption, economic mismanagement and poverty, cult violence, and youth gangsterism. Thematically organized chapters examine the origins and development of explosive hot spots—including Sudan, Somalia, Rwanda, and Democratic Republic of Congo—in West Africa, Nigeria, Southern Africa, the Horn of Africa and Central Africa, and the Great Lakes region. The book also explores outside factors that have impacted African conflicts, such as superpower Cold War manipulation and foreign influence and intervention.
The scene is set by an examination of the theoretical bases both of United Nations peacekeeping and of Africa’s post-independence politics and international relations. The peacekeeping project in Africa is then described on a region by region basis – Central Africa, Southern Africa, West Africa, the Horn and Trans-Saharan Africa – with comparisons and contrasts within and between each part of Africa highlighted throughout. A number of key questions are considered:
how have developments in the broader international system affected conflicts in Africa?
what are the internal and external forces which have caused African states to ‘fail’ and ‘collapse’?
how have external powers ‘used’ UN Peacekeeping in pursuit of their own political agendas?
what determines success and failure in African peacekeeping?
are there African solutions to African problems which could supplant UN involvement?
As well as providing an account of UN involvement, the book is concerned to explore the long historical origins of the African conflicts with which the UN has been engaged. Written in an engaging and accessible manner, United Nations Peacekeeping in Africa provides an invaluable examination of the complex issues surrounding UN interventions in Africa.
Key features include:
Thematically organised, with individual chapters exploring issues such as colonialism, ethnicity, nationalism, religion, social class, ideology, legitimacy, authority, sovereignty and democracy.
Identifies key recurrent themes such as the competitive relationships between the African state, its civil society and external interests.
Contains useful boxed case studies at the end of each chapter, including: Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria, Botswana, Côte d’Ivoire, Uganda, Somalia, Ghana, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Zimbabwe.
Each chapter concludes with key terms and definitions, as well as questions and advice on further reading.
This textbook is essential reading for students seeking an accessible introduction to the complex social relationships and events that characterise the politics of post-colonial Africa.