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Un Peackeeping Operations in Africa

In: Historical Events

Submitted By tinashe
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The horrors of Somalia, Angola and the Congo (present day Democratic Republic of Congo) made the new challenges that the present day United Nations faces easier to confront, as they highlighted the glaring weaknesses that riddled the early days of peacekeeping. The UN was portrayed as a vulnerable institution without a spine which could not enact strong and effective policies to deal with interventions, and it was this view which led me to look at the three most decisive UN interventions conducted on the African continent since its inception. The interventions in Angola , Somalia and Congo , were all conducted at different stages of the UN’s reign , and as such they help paint a clearer image on how far the organisation has come from post-World War II , through the Cold War to the present day.

A major tool of the UN in its unprecedented efforts has been its UN Charter , within which it manifests its principles and goals clearly and concisely, and it is through this framework that it has conducted itself in every UN peacekeeping mission. The Charter is the working document of the UN as it follows its guidelines in a diligent and stringent manner. However, this stance has led to it being exploited by more cunning leaders, or even finding itself in the complex situation of being tempted to disobey the Charter, due to its limiting and constraining nature.

In this essay, I will focus primarily on a combination of all the approaches used in writing essays .As such I will describe the three peacekeeping missions I have chosen mainly the UNOSOM, UNAVEM and UNOC and explain their history up until their demise, while also providing a critical analysis of the minute details that caused them to not fully achieve their set goals and thus result in abject failure. I will also theoretically look at the events and situations surrounding each mission as well as give an in depth comparison and contrast on the UN initiatives taken, and how their outcomes have affected the present day peacekeeping .As well as looking at the lessons that can be taken from the missions, it is also important to make a thorough and focused discussion about the nature and proper scope of peacekeeping, especially how best to match expectations with harsh realities.

In conclusion , a comprehensive account of possible peacekeeping developments in the twenty first century and beyond will be looked at , as well the different channels than can be used to ensure a better outcome and consequence of the UN peacekeeping’s. All three interventions therefore serve as a benchmark upon which the strides taken by the UN , from dealing with the first ever mission in Africa , in the Congo , to the Somali intervention which still haunts the UN to this day and the experiment that was conducted in Angola can be measured upon. The UN has indeed overseen a seismic shift from the ‘old ‘ guard to contemporary politics , and this essay aims to provide an impartial look at these events , while also appreciating the efforts and mistakes of the UN but still recognizing its impact on the international community as a peace guarantor.



The historical background of the conflict was based on the political situation that constituted the Congo before independence in 1960.There were only 17 university graduates, most of whom had obtained their qualifications overseas, making for a non-educated elite which was to take over from the Belgians .Besides this, there was no formal tertiary institutions and the few that existed were catering to the Belgians, and not nearly producing enough educated black leaders. There was also the ‘winds of change’ movement that had started to take shape across Africa, and this precipitated in the growing need for national self-determination by the local population. This was also directly linked to the increase in political activity and political parties, raising the political awareness of the previously docile natives. The Non-aligned states, comprising of newly independent states were preaching anti-imperialist rhetoric that further created a hostile and boiling environment in an already volatile country.

The Belgians were not willing to surrender the military power, by maintaining a majority of white generals in the Force Republique, the national army of the Congo. They were also in charge of the economic interests of the Congo by maintaining control of the Katanga province, which had minerals to the value of 40% of the GDP of the entire country. Internally, the country was riddled with tribal divisions, with three adversaries taking center stage. Alliance de Bakongo (ABAKO), which was under Joseph Kasavubu, whose main goal was to reunite the BaKongo people spread over the exterior of the Congo into a single force, Confederation des associations tribales du Katanga (CONAKAT) under Moise Tshombe which represented the Katanga province and was to prove a stumbling block in unification of the country, and the Mouvement Nationale Congolaise (MNC) which had the majority of support and was under the leadership of Patrice Lumumba.

These internal divisions would make any form of government difficult to operate especially without the support of key provinces, Katanga, which had the majority of diamonds and was threatening to gain its own independence. The government would also face the problem of gaining legitimacy in Congo and in the international community as the two Cold war superpowers, United States of America and the Soviet Union were in support of different regimes leading Congo, pledging allegiance to Tshombe and Lumumba respectively.

The independence of Congo came about on the eve of May 1960, after months of agitation between the Belgians and the Congolese people who had become disillusioned by colonial rule. The MNC demanded the immediate handover of power to majority African rule, and the expulsion of foreign nationals who were not willing to give up power, citing that the time was ripe for change after decades of colonial rule. The ruling minority, the Belgians had no option but to cede power to the majority, and an election to decide the new make-up of government resulted in the MNC taking 33 seats, a majority, but critically failing to secure votes in Léopoldville and South Katanga. Lumumba assumed the Prime Ministerial post, all but leading the country but was forced to elect his rival and fierce competitor, Kasavubu as a non-executive president, with somewhat limited powers.

However, just five days after this monumental event, the Force Republique, mutinied as a result of unmet demands for better wages and conditions. This led to an internal insurrection within the newly formed but fragile government, leading to mistrust by all parties. Moise Tshombe, immediately called for the independence of Katanga, aided by the south and 32000 Europeans, leading to panic on the part of the government. This move, led to the Katanga becoming a provincial government while assuming 40% of the Gross Domestic Product of the Congo.Patrice Lumumba, desperate not to lose control of the key towns of Léopoldville and Elizabethville asked for UN assistance to help him in restoring law and order. Lumumba also wanted the expertise of the UN to help him mold the new army, Arme Nationale Congolaise into a tight knit force that could effectively control the entire country.

The UN failed to respond timeously , albeit locked in internal squabbles and this forced Lumumba to seek support from the Soviet Union instead, as a way of dealing with external aggression from the US who were now involved due to their interests in Katanga. On the 13th of July, 1960 the USSR offered this assistance in terms of military equipment and ammunition, while the UN Secretary General at the time, Dag Hammarskjold was slowly mobilizing a UN force to give the Congo military and technical assistance.

The UN was to launch a 2 phase operation, the first being that of restoring law and order , and the second being to prevent the outbreak of a civil war .From the onset this intervention was unclear as to how exactly these mandates would be carried out, the personnel in charge and the deadlines for the mission were not set. Also the UN faced the challenge of goodwill and trying to operate within the confines of the UN Charter. There was always going to be debate on whether this mission, would result in the impeding of the sovereignty of Congo, and as such the UN was treading on dangerous ground from its commencement.

Peacekeepers also had to be wary of not being involved in the civil war, but the aggression they would encounter would lead to an even deeper problem. There was also the difficulty of trying to bring about democratic principles to a country that had no education on the concept, and also one that only knew how to fight and use military leverage to pursue their means. However, Hammarskjold proceeded to sanction the peacekeeping mission of the Congo and it would commence in the middle of July, 1960.

2.1.1 UNOC

ONUC (United Nations Operation of the Congo), was a peacekeeping mission in the Congo that presided over the post-colonial conflict that emerged in the country soon after gaining its independence. The operation ran from July 1960-June 1964, and was to be one of the most protracted and complicated UN missions ever embarked on. The United States of America and the then Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics(U.S.S.R ) were to use the turbulent situation in the Congo to conduct proxy wars , were they wanted to exert their influence and principals on the Congolese people without any direct interference.

Deployment of troops began on the 19th of July, with a battalion of about 14500 troops descending on the Congo interior. The contingent comprised of mostly Africans, who were pushing for an African agenda, and also small numbers of Swedish and Irish troops, who wanted to reassure the European’s safety who had stayed on Congo after the transition of power. From the beginning, the UN stressed the need for UNOC to remain as neutral as possible, avoiding taking any sides or becoming embroiled in the internal conflict. This was in response to the events that had occurred with regards to the secession of Katanga and the marginalised Kasai provinces coupled with the numerous internal strife’s that were plaguing the country.

This stance however, failed to appease Lumumba who interpreted it as a way of the UN trying to maintain the status quo, and thus resorted to seeking help from the Soviets in the form of weaponry and technical assistance. This move proved to be fatal, leading to a massacre of civilians in the Katanga region under siege from Lumumba’s well manned forces. The fighting carried on, and the US was forced to enter on the side of Kasabvu, resulting in them regaining authority over Katanga and also driving the forces further back to the capital. Lumumba suffered major blows in Léopoldville and the UN in line with its neutral stance made the major mistake of not interfering amidst the capture of Lumumba by the western backed forces. He was subsequently detained and executed by his enemies in Katanga, under the eyes of US and Belgian’s intelligence officials. In September 1960, after months of heavy fighting and shelling in the capital, the MNC was ousted out of power and a new government installed, under the leadership of the western backed Kasabvu.

The United States further dictated events by propelling Lumumba’s former army general, Joseph Mobutu into power as the new leader of the armed forces. This move resulted in the expulsion of all Soviet personnel, and the MNC was well and truly out of power. The few remaining elements were dealt with by the new government and thrown out of parliament. Fearing a major civil war and a purge of Lumumba’s remaining supporters the UN was forced to revise their original mandate to one of prevention and protection. In 1961, the second phase of the operation was enacted with the passing of UN Security Council resolution 161A, which was aimed at taking all necessary steps and action to prevent the outbreak of a civil war, even by force if required to do so. This further raised questions on the whole point of the UN’s involvement in an already bloody massacre.

The second operation commenced in February 1961, and there was an overall increase in troops as well as personnel, technical assistance and equipment. The mandate changed from a passive one to one which was more aggressive on the perpetrators and their leadership. Key changes were made with Doctor Connor O’Brien assuming the position of the Secretary General’s representative in Congo, and he was a more aggressive and no nonsense personality.

Also the arrival of Indian soldiers, who were Non-aligned to the Africans and possessed a brutal element in their military regime, signaled the end of brotherhood politics. These troops were not to be bullied, and O’Brien himself had a personal vendetta to end the Katanga province existence, culminating into a dirty affair on the part the United Nations .Other factors which had resulted in this stance being adopted were caused by the massacre of the Kasai people by the Katanga backed troops as well as the disrespectful manner in which they had engaged the UN forces in, which was utterly disgraceful.

