Peacemaking and Peacekeeping Efforts in Africa


Peacemaking refers to the processes followed to bring peace to people in inevitable disagreements for several reasons. First, these efforts can be put in place after several years of violence by the affected people or communities (Van Nieuwkerk, A., 2021). Successful peacemaking involves communities transitioning from fighting to a state where they maintain peaceful relations. The transition is made possible by the parties involved agreeing to become friendly. Several methods can achieve the best peacemaking results in different countries. These methods include negotiation between other communities at war, mediation between them, and in some cases, judicial settlement is involved. Some violent interventions have made the communities agree concerning their disagreements in extreme cases (Hultman, L., 2020). Peacemaking eventually brings long-term results by encouraging people to solve their differences in more amicable ways and repair their relationships.

Peacekeeping involves employing military forces to maintain a truce between communities fighting each other from time to time. Other individuals involved in peacekeeping missions include civilian personnel, soldiers, and police officers (Sandler, T., 2021). By enhancing peace missions, civilians of communities at war are protected, while conflict is also prevented. In addition, there are reduced occurrences of violence, and the national authorities have become more robust, thus strengthening the security of these communities. Success occurs when the political strategies of a particular country are supported by the parties responsible for the peace missions. All activities are implemented by the United Nations and are accountable for the outcomes of these missions. Both peacemaking and peacekeeping are complementary terminologies whose goal is to reunite and reconcile conflicting communities (Agbaje, F.I., 2018). Different execution processes all target to help countries and communities live at peace and avoid incidences that lead to conflicts and wars.

For peacekeeping operations to be successful, military units should be available to stand between two opposing communities. The presence of the military shows the seriousness of the situation, thus employing these extreme measures (Nilsson, D., 2020). Alternatively, these processes involve deploying an active military operation to stop conflicts and achieve peace between conflicting parties. These two terms are different since one is used to prevent disputes while the other brings peace. However, they are both used concurrently to achieve the same goals. Therefore, more duties are given to peacekeepers and making it the most vital part of the two components of bringing peace. Peace missions are essential in preventing minor disputes from becoming massive conflicts with life-threatening results. In cases where the arguments have already occurred, these efforts ensure that those conflicts do not spread rapidly across communities (Chi, HultmaN, and Nillson, 2020). Peacemaking helps bring the affected parties to the applicable agreements to stop fighting and uphold peace.

These peacekeeping operations aim to bring the right African solutions to the problems that Africans face from time to time. The more these operations are encouraged all over Africa, and the more Africans will also develop their methods to deal with their problems in the future (Adetiba, T.C., 2017). Dealing with their issues in their ways will be easier since they understand themselves better, what causes these problems and how to deal with them amicably. Africans can also learn and develop capabilities to help other nations outside Africa restore their peace from these missions. This essay aims to identify the various peacekeeping activities that have taken place in different African countries and how effective they were in restoring Pease. Debates and criticisms arise from these missions where critics feel they may not be as successful as they were hoped to be (Van Nieuwkerk, A., 2021). However, the tasks were successful in other countries as they helped end human suffering and restore the peace that has continued up to date.

Literature review

There are specific initiatives and bodies formed worldwide to foster peace operations and form policies. These bodies helped Abyei de-escalate the tension and violence available in the country in 2011 (Blair, Di Salvatore, and Smidt, 2020). The displacement of people prompted the deployment of peacekeepers to help restore peace and help civilians. Some of the help they facilitated included delivering humanitarian aid and other necessities to the affected civilians. The U.N. formed the body after an agreement was reached to allow Ethiopian troops to monitor Abyei, thus restoring peace. In addition, MINUSCA was developed to help the central Africa republic reduce its political crises and uphold human rights (Botha, A., 2021). Furthermore, the U.N. deployed it to help protect innocent civilians from getting injured or harmed in war. Other responsibilities included assisting those who had fled from their countries to return and helping them join their fellow members in the community peacefully.

MONUSCO was formed and deployed to DRC to help protect civilians and use any available means to restore peace. The U.N. directed them to ensure there was no physical violence directed at any of the civilians in the country (Nilsson, D., 2020). Their end game was to help the government of DRC to stabilize and consolidate peace efforts between its conflicting communities, thus restoring peace in the whole country. Several police troops and other countries also contributed to the success of this mission. MINUSMA was tasked with stabilizing Mali due to several conflicts resulting in war (Botha, A., 2021). Also, the body supported Malian authorities in their transition resulting in a peaceful country after their chaos. The body was also supposed to support any positive political processes that helped drive the country forward peacefully. Like the rest of the bodies, MINUSMA was to prioritize the lives of civilians and protect them from any effects of war and conflicts. Their help in supporting political dialogues ensured they came up with the best solutions for the various competitions present in Mali.