O’Brien and his contingent took immediate action and proceeded to launch a secret mission, “Operation Rumpunch”, to seize political leaders and on the 28th of August they managed to arrest key officials in the capital of Katanga, Elizabethville. This operation achieved moderate success as it failed to capture the most important man, Moise Tshombe and a second operation was planned for the final push in the end of Katanga. Operation Mortha “was launched on 13 September 1961 , and just like its predecessor it failed to capturer Tshombe once more due to a lack of clear strategy and plan. The remaining officials including Tshombe managed to escape out of Katanga. The mission was further complicated by the death of Hammarskjold in a plane crash en route to meet with the beleaguered Tshombe to negotiate a ceasefire. The UN was forced to adopt Resolution 169, which allowed the UNOC mission to expel all foreign military personnel and ultimately pledge allegiance to the central government. This resolution was passed as a means to clear any doubts over the legality of their intended actions.

Fighting resumed with Katanga, with UNOC failing to secure an outright victory which would bring the succession to an end. This highlighted once more the lack of clear goals and objectives on the part of the UN to ensure a decisive victory. However, a series of unplanned events resulted in the fall of Katanga. The Katanga militia had gained an over confidence due to their victories over UNOC personnel on its supply routes, by bombing the planes with resources and also their capturing of major routes. As such they had become complacent and overestimated their capabilities in keeping the UNOC forces at bay.

When the fighting resumed once more they were found wanting in supplies and strategy, and were easily over run by the now battle hardened UN forces , who had the extra incentive of protecting their diminishing resources from the rogue Katanga forces. Also in the mix , was the US which had switched sides and increased its support in arms and logistics to protect their interests in the minefields in Katanga and this led to the fall of Katanga. In June 1964 , the operation seized with the capture of Katanga and restoring of government rule to the rebellious province. The fall of Katanga brought peace to the country for the first time in over 5 years and this coincide with the evacuation and withdrawal of UNOC. The pilot peacekeeping effort in Africa had come to an end, but at a heavy cost of resources , equipment , men and personnel. Although relative peace was managed to be ushered in there were still clear deficiencies in terms of a new government structure, as the officials were not educated or experienced enough to lead a non-democratic society. Also the emergence of Mobutu as the new leader , an army general by profession would lead to an almost similar rule and events occurring during his tyranny .The UN had brought stability but failed to implement a sustainable environment for a prosperous and conflict free Congo , and this dilemma would rear its head once more in the 1990’s.


This peacekeeping operation was one of the most complicated and poorly organised missions that the United Nations has ever conducted in the international arena. There were many catastrophic errors made from its inception to its demise , and it exposed the vast weaknesses that plagued UN interventions in the post- Cold War era. Three different operations had to be carried out , each with its objectives to resolve the crisis , each with a different outcome. The history of this conflict was more cultural than ethnic , as Somalis identified themselves as one , through a society which had patrilineal genealogical origins , based on relations to the immediate families. Clans were divided into sub clans , which were further broken down into family subsets. It was through this classification that conflict arose , and in 1969 there was a military coup by General Siad Barre which resulted in regional conflict stretching from Somalia to Ethiopia. For years he presided over a relatively stabilized region until the Independence of Djibouti in 1977 shook his stronghold on power.

This revelation triggered the Somali-Ethiopia conflict in the Ogaden region , with Somalia suffering a heavy defeat to the Ethiopians. This defeat had long lasting effects for the region in the form of a permanent refuge problem from the dispersed Somalis and a further insurrection on General Barre from the northern clans and the north east. The refugee problem made Somalia dependent on aid as a means of survival and through this dilemma, further conflict arose in the fight for humanitarian and financial assistance. Italy entered the conflict in 1978, through providing General Barre with weapons to fight the revolting northern clans and he managed to regain a foothold of that territory, albeit not total control of it. The conflict continued for the next decade and in 1990, Italian assistance stopped leading to the fall of General Barres regime in 1991. By then the country had disintegrated into traditional clan segments, similar to when he started his rule. A temporary ceasefire and unity followed as the rival clans united to oust General Barre, who had become a common enemy. The union was successful as he was eventually defeated with the Hawiye clan assuming power of Somalia. The irony however was that the Hawiye only entered the war at the last phase and yet when the dust settled, they came out on top, something which would prove to be a trigger of an even more tragic conflict.

Between 1991 and 1992 Mogadishu was divided into two , one side under General Mohammed Farrah Aideed and the other under President Ali Mahdi Mohammed , who had failed to agree on how best to share power after Barre’s downfall. As such a war broke out in pursuit of territory and power resulting in the death of 30000 people, with 27000 wounded by the end of 1992. Somalia was now a failed state by then, with no basic amenities such as transport, water and electricity, with a depreciating humanitarian crises looming. The international community stood by as the situation deteriorated even further with the death toll rising to around 500 innocent civilians per day. A temporary relief mission was implemented, with a ceasefire reached until the aid was delivered to the suffering masses. Over 2, 5 million people were in severe danger of starvation and malnutrition related diseases, with a further 1, 5 million becoming refugees. Pressure from international aid agencies like CARE-US and the RED CROSS, led to calls for an immediate intervention to curb the dire humanitarian conditions. The media coverage also broadcasted appalling living conditions and the ‘CNN effect’, of perceived journalism came in to play, forcing the Secretary General, Boutros-Ghali to mobilise a peacekeeping force scheduled for July 1992.


The Secretary General pushed the Somalia cause on the UN agenda, but failed to give a clear objective on the form of intervention to be used and also there was the matter that there was no government to negotiate with. UNOSOM I was to be the first part in a series of UN peacekeeping missions to provide, facilitate and secure humanitarian relief in Somalia, as well to monitor the brokered ceasefire of the Somali Civil War conflict of the early 1990s. The UN had hoped that a peacekeeping force with a mandate to provide relief effort, in conjunction with other relief agencies would be sufficient to stop the crisis. By April 1992, Resolution 751 was passed by the Security Council, with the mandate of 50 UN troops monitoring the humanitarian situation as well as the ceasefire, with the consent of both Aideed and Ali. It encountered a minor delay, and the delegation only entered in August 1992, after the political leaders had sanctioned its entry into Somalia. A backup of 500 infantry soldiers, to protect the relief workers and aid was discussed, but Aideed refused for such a strong force to enter into the mainland fearing a direct threat on his stronghold of Mogadishu, the capital.

The UN failed to take heed of this warning, and it set itself up for a bloody onslaught from the warlords’ forces. The leaders had been willing to meet with the UN officials, and discuss a comprehensive relief package that would have suited both parties but Boutros-Ghali did not promote a meeting with the ‘enemy’. The United Nations Headquarters, created problems through a series of naïve decisions, firstly by underestimating the size of Somalia and the force, and as such sending a small force in comparison to the actual men required for the job at hand. They also gave Aideed significant leverage by deciding to centralize the mission in Mogadishu, thereby leaving themselves at the mercy of his sphere of influence, the Somali National Army (SNA).On the ground the representative of the UN, General Sahnoun was denied assistance by the NGOs and relief agencies, and there was a delay in the deployment of the critical troops from Pakistan, who only landed in October and not in September. The UN also displayed a facet of its weakness by being too soft on Aideed and Ali in its inability to thoroughly investigate and bring to book those responsible for the shooting of a relief UN aero plane in July 1992. This gave the warlords the impression that UNOSOM was merely a toothless bulldog, and that they could undermine this indecision in all dealings from then on.

Despite the UN’s efforts, all over Somalia the ceasefire was ignored while aid was seized, and sometimes officials killed and taken captive. Fighting continued, exposing the relief operation to great risk, while the main parties to the ceasefire, Aideed and Ali continued to frustrate any negotiation attempts, highlighting the troubled and difficult relations that existed between them. This negated all efforts to move peacekeepers, aid, supplies and secure drought stricken areas. In August 1992, 3000 troops were scheduled to be sent to combat any aggressors against relief workers, but indecision in the Security Council led to none being sent. Conditions deteriorated, with new factions emerging from smaller groups, while agreements for food distribution were proving fruitless as food had to be shipped through rival territories. The mission was proving to be daunting, with troops being shot at, aid stolen, ships prevented from docking and some elements actively seeking to oppose the UNOSOM intervention. Internally there was a growing belief that the UN was actively pro Al-Mahdi and thus they were not willing to cooperate on anymore with a friend of an enemy.

There were many reasons why the mission failed, but at the top of them was the lack of a proper mandate and a small size of troops for a much bigger problem .UNOSOM had failed to stop the starvation, the ceasefire agreement was hanging by a thread, the state had collapsed and the final nail came in November 1992, when Aideed formally defied the Security Council and called for the withdrawal of UN peacekeepers. In a small time frame, the UN had changed from the protectors to hostages, and it became evident that a more stern initiative was required to deal with this growing international security conundrum which was threatening to disturb world peace.


In November 1992, the United States of America offered a multinational force under its own command to secure and save the situation from total collapse. Among the biggest challenges facing the mission were combating famine and weapons which were threatening to derail UNITAF before it even commenced. Reported incidents of the shelling of a World Food Program ship and an attack on Pakistani troops showed how hostile the Somalis had become to the UN efforts. The UN had no option other than to accept this offer , and they formally authorised the mission with a clear mandate to utilise all necessary means to ensure the protection of all relief efforts. The Security Council unanimously decided to suspend any further efforts of UNOSOM I and UNITAF became the new peacekeeping mission in Somalia.

The US administration at this time was under the leadership of George Bush Senior , and he envisaged a glorious ending to his rule , so solving the Somalia crisis appealed highly to him. Also the US was the only country perceived by the Somalis as being neutral and with no hidden motives , so they appealed to the local population. Financially the US had the means to carry out a successful mission , with state of the art weapons , technology and technical assistance within their ranks. Resolution 794 was passed to legally endorse the mission , which would see out the safe passage for humanitarian assistance. The mission would comprise of soldiers from 24 different countries , with the US providing the majority of 28000 troops in Operation Restore Hope , with a withdrawal set for January 1993. The US force arrived on 9 December , with Robert Oakley , a US diplomat leading the operation and Ismat Kettani acting as the UN representative on the ground.

UNITAF immediately secured the relief operations which were being carried out by UNOSOM I , who still maintained an observer stance with the intention to continue its mandate of restoring law , order and democracy once UNITAF had fulfilled its role as a relief guarantor. The mission was faced with problems between the US and UN over the exit time frame ,as the US wanted a quick exit but it was evident that more time was needed to solve the crisis. The Secretary General , Boutros-Ghali convened a meeting with all key 14 political personnel including Aideed and Ali ,were they agreed to hand over all their weapons to UNITAF and UNOSOM I, with the UN pledging around $130 million to reconstruct the country. Tensions eased , fighting seized and things looked like they were on course for a peaceful transition to democratic rule. However , UNITAF missed this opportunity by failing to get a solid commitment from all sides to a ceasefire , and as such Somalis lost hope in UNITAF , which was now disrupted by internal battles over US withdrawal , UN increase in troops and what form of force would constitute as ‘humanitarian aid’. In 1993 a principal agreement was signed towards a ceasefire , with the new Clinton administration pledging further assistance to the UN efforts.

General Aideed continued to avoid a direct commitment , and pursued a pro-US stance , pitting the US and UN against each other. The lack of effective decision making enhanced the warlords’ status that were now seen as fighting against imperial agents , while actively seeking a ceasefire agreement. In March 1993 , the warlords and clan leaders agreed to disarmament facilitated by UNITAF and UNOSOM with the Transitional National Council being set up with representatives from the 18 regions. This groundbreaking effort failed to materialize when the US prematurely departed , citing logistical difficulties and the change in foreign policy from the new incumbent President Bill Clinton.


The failure of UNITAF paved the way for a second UN led offensive aimed at nullifying the situation once and for all. This operation spanned from March 1993 to March 1995 , and it was envisaged that by its end ,Somalia would have become a civilian government led state. Resolution 814 was passed to commence the mission , and the mandate was to carry on from where UNITAF had left , but also disarm the Somalia militia according to Chapter VII , which states the action to be taken with respect to threats of peace , breaches of peace and acts of aggression. This broadly meant that the UN had endorsed UNOSOM II to use any form of force deemed necessary to pursue its objectives regardless of the peacekeeping nature of the mission. It was to become a peace enforcement body but with the characteristics of a peacekeeping one.

A federalist government of 18 autonomous regions was to be formed and it was this political dispensation that made the objective of UNOSOM II to support this initiative on nation building in Somalia. It was a simple and clear task that involved the disarming of the various factions , restoring law and order , setting up government and restoring infrastructure. UNOSOM II had a multicultural force of 28000 men , including 22000 troops and 8000 logistic and civilian staff from all over the world , such as France , Belgium , Pakistan , Italy and Zimbabwe. The US had the most men , 1167 troops and they were to work under a Quick Reaction Force , stationed with US navy ships off the coast of Somalia. Their main tasks were to respond to any threats on UNOSOM II but needed approval from Florida , were the headquarters were situated.

Tensions continued ,with UNOSOM II adopting a more reactionary stance , soon after Aideed publicly spread anti-UN broadcasts on the national airwaves , radio Mogadishu.With more than 70% of Somalis illiterate this was a vital tool in the spread of propaganda , and Aideed used this to his advantage to propel his views. Tensions reached their peak when on the 5th of June 1993 , a Pakistani led force was sent to Mogadishu to investigate five arms depot there, which were under their mandate and within their supervision. It was in one of these, that radio Mogadishu was situated, and the SNA forces backed by Aideed indicated that any inspections in this site would be perceived as war on their part. The UN went ahead as it was legally within their mandate , and this resulted in a bloody and fatal conflict in which 24 Pakistanis were killed , and 35 Somalis died in the battle. The UN immediately declared war on Aideed citing that he had violated the peaceful agreements of UNOSOM II.

They UN responded by issuing Resolution 837 ,reaffirming that the Secretary General was to , “take any all necessary measures against those responsible for the armed attacks and establish the effective authority of UNOSOM II in Somali. “This declaration of war led to many confrontations with Aideed’s militia throughout Mogadishu, and though it lacked fighting resources, being a primarily defensive unit it marked a change in UN , moving towards more coercion and aggression. A lack of resources made it impossible to completely tackle Aideed, but four months of heavy fighting continued leading to massive casualties on both sides. Between 12 – 17 June , attacks were launched to capture Aideed , and an arrest warrant worth $25000 leading to his capture was even issued. The hunt for Aideed ,characterized much of UNOSOM II , and led to an increase in civilian casualties and destroyed the last remnants of relations between UN and Somalia.

A series of fatal events occurred during this time, such as the needless killing of four journalists as a retaliation to the killings of Somali clan leaders during a meeting in Mogadishu by the Cobras, an elite US task force team. Somalis who had initially been in favour of UN intervention lost faith in UNOSOM II and reverted to the warlords they had defied. Islamic fundamentalism spread and religion was used as a weapon for carnage of UN troops. The Americans began to lose influence in Mogadishu , and the warlords regained key parts of the district , and Aideed’s resistance led to more anti-US sentiments. Somali militia began to strategically target peacekeepers and on 8 August , they detonated a bomb against an American military vehicle , killing 7 Americans.

The Clinton administration sent a Task Force Ranger team comprising of 160 elite troops to rescue Americans from further attacks and to also capture the tyrant , Aideed. On the 3rd of October , the team raided a hotel in Mogadishu, were Aideed was suspected to be hiding. A long , bloody and deadly battle followed and the battle of Mogadishu led to the death of 18 US soldiers , 8 wounded and I Malay was killed. The ‘CNN effect’ showing bodies of Americans being dragged in the streets of Mogadishu led to US public back home calling for the withdrawal of American forces in what they now viewed as an unnecessary war. On October 7 , Clinton called the end of US involvement , with 31 March 1994 set as the last date of withdrawal. The UN responded by passing Resolution 954 , which extended the UNOSOM II mandate for a final period ending on March 31 , 1995.In March 1994 , a ceasefire agreement was agreed upon to set up an interim government by 15 May 1994.

Further peacekeeping efforts failed , and in November 1994 the Security Council voted unanimously to withdraw all forces under Resolution 954. A new Resolution 897 placed emphasis on peacemaking and reconstruction by March 1995 , but all efforts were affected by the dwindling number in forces left , with Belgians , French all leaving after the US evacuation. The US forces stationed by the coast had to rescue remaining UNOSOM II troops after they had been taken hostage , and the mission was formally abandoned on March 28 , 1995.

After UNOSOM II had seized, many efforts were made to bring about the necessary change that was required in Somali. But numerous talks on ceasefire , disarmament and new government broke down with the continued postponements on conferences to resolve these pending issues, and the faction leaders simply ignored these calls .Hussein Mohamed Farrah took over after his father , Aideed’s death in a battle in July 1996 and for once Somalia looked like it finally had a leader capable of negations and most importantly a former Marine of the US during Operation Restore Hope , so he could be relied on and had good relations with the USA. But as had proved since Barres days in power , Somalia and her problems were much bigger than one man , and could not be confronted that easy. Instead, Hussein found himself in a web of conflict and several attempts on his life by Al-Mahdi’s forces that were now stronger in the face of Aideed’s death.


The UN intervention in Angola demonstrated the importance of cooperation by all parties involved and also the importance of delegating tasks to those with the means and will to achieve success. This was a mission that spanned for almost 10 years, from 1988 to 1997, so the UN certainly dedicated a lot of effort , resources and will to see this crisis come to an end. The key difference with this intervention from the one in Congo and Somalia was that it was a verification mission , to facilitate elections and oversee their credibility and their outcome. The UN was to play an advisory role to the government and not interfere in the internal politics. Historically , Angola was a former colony of Portugal , and it only gained its Independence in 1975 , after nearly 15 years of fighting against the Portuguese regime. Fundamentally it lacked the necessary cultural , economic and administration unity required for a new nation to prosper. However in January 1975 , the Portuguese government sought to set up a transition through talks at Alvor , Portugal , where the three main parties convened. The Movimento Popular de libertacao de Angola ( MPLA) , under Jose Eduardo dos Santos of the Mbundu tribe and with its support base form Luanda , appealed to more ethnical people and had key backing from Cuba , Yugoslavia and China. The next party was the Frente Nacional de Libertacao de Angola (FNLA) , with its origins from the BaKongo in Nothern Angola and Congo , relatively small with no active military and key support was from the US ( CIA) ad Congo. Uniao Nacional para a Indpendencia Total de Angola (UNITA ) was under the leadership of Jonas Savimbi , a former member of both MPLA and FNLA and he had support from the Ovimbundu tribe.

The agreement at Alvor failed to bring about progress and the Accord collapsed in August that same year , leading to the parties involved being locked in an intense battle against each other , with the MPLA emerging as the strongest and unilaterally establishing the Republic of Angola on 11 November 1975. The FNLA seized to exist as a party , and UNITA continued to mobilise more troops retreating to the countryside for strategic purposes. The MPLA maintained its relations with the Soviet Union and Cuba , who helped them repel resistance from Savimbi’s forces. A civil war ensued between the government (MPLA ) and rebel forces ( UNITA ) ,and it was this rivalry that would lead to the UN being involved to solve the impasse. The conflict was further complicated by the interference of other nations such as South Africa who sporadically raided Angola , for harbouring SWAPO forces from Namibia and the cold war powers of US and Soviet Union who saw this as an opportunity for one more chance of spreading their ideology and influence on the African continent.

South Africa would continue to be a thorn in the conflict , taking Savimbi’s side and possibly keeping him in the war , and a key event was their failed coup attempt at Cuanavale which would have almost dealt a blow to MPLA forces. UNITA went into hiding in the Congo and it was there that Savimbi swayed over the US , gaining their support and recognition as the legitimate government. Resolution 602 was passed by the UN condemning SA involvement and calling for its immediate withdrawal in November 1987 , leading to a military stalemate from both sides. An agreement was reached between May to September 1988 to secure the withdrawal of the external forces, but Cuba delayed its evacuation, with South Africa delaying its withdrawal as well , creating an even bigger humanitarian crisis as the conflict continued. By the early 1990s Angola was portraying traits of a failed states , exhibiting a poor economy , political divisions and a worsening humanitarian crisis , the onus once again falling on the UN to rescue the ‘ dark continent ‘.


UNAVEM I came about in a climate of declining cold war rivalries, and intricate political negations throughout the world. It was established in December 1988 through a complex international diplomatic process that transcended in the implementation of the UNSC Resolution 435 , leading to the Independence of Namibia and withdrawal of Cuban forces from Angola. On December 22 1998 , Angola , Cuba and South Africa signed at the UN Headquarters in New York , a peace agreement for south-western Africa. Part of the agreement was to oversee the Independence of Namibia , while monitoring Cuban withdrawal and maintaining peace in the south-western African region. Another agreement was signed between Angola and Cuba to oversee the total withdrawal of 50000 Cuban troops , with the condition that South Africa accepts the Independence of Namibia.

On 17 December , before the official signatures from the parties involved , Cuba and Angola requested the UN Secretary-General , Javier Perez de Cuellar to establish a UN-led military observer team to verify the compliance with the bilateral agreement (Angola and Cuba )and the Secretary General revealed a plan of how the team would accomplish this task. On 20 December 1988 , Resolution 626 was passed and this endorsed UNAVEM for 31 months , until a month after the Cuban exit.On 22 December the bilateral and tripartite agreements came into fruition when they were signed by the three parties involved. A contingent of 18 unarmed observers from Algeria , Argentina , Brazil , Congo ,Czechoslovakia , Jordan , Norway , Spain and Yugoslavia convened on the Angolan coast. Its mandate was clear , to verify the complete phase out of Cuban forces within 31 months. There after the strength of the military rose to 70 military observers. The observers managed to complete their task , through careful monitoring of Cuban troops on ports of Cabinda , Lobito , Luanda and Namibia.

The provisions of the Angolan-Cuban agreement were thoroughly complied with and the withdrawal proceeded at a rate slightly ahead of the schedule date. The Secretary General was summoned to witness the early evacuation of Cuban troops and on 25 May , UNAVEM I celebrated the success of the withdrawal and confinement of weapons. On 6 June 1991, the Secretary General announced the complete fulfillment and effective end of UNAVEM I, citing what the UN could achieve if all parties involved were to fully cooperate.

Signs of friction and the fragility of the situation on the ground were still evidently clear , with a highlight being the breakdown of the ceasefire agreement in 1989 and the Bicesse Accords negotiated in May 1991. The Bicesse Accords contained the blueprint of a new peaceful and prosperous Angola with key objectives of a ceasefire monitored by the international community , an election , the integration of UNITA and MPLA armies into one , release of war prisoners and of government officials. The Accord failed leading to a protracted and very complicated UN mission, brining into question the real effectiveness of the UN in dealing with untrustworthy elements.


After successfully completing its task of verifying the peace process and evacuation of Cuban troops in Angola , the UN set out to maintain this success by overseeing the negotiated Bicesse Accords agreed in 1991. It has assumed a third party role in the peace process and sought to fulfill this role through an observer mission that would make sure the negotiations were met and respected , thus UNAVEM II, an extension of UNAVEM I was launched. On 20 May 1991 , the Secretary General , Javier Perez de Cuellar , recommended that the UNSC enact UNAVEM II to verify the ceasefire arrangements throughout the country and monitor neutrality of the Angolan police. The mission would also include the monitoring of democratic elections and provide technical assistance to promote a successful transition to civilian rule .Resolution 747 validated these actions , sending a contingent of 350 unarmed military observers, 89 police observers , 54 civilian staff , 41 local staff and 46 assembly points at airports, seaports and borders.

On the 30th of May 1991 , the Council adopted Resolution 696 giving a new mandate to UNAVEM II and establishing it for a further 17 months until the presidential and legislative elections scheduled for 1992 were completed. In essence UNAVEM II was tasked to verify the joint monitoring groups , made up of member from both MPLA and UNITA , in making sure they adhered to the agreements they had signed on and did not violate them. Together with the monitoring teams they would visit police facilities, investigate any transgressions and examine their activities .Also part of UNAVEM II responsibility was to regularly count troops , weapons and communicate with Luanda over how to overcome difficulties in assembly points.

Conditions in UNAVEM II camps between 1991 and 1992 were deteriorating with soldiers complaining of poor wages and food , with UNITA refusing government entry into its territories.The UN faced difficulties in monitoring these UNITA dominated areas , and there was antagonisms and misunderstandings amongst observers and insufficient logistical support for troops in assembly points. By October 1991 , troop assembly was falling way behind schedule , while the two sides (UNITA and MPLA) had failed to create joint police monitoring groups. Such setbacks undermined confidence and trust between the parties , with the political and security atmosphere growing tense and fragile. There were reported incidents of violence and provocation from both parties and the scene was set for a bloody showdown.

Election time came in December 1991 , and the Peace Accords provided an environment for the free and fair elections for the new government. The incumbent government of Angola requested the assistance of the United Nations to help prepare and conduct the elections, as well as the dispatch United Nations officials to follow the entire election process until its completion. On 6 February 1992, Margaret Anstee was appointed as the special representative to the Secretary General to coordinate all the UN activities in Angola and as the chief official of UNAVEM II. UNAVEM II was then enlarged to include more officials , raising the international staff to 100 and they were deployed to the regional and provincial electoral offices. The UN was to just observe and verify them and not organize them ,which was the responsibility of the National Electoral Council. The election planning went going according to plan , with registered voters reaching an unprecedented 4,8 million , 92 % of the voting population.

The elections were conducted without major violence , although there were minor incidents of clashes between MPLA and UNITA , in restricted areas especially UNITA dominated sectors. All 18 parties participated actively , although they cited slow progress by UNITA and MPLA in demobilising their armies as well as access to state radio and television .UNAVEM II observers monitored the campaign , educated the locals and together with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) they organized an air support operation of 45 helicopters and 15 wing aircraft to overcome logistical difficulties to reach secluded polling stations. 400 observers were deployed on the voting weekend of 29-30 September 1992 , covering all 18 provinces and visiting more than 6000 polling stations. Militarily UNAVEM continued with its verification functions at assembly areas, monitoring the disbandment of rival armies of UNITA (FALA) and MPLA ( FAPLA ).The armies were taking significantly longer to respond with only 45% from MPLA and 24% from UNITA putting down their arms.

On 1 October 1992, the elections were declared to have been conducted in a free and fair environment and a just and peaceful outcome was expected , however complaints were raised on the 3rd of October by UNITA and other smaller parties of massive irregularities and fraud. The UN Secretary General urged them to not take any drastic action until UNAVEM and NEC had conducted a thorough investigation of these claims. There was no conclusive evidence of rigging and fraud after an inquest was carried out , but UNITA had already violated the Peace Accords when 11 former UNITA generals , now a part of the new unified Angola Armed Forces , unceremoniously withdrew citing ‘fraud and cheating ‘ of the elections. The UNSC hastily sent a delegation, followed by an ad hoc Commission to Angola to pledge support to the Peace Accords, but it was a little too late as the situation had already deteriorated beyond control.

Election results were announced on the 17th of October 1992 , with MPLA getting 53,74 votes against UNITA’S 34,1% in legislation , while Eduardo dos Santos failed to secure a 50% majority , leading to a run off ( 2nd round ) of elections. A public statement was released by Margaret Anstee citing that above all the acrimony the election were free and fair beyond reasonable doubt , perhaps as a way to diffuse the growing tensions in the country. UNITA resorted to military means to take over power, launching a nationwide operation to occupy districts by force and remove government administrative structures in place. UNITA was able to capture keys parts surrounding the towns, with over 75% under their command , with the key town of Huambo , where the majority of Savimbi’s supporters were based , coming under fire from UNITA’s forces who thought they had been betrayed. 15000 people died and the country plunged into civil war , forcing UNAVEM II to reduce its troops and evacuate key areas which were now a perceived threat on their officials.

The UN pleaded with the contesting parties to accept the outcome of the elections and forge a peaceful environment to the second round of presidential elections. On 30 October 1992 , the UNSC was forced to pass Resolution 785 extending UNAVEM II mandate to November 1992 , despite acknowledging that the election had been free and fair. More diplomatic efforts were pursued and a ceasefire was agreed upon on 2 November, with UNAVEM II working tirelessly to maintain this status quo, patrolling problem areas and mediating dialogue between parties. The Secretary General provided the UNSC with a dossier detailing how failure to respect key provisions in the Peace Accord was the root of Angola’s problems and as such there was a need to extend UNAVEM II until January 1993.

These provisions were the failure to demobilize weapons , delay in creating a unified Armed forces , failure to establish a central government , and delays in setting up a neutral police force. The longevity of the civil war had made it virtually impossible to create an atmosphere of mutual confidence , tolerance and respect from all parties within a 16 month time frame. Resolution 793 , extended UNAVEM II until 31 January 1993 , after successfully negotiating a ceasefire in Namibe , southern capital of Angola ,to proceed with the Peace Accords.

Almost immediately there was a major setback to these negotiations when UNITA forces took the northern provincial capital of Uige and the Negage airbase. Attempts to restore dialogue failed , with Savimbi and dos Santos failing to meet with the UN Secretary General. The conditions deteriorated further with heavy fighting around the 10 provinces of the country, leading to the UN accepting that Angola had returned to civil war status. Hostility against the UN envoy increased with numerous demonstrations against their presence in the capital of Luanda. Violence engulfed towns ,and city centers and the civil war was starting to take its toll on the peace process and the UN envoy , who now found themselves at a crossroads of either abandoning Angola or staying on.

Widespread fighting and lack of government in the countryside led to hunger and refugees fleeing to the main land to seek survival, leading to an even more catastrophic humanitarian. The UN Secretary General pushed for a new mandate to deal with the new challenges that UNAVEM II was now facing and Resolution 804 endorsed an extension of UNAVEM II to 30 April 1993 , but with new objectives of reducing provincial deployment to six provinces and also focusing their efforts to Luanda. They also called upon the fighting parties to engage in dialogue, establish a ceasefire and set a clear timeline for a full commitment of the Peace Accords.

Talks were held in Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia to discuss the prerequisites for a new peace process initiative, with UNITA and MPLA agreeing on a number of suggestions but not coming outright to commit towards a ceasefire. The second round of negotiations failed with UNITA failing to send its representatives and further efforts to talk , notably in Ivory Coast failed with Savimbi playing hardball, and refusing to meet.

Resolution 864 was passed by the UNSC to extend the mandate of UNAVEM II to a further 3 months, but demanding cooperation from the parties to come to the negotiation table. The Security Council condemned UNITA for failing to stop its military actions , and under Chapter VII of the UN charter implemented an arms embargo on arms and petroleum on UNITA. The US , a former ally , also became critical of Savimbi and fully endorsed the arms embargo against UNITA , while citing an immediate need to restart negotiations .

After extensive consultations and explorative talks , the Angolan government and UNITA agreed to talks in Lusaka , Zambia chaired by Anstee’s successor Mr Alioune Beye. Agreements on military questions were agreed , and also the police in 1994 , with the electoral process to be completed in May that same year. Negotiations on nation building were made more difficult , due to the allocation of senior government posts to UNITA but an agreement was finally reached in 1994.In October 1994 , the Secretary General recommend that the mandate extend UNAVEM II to 31 November ,and also re-strengthen its forces to its original size of 350 military and 126 police observers so as to successfully complete the Peace Accords in their most important phase.

The Lusaka Protocol , a substantial peace agreement was initiated on 31 October and signed on 20 November by the External Relations Minister of Angola , Mr Venancio de Moura and Secretary General of UNITA Mr Euginio Manuvakola. The agreement covered all areas of concern, military , legal and political issues and sought to bring about a ceasefire , demobilization of forces , disarming civilians and initiation of the new Angolan army.


After the ceasefire had been agreed fighting was still ongoing between government and UNITA forces , the UN decided to send small teams of soldiers to monitor events to instill confidence and carry through the mandate. Progress was made , with both parties playing according to the rules set by the Peace Accords. On 8 December 1994 , Resolution 966 was passed to extend UNAVEM II until February the next year. The Secretary General submitted a request for a new United Nations operation , UNAVEM III to oversee the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol. Resolution 976 formally ended UNAVEM II and launched UNAVEM II the final phase in the Angolan negotiations, to restore peace and achieve national reconciliation.

A delegation of 350 Observers and 200 political observers monitored the situation on the ground while also working to clear remaining landmine affected areas. Savimbi’s intransigence continued to halt progress being made , by further delaying assembly point deadlines and demobilizing of forces. The conflict came to an unexpected and official end when Jonas Savimbi was killed during a raid in his home base of Huambo. The decade long conflict that had severely damaged Angola and accounted to millions of deaths came to an end but after the country had paid a heavy price in human lives and infrasructure.In hindsight , it is worth noting that the whole UNAVEM mission achieved relative success as it fulfilled its primary mandate of overseeing the elections , and the removal of foreign troops but it failed to bring the two main adversaries to a permanent concession , and also pave the way for a new democratic political order in Angola.


3.1 UNOC

The evaluation of UNOC cannot be done without understanding the underlying circumstances that had led to this intervention. At the time of UNOC , the UN had little expertise on how to conduct a peacekeeping effort , so it went into the Congo on the basis of Hammarskjold views on peacemaking, which is the containment of war so that other parties can find a neutral ground for stable was only after seeing the situation deteriorate beyond imagined levels , that he sanctioned peacekeeping , as a means of maintaining order and saving lives in the face of genocides , famine and wars. The Congo therefore represents the departure from the old methods of peacemaking to the new peacekeeping ways which would dominate the UN agenda for the rest of the 20th century. This also allowed the external involvement of outside parties to intervene under the banner of peacekeeping , such as the Soviet Union and US who dominated most of the UN efforts at this time.

The U.S.S.R promised Lumumba immediate assistance upon his pleas for help in protecting his presidency and also had design to influence him because of his close relationship with Kwame Nkrumah who was pro-Communist. The Soviet Union broke all ties with the Congo after Patrice Lumumba’s death citing conspiracies on the US part , which were somewhat true due to the involvement of the CIA in the abduction disposing of his body. They also feared the Washington rhetoric, which was threatening their position in world affairs. The Soviet Union adopted a ‘neutral ‘ position validated by them vetoing and abstaining from UNSC Resolution 161A ( intervention in the Congo) and further UN decisions on the Congo.

The United States , moved to strengthen its hand in the Congo , seeing this as an opportunity to maximize on returns from the Katanga region which possessed critical mineral resources. The Congo had vast deposits of the rare mineral , uranium which it needed for Atomic bombs , which were at the time very critical for the US status as a superpower. The US had a puppet in Mobutu who was acting on the orders of Washington and a beneficiary of ‘ American petro-dollars’ .The Congo contained strategic military bases of Britain , so it was in favour of the Resolution due to its ties with the West and also economic interest , as 33% of its exports went to the Congo. Britain also feared that Lumumba’s influence would spill over in Northern Rhodesia which was a key colony at their to their quest for African domination. France chose to abstain, as it had no interests or influence in the Congo. It should be noted that due to this lack of unity in voting, UNOC lacked a collective willpower hence it was destined to fail. China chose to not get involved in the conflict as it was preoccupied with its internal struggles and conflict in Asia. Politically China , France , Soviet Union were not directly involved in the fighting but the US became the chief supplier of aircraft to the UN , while also supplying Joseph Kasabvu .Britain maintained a contemptuous stance , even though it was quietly on the side of the US. Initially , the mandate of UNOC was to secure the withdrawal of foreign personnel while also assisting the government to maintain its political gains , independence and prevent the outbreak of a civil war. This mandate however was confronted by its legality due to the fact that it contravened the principle of non-interference in domestic affairs. The UN Charter principle on national sovereignty made it impossible for the force to participate in the fighting between the Katanga gendarmerie and the pro-government Baluba in the north of Katanga.

This clause made the intervention lukewarm as the UN was forced to observe from the sidelines while a human killing spree was being carried out, exposing the loopholes in the UN Charter and also the limiting factors that the mandate had to contend with. The mission failed to address the amount of soldiers that were required on the ground with a minute force being brutally exposed by the 13000 strong militia in Katanga .The Secretary General had not clearly considered the extent to which the opposition forces were armed and it was through his military ineptitude that he lost key men in the initial battle in Katanga. The force was vulnerable to sporadic attacks on its base and the death of 44 Ghanaian national on the battlefield forced it to re-strategise while also delaying the offensive by a month. This delay gave the Katanga fighters more time to retreat and re-arm and this time lag proved decisive when the second offensive was met with more fierce resistance than the previous encounter.

To compound the problem other nations who had volunteered such as Guinea , Morocco and Indonesia withdrew their forces , severely decreasing the numbers of troops on the battlefront. The Security Council went to battle without being properly prepared and this was a result of a lack of communication between the UN and the force on the ground due to poor communication infrastructure in the Cong .This lack of effective communication made it impossible to transmit critical information such as back up , increase in equipment and aid in time. Telephone lines were badly damaged and out of order during the civil war , and communicating was virtually impossible .

The was also the argument on the unilateral nature of UNOC , which had failed to explore other forms of action such as economic sanctions , which would have brought the rebels to their knees as they had would have no access to mineral money which was the backbone of their armies. UNOC had failed to recognize this alternative as it was obsessed with peacemaking , and appeasing the rebel movements instead of taking progressive measures which would have been much more effective.

The Secretary General failed to communicate the exact instructions on the course of action to be followed as he had isolated himself due to his unilateral and unpopular foreign policy. He lost the support of the UNSC as he was now viewed to be too ambitious and naive, upon his sanctioning of more troops without the consent of the UN and its member states. Another of his weaknesses was that he was unable to take decisive action on his own prerogative, as he had to rely on his advisors who were inexperienced civilians and did not possess any military experience. Amid all this there was a sense of division and friction between the civilian administration and the military personnel who had the military expertise but found themselves sidelined by intellectuals.

Failure to consult the military leadership at key times on the battlefield , such as when the force under O’Brien had managed to capture senior officials from Katanga except the key leader Moise Tshombe during ‘Operation Rumpunch’. Better organised military intelligence would have led them to his hideout inside Katanga , but they missed the opportunity and he ended up dying before ceasefire talks could be negotiated. ONUC lacked a clear distinction between ‘force’ and ‘civil war provision’ , further blurring the exact vision and objective of the mission, raising questions of whether it was an armed force or a civil war body. The Force Commander on the ground also faced numerous challenges , amongst them the lack of adequate men and equipment to withstand the rebel forces and protect Lumumba.

He also lacked a well-oiled intelligence service which would have briefed him on the intricate movements of the opposition forces , thereby helping him to be better positioned for any offence on his barracks. He was denied unrestrained authority due to O’Brien repeatedly undermining him and by-passing him by only reporting to the UNOC headquarters in New York. The Force Commander did not envision working with more aggressive forces from Morocco and Ethiopia so there was friction between him and some of his battalion on the nature of war to use in Congo.

Tactically, the three nations of Ireland , Sweden and India had different alliances and ties from those of the UN , with the Irish being pro-Belgian , while the Swedish supported the native Congo due to their missionary roots while Indians were merely there to practice brutality on the native population. The mission was disjointed and lacked a unanimous objective, exemplified by the Secretary General’s insistence of remaining in Léopoldville, while the key battles were outside the capital .In terms of the actual equipment, the force was equipped to defend and with no fighter jets in its arsenal except for a few non-military helicopters. It was also inferior as they were using out dated ammunition from the Soviet Union compared to superior weaponry from the Katanga militia , and also it lacked mobility , as there were not enough tanks and military vehicles to move around the vast country. The problem of communication transcended between the lower and higher levels of the mission , with a breakdown between the Secretary General and parts of his command , making it difficult to relay important information.

The fact that the Katanga force was attacking their supply routes, mainly the Lufura River, exposed them continuously to attacks while diminishing their food and medical supplies , reducing them to critically low levels in a high risk war. Logistically, there was a lack of invaluable resources such as fuel and oil , worsened with the withdrawal of the Jadotville Company which was the main supplier of petroleum paralysing the operation for a while.

The mandate of the mission proved to be the stumbling block of the whole initiative as it lacked clarity , made little sense and was nearly impossible to accomplish due to its restricted and neutral nature. There was no common objective between the participating states , and it went against what the Congo had requested ( a right arm force not an intervention) , faced the possibility of disarming the national army ( ANC ) thereby involuntarily taking the side of the opposing forces. The move to block Léopoldville airport and radio stations weakened the central government as it was unable to communicate with its supporters and reach troublesome regions. The UN failed to take the bold move to amend it due to fears that it would have driven Ghana and Guinea into the Soviets hands as they had vetoed this at the UNSC , and were supported by these two African nations.

On a positive note, UNOC had a stabilizing effect early on during the mission as it was able to bring temporary relief and calm to the Congo when things were getting out of hand. It delayed hostilities between the rival forces for the meantime possibly saving millions of deaths by restraining the total independence of Katanga while keeping alive the possibility of a reconciliation between Léopoldville and Elizabethville. It also prevented the spill-over potential of the conflict into neighbouring countries , mainly Angola which was locked in a war against its colonial empire at the time. It also gave leverage for member states to operate while maintaining their political boundaries. The mission however faced the problem of increased nationalism as it lost credibility amongst the Congolese people who now viewed it as an imperial force , while also the ongoing Cold War neutralised the extent to which the Security Council could take effective decisions , due to the various fractions that existed. These divisions highlighted that the UN had administrative weaknesses, and a poor decision -making body and could not function without the participation of the superpowers raising questions on who actually pulled the strings in New York. While the peacekeeping mission was not anti-Soviet it was dominated by western powers and powered by pluralist western values , with also the fact that almost all the UN senior officials were of western origin , from the UN commander Swedish General Carl von Horn to his successor ,an Irishman General Sean McKeown. The UNSC was therefore dogged by western political culture and ideas and it was this makeup that had led to anti-UN sentiments supported by the Soviets and their allies from the newly formed Afro-Asian bloc comprising African and Asian nations.


The mission in Somalia was marred by many factors which made it the most resource draining and prolonged missions ever embarked on the African continent. As such in analyzing it there are many key factors which should be looked at in depth so as to understand how the mission went from one of hope to one of distress and failure. From the onset the objectives were clear , it was a humanitarian relief mission with the primary goal to give aid to the millions who were starving since the outbreak of hostilities in Somalia. However, problems emanated from the two main leaders , Aideed and Al-Mahdi who were reluctant to have foreign intervention in their territories in the first place. Al-Mahdi was more receptive to the UN , as he wanted to use their impetus to legitimize his claim to power , while Aideed was completely against the interference of the UN as he had long standing differences with the Secretary General , Boutros-Ghali , who had been an ally of General Siad Barre during his ascension to power.

The UN made a series of mistakes, the first being the crashing of an aircraft which was destined for Mogadishu with UN symbols , which was to deliver Somali currency to General Al –Mahdi. Although it was merely a logistical error , Aideed was never able to trust the UN and as such this antagonism would only grow into hostility as the mission progressed. Also the UN mission was too dependent on the vagaries of its member states ,and it was their hesitation in deciding decisive action and their dependence on their local governments that hindered any progression on the battle front. The states would only contribute on an ad hoc basis , with the US proving the most difficult as congress was a stumbling block on every initiative made during UNOSOM I. There was also the problem of a mismatch between the UN’s desire for a quick fix to resolve the crises and the obvious need for a through and long-term mission to restore law and order to Somalia, while also paving the way for a stable future for the Somali people. This lead to disagreements on the course of action filtering form New York to the forces on the ground in Mogadishu. An initial error was the centralizing of the entire operation in Mogadishu, which at the time seemed the best move to make strategically , but it made UNOSOM I and the entire peacekeeping force vulnerable to Aideed and his Somalia National Army , who had set up refuge in this territory. UNOSOM I was constrained in its activities and was treading on dangerous ground as it was susceptible to sporadic and spontaneous attacks from the SNA. Also the UN mission was unable to cover the vast territory , with more than five regions under the control of the several clan leaders , UN monitored and secured by UNOSOM I.The apparent lack of expertise on the ground proved a stumbling block as the UN personnel lacked the experience of previous UN missions , so they were not well equipped to react accordingly and in time.

The mission was comprised of ex-combatants and relatively young soldiers , which made the mission open to defeat by the more battle hardened SNA forces. There was also the poor policy implementation that was carried out , with New York headquarters seemingly out of touch with the commanders in Somalia and logistical breakdowns from Washington as well. On top of this , there was the problem of the myopic and excellent leadership from General Aideed and General Al-Mahdi who were as charismatic off the field as they were brilliant on the field. They were superior warlords compared to what the UN had dealt with , and they commanded power on a magnitude that UNOSOM I could not equal.

UNOSOM I also lacked clarity , foresight and consistency of the overall outcome of the while mission which greatly weakened its resolve and conviction. The political dynamics in Somalia were too complex , with no state structures and this led to the UN not having any leverage to negotiate with government for a way forward. UNOSOM I failed as it could not achieve its stipulated mandate, and use consultation which was the form of intervention required for such a complex situation. The local leaders were willing to communicate and negotiate the crisis at the time, not lock arms over it. The behaviour of the troops was dictated by their own self-interests, and it wasn’t until the US involvement that the other soldiers got involved. UNOSOM II was faced with the conundrum of whether it could remain neutral in a hostile and stateless society , and this led to rushed decisions and poor strategic planning , with them responding to the CNN effect, when US soldiers were attacked instead of carefully analysing the situation on the ground. It also failed to react accordingly to the Somali rhetoric that was attacking in the media, choosing instead to adopt a coercion as a measure.

With the entrance of the US in the form of UNITAF , the UN forces were forced to rely heavily on the American forces , who were not interested in gaining any political victory , as proven by their stationing of troops on the margins of Somalian society. There was also the clash of military cultures between the US and the UN , with the former being more passive , while the UN had now opted to be aggressive , and this led to confusion on the military style to adopt. There were questions over why the US decided to get involved with UNITAF , and part of the reasons that came from congress , where that the mission was ‘do-able’ , also President Bush wanted to end his tenure on a high and US forces had defeated Saddam in the Iraq war so they were on a mission to get rid of ‘bullies’. This was backed up by the size of the US troops that descended on the Somali interior , although this was in line with the Powell doctrine , which stated a decent number for any mission involving the US.

The changing of the Bush administration to the Clinton one , forced a shift to multilateralism form expansionism , and President Clinton wanted to handover the mission back to UNOSOM as he had pressure back home and did not want to waste resources in a war that was of no benefit to them. The policy therefore was one of enthusiasm but with no engagement, and this greatly affected the standing of the UNOSOM II as they badly needed the man power and technical assistance from the Americans. As such UNITAF lacked an overall strategy , they managed to feed the starving regions and alleviate a famine.UNOSOM II however had a strategy which was to disarm the rebel forces and bring them to a ceasefire and a negotiating table to sort out their differences. It can be argued that they should have resorted to a military stance as the situation had deteriorated beyond that at the beginning of the intervention.

They should have pushed for Somalia to establish a political framework which they would then oversee over a period of five to ten years , before pulling out. UNOSOM II turned sour when the US and the UN got involved in Somali politics , as it move from a humanitarian initiative to one of imposing order on its armed factions.

There was the debate brought forward by General Sahnoun that the UN should have tried to use preventative diplomacy way before they got involved as there had been numerous warnings of the likelihood of a civil war , which they chose to ignore. Three incidents had occurred prior to the war , in 1988 there had been an opportunity to mediate a peaceful transition between Siad’s forces and the SNA , but no action was taken. In 1990 , the different cleric leaders in Somalia had all agreed for peaceful manifesto but lack of UN support led to the fighting resuming , and escalating when it could have been ‘nipped in the bud’. When General Siad was finally defeated there could have efforts made to see that a new political dispensation took place, but hesitation on the part of the UN caused a brutal fight for authority to ensue.

The external intervention was not a complete failure as it did managed to avert a large humanitarian crisis and pave the way for a political landscape where a workable political outcome could be achieved by Somalis in the future.While it can be argued that the UN did not do enough to resolve the crisis , it is without a doubt that the Somali conflict could not have been resolved by any peacekeeping force as long as the internal structures that are fundamental to statehood were not in place , and to this day Somali remains a pariah in the international community and in the fringes of humanity.


Angola was to prove the last foray by the UN in Africa before the end of the Cold War , so the stakes were very high from the beginning. There were a lot players involved in the conflict , from the local contestants , Savimbi and Dos Santos , to the external players , Cuba , USA , South Africa and the Soviet Union .The Soviet Union used the Cubans as its representatives on the ground , while ensuring that the MPLA had enough ammunition to prolong the war. The US used Portugal , the colonial empire as its voice of reason , and then Zaire ( present day DRC) to push forward its interests in the oil and mineral resources scattered across Angola. At first it had supported Savimbi but after UNITA had bombed its oil bases in the Chevron complex in the Cabinda region it shifted its attention to Dos Santos.

South Africa wanted to preserve its interests of naval and air facilities in the Azores region , and hence was involved for military strategic reasons as well as economic interests.SA signed a series of secret agreements with UNITA to continue to bolster them on the battle field , while the fall of the Soviet Union empire led to them pulling out of the Angolan civil war. There was a sense of optimism that a swift solution would be found to end the conflict as had transpired in Namibia , which led to the external players not heavily committing to the war. Apart from this , the UN itself failed to acknowledge the sheer magnitude of the conflict , perhaps following in the stance taken by the superpowers , and as such only committed a paltry 450 unarmed observers during UNAVEM I. A lack of a clear contingency plan in case things took an unexpected turn led to the UN seeming out of depth with the election as it failed to react accordingly in the face of alleged election irregularities.

Also Boutros-Ghali’s appointment of a female commander , Margaret Anstee , was not well received in Angola and also there was an error in appointing a French-speaking General Beye to deal with pro-Portuguese leaders. There were other numerous language barriers, with the local population being only used to Portuguese while the troops came from all over the world , Sweden , Pakistan , Zimbabwe and other diverse backgrounds. The conflict was however marred by constant insubordination and underhand tactics from both sides, as they refused to be transparent and come to the negotiating table , choosing instead to delay the ceasefire talks. This mission did achieve relative success, as it managed to fulfill the mandate of UNAVEM I which was to demobilize the Cuban forces as well as the South Africans. Although they were delays to the process , the total withdrawal of soldiers was completed a month before the scheduled date for evacuation so it was a success.

Part of the reasons why it was this successful can be attributed to the clear objectives and goals that were set out during its infant stage , as well as the effective implementation of adequate numbers of observers and cooperation from the Cuban forces themselves. Minor glitches were encountered as with any UN mission of this magnitude , but compromise and diligent coordination of events made the mission possible. Whereas , UNAVEM I was achieved with relative ease , UNAVEM II became a long and arduous battle , with many casualties recorded and significant damage being inflicted on the infrastructure of an already dilapidated Angola. The United Nation at this time was plagued with numerous problems such as a lack of enough resources , as it was pre-occupied with other peacekeeping operations , like UNOSOM in Somalia ,and could not provide the sufficient man-power required. The observer body was faced with ‘ mission creep ‘ ,where a mission goes on for longer than planned , and this was due to it performing tasks it was not mandated to do , such as assuming almost state-like characteristics of conducting bureaucratic politics on foreign terrain.

UNAVEM II failed in its mandate of ending hostilities by all parties as well as demobilising forces to assembly points, mainly because the UN mission was too small to carefully monitor events across the country , as well as a distinct lack of assistance and communication on the MPLA and UNITA sides. There was also the problem of how the UN would then instill democratic principles , had the mission succeeded ,as Angola was made up of two different political ideologies , Marxist ( MPLA) and a guerilla movement ( UNITA ).The biggest challenge that UNAVEM II encountered was the apparent ‘ rigging ‘ of elections accused by UNITA , who had lost and this jeopardized the standing of the UN in Angola , with numerous critics , including ironically the US claiming the elections to have not been free and fair. It made the job of the UN even difficult, as public acts of defiance , such as attacks on

UN peacekeepers in the interior of Angola led to the UN being forced to withdraw its resources and centralising them to a smaller territory. The UN was faced with the challenge of changing from an observer mission to a humanitarian one, as the exact areas where it had patrolled before the election , were faced with famine and drought , and a lack of personnel and resources made the task almost impossible. UNAVEM III which was about securing a ceasefire and ending the battle , while paving way for a new political agenda achieved moderate success , as it managed to bring about a ceasefire but not a total demobilization of weapons as both parties were suspicious of one another. Amongst its clear challenges were its failure to reprimand underperforming members , a clash in military cultures , favouritism of certain contingents(Swedish and Irish) , poor skills and experience of officials and disastrous communication between forces , officials and UNSC.

There was also a poor transport network so traveling was a problem , while the mountainous terrain also made it difficult for swift movement , no telephones and no direct links to other posts left officials isolated and obsolete. Disease also compounded the mission while there was a general lack of respect amongst troops , who viewed others as inferior , while corruption and disorganisation of the entire mission compromised UNAVEM III severely. The Angola mission can be said to have been sufficient but not effective and the only signs of progress were made with the passing of Savimbi , which all but ended UNITA’s influence on the political scene. Once again , the UN showed its incapacity to deal effectively with African problems , and the best measures to tackle them with , while also the general neglect of African problems perhaps as a result of the catastrophe in Somalia. Angola was a different challenge to Somalia and Angola , and the UN recognized that another strategy was required which made the mission much easier to tackle , but a lack of total commitment from the UNSC and constant bickering at the Headquarters stifled significant strides for progress.


4.1 Comparisons and Contrasts

In looking at the similarities and differences of all three UN missions in Africa it is important to note the origins of the conflict first and foremost .Angola and the Congo , governments were Afro-Marxist with the leaderships being influenced by the Ideology of Karl Marx , which was all about the economic and sociopolitical worldviews where society is based on socialism .They believed in the emancipation of the workers who would form and represent the fulcrum of social revolution. Somalia on the other hand was Muslim orientated with society being nomadic and pastoral , where the community would work together living off the gains of agriculture and thereby powering the nation through intrinsic family ties. In Angola and Congo , the opposition , was also pro-Soviet in its make-up ,as the Soviet Union was the main supporter for opposing forces , whom they wanted to influence to do their bidding through the supply of weapons and ammunition. In Somalia , as there was no government in place so the rivalries were based on power sharing , sharing similar ideology and cultural backgrounds. Similarly in Angola and Congo the war was between the incumbent governments , MPLA and MNC against opposing forces of UNITA , ABAKO and CONAKAT. Whereas in Somalia the conflict was between two antagonistic clan leaders , Aideed and Al-Mahdi both fighting for majority power , as there were no state structures in place to foster government institutions.

Angola and Somalia were similar in that the UN used the strategy of ceasefires of rival parties to bring about negotiations and an end to the conflict , and this was conducted over a series of round table dialogues , however most of them were faced with similar challenges of rivals not committing and attending. In Congo it used a different stance where it opted for the involvement in the internal affairs , meddling in internal politics while attempting to legitimize the incumbent authority. Similarly interventions in Somalia and Angola , were launched due to a great need for food aid for the dying populace , and it was the need to secure a passage of aid that caused the UN to get involved. Aid was used as a weapon of conflict , being used as leverage to outmuscle one another. In the Congo , it was based on the pillage and killing of innocent civilians which led to the UN entering so as to stop the needless murders of innocent lives.

The basis of conflict in Angola and Congo were due to nationalism and fight for Independence with all parties involved trying to become the first African-led governmnets after colonial rule , while in Somalia the confict was more about leadership after the coup on General Siad Barre. Angola and Congo also had massive mineral resources which were at the center of the conflict, oil and diamonds in Cabinda and Katanga regions , which made even external players heavily invested in the outcome of the war. In Somalia , the fighting was not as much about resources but rather for the dominance in the Muslim world ,as Somalia was strategically situated on the edge of Africa and is a gateway between Africa and Europe. Similarly all three conflicts were marred by proxy wars , between the US and Soviet Union as they occurred during the Cold War era , with both superpowers fighting externally to spread their influence and power on African soil. This was the pattern of conflict conducted by the superpowers in an era were fighting was done in other countries but the outcome a victory for either powers.

There was charismatic leadership from all three conflicts , from Jonas Savimbi , Patrice Lumumba and General Aideed and it was this kind of stewardship that made the wars even more enigmatic and long. With regards to the UN , all three mandates were not clear and concise enough to achieve a set goal , and instead this resulted in a confused and ineffective missions being carried out. There was also the problem of lack of enough resources being distributed into all three missions , and as such they all fell short of achieving success. The UN also , failed to understand the political nature of the conflicts they were involved in and this led to mis-conception and misunderstanding on their part which did not bode well for the locals and their attempts to bring peace. In Angola , the mission was mainly an observer team with task of overseeing demobilization , elections and a new government , while in Congo it was a peacekeeping force which then became involved as a peacemaking effort , similar to Somalia were it was initially an aid-led peacekeeping force but attacks on its men forced it to become part of the war.

The Congo was different from the Congo in that there were four antagonists involved in the conflict , Mobutu , Lumumba , Kasabvu and Tshombe while in Angola and Somalia it was a fight between two opponents. Somalia was the only conflict were a foreign army ( US) through UNITAF was personally involved , overriding the UN mission in place ( UNOSOM ) ,whereas elsewhere the UN continued to be the chief peacekeeping force. In all three peacekeeping initiatives , the African contingent constituted the majority of men , as they were working towards African solutions to African problems. It was also in the Congo that a foreign power , US was secretly involved personally to remove Lumumba and affect the political future of Congo. Their benign interests in the resources of the Congo forced them to personally install a puppet leader , Mobutu to look after their interests.

The Congo was also the only mission were the UNSC revoked the UN Charter Article 99 whereby they disregarded the sovereign nature of Congo and they became personally involved in the internal conflict by fighting against the local people and not merely protecting them. Bureaucratic politics also was the main catalyst in the conflict in Somalia , whereby disagreements in New York led to the mission being sacrificed and not making any solid progress. Also Somalia constituted the most resources invested in an African conflict , compared to other missions on the continent , whereby minimal and insufficient resources were used , rather indicating that they were not fully committed to ending the plight in Congo and Angola.It is worth noting that the UN missions conducted in Africa were all half-hearted initiatives , in that there was significant dispute over the need to intervene as well the type of intervention that would be carried out for each mission. There were numerous debates on whether or not to be actually involved in African interventions, and it was these arguments that their mandates failed to state clear objectives and yield tangible results .Also the role of superpowers, especially the US who were seen to be conducting affairs from behind the scenes , should have been clearly analysed as they were involved in all three missions , albeit with self-interests high on their agenda. In Somalia and Congo specifically they took a keen interest and championed their status to achieve their goals and solidify their standing as the lone superpower of the world.

4.2 Lessons: 21st Century and beyond

Looking towards the future it is important to note the impact as well as the long-term repercussions of the UN missions in Congo, Angola and Somalia and also lessons that should be learned from the outcomes of each mission. Firstly , the UN should not embark on any mission when the UNSC fails to provide an adequate mandate and resources , as it compromises the UN and its principles. Instead the UN should make sure sufficient and efficient resources are provided to each and every mission so as to guarantee a level of success. Also the UN should conduct a comprehensive study of the country they are about to embark in , studying the political culture as well as the generic make up of its structures so as to have a clear and concise view of the host nation. It should also not let bureaucratic politics take over and undermine the UN , its Charter and its principles and instead focus on bringing all member to the table and committing to a set of goals and targets. This will prevent divisions and unify the UN in its mandate and objectives. The UN should also assume the role of an arbiter and not take sides, neither should it enforce its will on sovereign states , nor impinge on their rights. It should stay neutral and just , and should work with the local structures to bring about holistic progress.

The UN should also make a clear distinction between peacekeeping and peace enforcement and not ponder on which action to take, it should have a strong conviction on the action it will take and act on this stance. Also the UN should not allow itself to be bullied , as happened in Somalia by Aideed who publicly undermined it , and instead it should give the impression of a strong hand , and give an image that shows that it has the will and capability to win armed confrontations. Also they should use political and military expertise and not use incompetent and ill-advised officials to operate UN missions on the ground as this greatly weakens the UN interventions missions. It should also work on increasing the personnel on the ground according to the needs of the mission, also seek to get more financial assistance from its member states so as to meet its allocated expenditure budgets.

There should also be a unanimous agreement on the make-up of troops as well as the logistical needs of each UN peacekeeping mission ,as well as a mutual understanding of operations through a carefully coordinated mechanism. Also the UN should seek other ways of dealing with hostile or pariah states and not just intervene. Instead it can use other forms of interventions such as preventative diplomacy, which it could have implemented in Somalia well before conflict broke out in the early 1990s. Such a method can bring together the major power brokers on the table and instead of fighting the conflict can then be alleviated and prevented. The linkage between the UN peacekeeping team , mandates , resources and provisions made available by member states should be understood by the Security Council , and not expose the UN to grandiose missions which would only lead to failure on the UN’s part. There should also be a greater delegation of authority to a more coherent and cohesive structure that avoids using New York as the mouthpiece but the actual people on the ground as the voices , to prevent an undermining of men on the ground. Stable leadership on the field , and accountability should be promoted so the missions are conducted by the right men and in an organized manner, to avoid miscommunication and misunderstandings.

5. Conclusion

In conclusion, the UN peacekeeping missions should be learning from the lessons from the numerous failed missions around the world and specifically on the continent and not repeat the same mistakes. Instead of the naïve force that it was in its early days , it is now a much more mature and rounded body , carefully studying events before embarking on any mission. However this has resulted in a change in stance, with the UN refusing to get involved in Africa as much as it used to do during the Cold War era. The Somali intervention led to the UN taking reluctant stances on the African continent, and sometimes neglecting the African cause as happened with the Rwandan conflict , where it stood by idly as a genocide manifested. Also in looking towards future interventions ,it is important that the UN stays a multilateral body , growing in stature by encouraging more membership , but also stay away from being used by imperialist powers as their watchdog. Instead it should dictate policy and decisive action , that is free from influence of Washington or any bureaucracy , but instead a collation of common goals from all member states , to achieve unanimous goals. It should also seek to engage and work closely with regional bodies such as the African Union , NEPAD , SADC , NATO and others as they are fundamentally the drivers of change within their regions and continents. It should seek to agree on an intervention that is led by the regional structures but facilitated by the UN , so as to prevent the UN from being vilified and being disregarded as pursuing capitalist goals.

This essay has looked at the three most important UN intervention in Africa , and how they have helped to shape the way UN conducts itself and looks at future missions. Also it looks at the grass root problems that continue to make Africa battle-ridden and underdeveloped and a constant character on the UN agenda, when it should be embracing its potential and harnessing new leadership. The problems emanate from poor governing structures that are in place , which should be re-modeled into working frameworks that are in line with the political landscapes of African states in the 21st century. It is paramount therefore that Africa takes a leading stance on any future peace missions that are focused on the continent as it is the only body that understands the cultural, historical and ethnical density of these problems and is best positioned to bring forth successful peacekeeping initiatives.The present focus on advancing personal interests will continue to obscure the need for common interests, and it is this attribute that should be dealt with for the UN to prosper as an International arbiter. All societies and continents , especially Africa , which has no permanent seat on the Security Council should be involved so they feel like they are a part of the international community and not sit on the fringes of the UN. New efforts of a support strategy of peace and preventative diplomacy and peace building should be encouraged and implemented. Above all this there is a grave need for all political leaders to put their weight to demonstrate a serious commitment to pursuing a peaceful, united and prosperous world order, and this new direction in a global strategy should be the highest security concern for all nations in the international community.


Adebajo , A . 1966. UN peacekeeping in Africa: From the Suez crisis to Sudan conflicts. Boulder : Lynne Denner.

Berdal , M & S Economides ( Eds ) . 2007 . United Nations interventionism 1991-2004 . Cambridge : Cambridge University Press.

Cheldelin , S ; Druckman , D & L Fast ( Eds ). 2008 . Conflict .From analysis to intervention . 2nd Edition. London : Continuum.

Finnemore , M . 2003 . The purpose of intervention . Changing beliefs about the use of force . Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Francis , D & H . 1965. Dangers of deployment : UN cooperative peacekeeping in Africa . New York : Ashgate.

Hirsch , J L & R B Oakley . 1995 .Somalia and Operation Restore Hope: Reflections on Peacekeeping and Peacemaking . Washington DC : United States Institute of Peace .

Gordon , D & F H Toase . 2001 . Aspects of peacekeeping. London : Frank Cass.

Macqueen , N . 2006 . Peacekeeping and the International System . New York : Routledge.

O’Neil , J T . 1936. UN Peacekeeping in Post-Cold War era . New York : Frank Cass.

Thakur, R & C A Thayer . 1995 . A Crisis of Expectations : UN Peacekeeping in the 1990s: United States Of America: Westview Press.

Marlin Tinashe Madondo

Student Number: 43374549

Course code : PSC4803

Assignment # 5

A Critical discussion, analysis and comparison of three United Nations peacekeeping operations.





2.1 Congo 2

2.1.1 UNOC 4

2.2 Somalia 6

2.2.1 UNOSOM I 7

2.2.2 UNITAF 8

2.2.3 UNOSOM II 9

2.3 Angola 11

2.3.1 UNAVEM I 12

2.3.2 UNAVEM II 13

2.3.3 UNAVEM III 16


3.1 UNOC 17


3.3 UNAVEM I, II, III 22


4.1 Comparisons and Contrasts 24

4.2 Lessons : 21st Century and Beyond 26



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La Guerra Del FúTbol Y En áFrica, a La Sombra de Un áRbol

...Martín Weiss – La Guerra del Fútbol y En África, a la sombra de un árbol. En primer lugar, y comenzando con el texto de La Guerra del Fútbol, me quiero referir a algunas características literarias que según mi opinión le dieron vida a este conjunto de letras que pretende contar una historia. “Nadie en el mundo le prestó atención” Creo que frases como estas, inventadas por el cronista, por cierto, a pesar de ser arriesgadas por que no son verdad, adquieren una verosimilitud profunda en la crónica que permite cualquier tipo de ideas a su creador. Cuando dice la frase, permite al lector imaginarse que en realidad a nadie le interesaba, pero la historia comienza a darse vuelta cuando continúa con el relato y finalmente el partido que a nadie parecía interesarle, terminó en una guerra entre Honduras y El Salvador. En segundo lugar, alabo la magnífica capacidad de Kapuscinki de unir historias totalmente distintas pero que parecen ser una sola: Comenzando con el relato de Luis, luego de Amelia Bolaños, la niña que se disparó por ver a su patria perder, al mismo tiempo la historia de ambos equipos, la reacción del guardia de prisión Augusto Madariaga, el caso de México-Perú y México-Bélgica, y finalmente la historia de José Málaga, parecen ser la historia de una sola persona, completamente unificada y perfectamente contada. Al comenzar el relato de la guerra entre ambos países, el autor no solo cuenta lo que se sabe históricamente, sino como lo vivió el y todos los......

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Un Intervention in Rwanda and Sri Lanka

...How has the United Nations performed as an agent of mediation and peace-brokering in ethnic conflicts? Answer with reference to the UN role in Rwanda and Sri Lanka. Dr. John O’ Brennan Founded in 1945 with lofty ambitions to advance prosperity and security in the world, the United Nations Organisation (UN) is best endowed to conduct preventive diplomacy by preventing disputes and conflicts arising from interstate and intrastate relationships. It may be argued that the UN currently possess the capability to prevent such conflicts and disputes from emerging and escalating into armed confrontation (Ododa Opiyo 2012:61). Having developed peacekeeping as a form of impartial interposition between belligerents during the Suez Crisis in 1956, the UN has continually broadened its sphere of action. The organisations first 15 years of activity entailed of 15 operations however, between 1988 and December 2012, the UN set up fifty-four such operations to restore or maintain peace. Those missions extended from “simple interposition, as in the case of UNIIMOG in 1988, to enforcement operations mandated by the UN Security Council in Resolutions 770 (1992) for the former Yugoslavia and 794 (1992) for Somalia” (Hatto 2013:497). These operations consisted of humanitarian assistance, election supervision, the repatriation of refugees, the disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration of former combatants, the restoration of a state's ability to maintain security out of respect for the rule of......

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...Africa: Bharti Airtel Unfolds New Partnership Strategy to Boost Service Across Africa Moses Nosike And Emmanuel Elebeke 29 October 2010 [pic] Email| Print| Comment Share: |[pic] |[pic] |[pic] |[pic] |[pic] |[pic] | | Leading global telecommunications company, Bharti Airtel yesterday announced a new strategic partnership with IBM, Tech Mahindra and Spanco to drive world class customer service across 16 African countries where it operates. The partnership is also aimed at igniting a rapid growth in the nascent African Business Process (BPO) to deliver economic growth to many countries across the continent of Africa. Under the new agreement which is expected to be finalized soon, Bharti Airtel, which owns and currently operates the Zain brand in 16 countries across Africa, will outsource core customer service functions like call centres and back office to over 40 million of its subscribers as it prepares for significant growth in the region. Unfolding the agenda to the press in Lagos, the Chief Executive Officer (International) and joint managing Director, Bharti Airtel, Manoj Kohli said "Our partnership with IBM, Tech Mahindra and Spanco is aimed at redefining and providing a world class and seamless customer experience in all 16 countries we operate in Africa" He explained that the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) model partnership would enable Bharti Airtel customers to enjoy world class customer services with the partners introducing quality best......

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