Peacemaking and peacekeeping efforts in Africa have been prompted by frequent conflicts between themselves and other international countries. These conflicts often result in human rights violations and suffering to civilians. Most of these conflicts among the nations often have several reasons for their arising. The grounds include ethnic tensions between different ethnicities, especially when one is treated as minor than the other (Karlsrud, J., 2019). These tensions worsen when the members cannot speak against them, and with time, they begin fighting. In addition, some corrupt governments and regimes displease members of their communities, thus becoming disgruntled and unsatisfied (Blair, Di Salvatore, and Smidt, 2020). In such cases, any minor provocation can cause a massive conflict that the efforts of peacekeepers will only subside. Some arms traders also support dictatorial regimes since they stand to benefit, thus leading to dissatisfied members of a community and, eventually, conflicts.

There have been records of peacemaking and peacekeeping missions in Africa to help bring peace to various conflicting communities. The efforts began in 1948 and have helped different countries in Africa become peaceful and avoid getting into war again (Agbaje, F.I., 2018). These efforts helped people in other African countries become concerned about their well-being. These communities now share a common concern and ensure social solidarity among all community members. However, these peacemaking missions have borne little fruit since, in 2019, several countries had conflicts within their territories. These countries included Cameroon, Nigeria, Mali, and Somalia, where more peacemaking missions continue to restore peace to these countries (Blair, Di Salvatore, and Smidt, 2020). The wars and conflicts in these communities have brought both human and material losses to them. The economies of these countries also suffer greatly since other communities find it difficult to trade with communities in conflicts.

Wars and conflicts in Africa have become the leading cause of displacement of people from those communities that have conflicts. People move from conflicting areas searching for peace elsewhere, jeopardizing their security and safety (Hultman, L., 2020). Some other members of these communities also suffer disabilities resulting from being caught in the middle of the conflicts. These continued wars and conflicts have led to various refugee centers accommodating those fleeing their homes. These centers have increased, and the governments have to divert their resources to take care of those people. The communities would have used these resources to develop the country further, but now have to be channeled to help people fleeing from their homes (Coleman and Job, 2021). These occurrences make it necessary to employ peacemaking bodies to intervene and salvage the situation. The insecurity issues prompt the peacemaking bodies to avail their services and resources to alleviate the suffering of those community members.

Since Africa has been conflict-stricken, it is known to have the most peacekeeping missions than other continents. The U.N. has deployed peacekeeping operations to different African countries with frequent civil wars to help protect civilians and end the fights (Botha, A., 2021). Apart from protecting civilians, these missions help reduce the consequences of these wars, thus making the countries more habitable. However, there are flaws in these missions, including association with sexual harassment and other abuses that the victims receive from the peacekeepers. Such peacekeepers have been condemned to ensure that such incidences do not occur again. Funding for the peacekeeping missions stopped once there was a rise in those cases but was soon resolved, and the U.N. continued with these missions (Karlsrud, 2019). Nevertheless, the U.N. keeps brainstorming to improve the assignments and make them more effective, thus presenting longer-lasting solutions than before. Improvements implemented include seeking the help of other non-UN bodies and deploying them to other parts of Africa to enhance their peacekeeping missions.

As the U.N. deploys these peacekeeping missions, it issues conditions on how they should conduct the tasks. Peacekeepers are directed to only offer their services where the countries consent to their presence and execute their missions (Coleman and Job, 2021). They should also remain impartial by treating all the conflicting communities differently. However, they should not be neutral to either of them but act as a director on the right path to restore peace for the communities. The peacekeepers are not allowed to use any force on the people except when they need to defend themselves from the retaliations and attacks of the conflicting communities. These have been possible for the peacekeepers to observe, except where some parties do not consent to peacekeeping missions. Such parties include Mali and the DRC, but the peacekeepers ensure they execute their responsibility (Blair, Di Salvatore, and Smidt, 2020). In doing this, they have helped stop the destruction of life and property and improve the vulnerable groups lives in these countries. The peacekeepers ensure that they maximumly protect women, children, and the elderly during their missions.

The peacekeeping missions in Africa currently include Sudan and South Sudan, DR Congo, and Mali. In addition, other peacekeeping and security missions are under the African and European Union that have helped in enhancing these missions in African countries (Adetiba, T.C., 2017). Other bodies, such as the ECOWAS, have also played an essential role in providing alternative traditional peacekeeping missions. These bodies provided the necessary funding and foresaw all the logistics of keeping peace in various countries. In addition, the U.N. gave the go-ahead to other security initiatives to enhance these missions when there was a need for their services. Such groups included the Boko Haram and Sahel’s force, who worked according to the U.N. guidelines. With time, these groups were allowed to become fully operational and coordinate their missions with other peacekeepers from the U.N. Their addition added more force to the already established peacekeeping groups.

Different peacekeeping groups were expected to coordinate their activities according to the intensity of conflicts in their locations. Others would have to put stricter measures in place compared to others. The peacekeeping forces were tasked with protecting all civilians and containing the fights that were taking place in target African countries (Blair, Di Salvatore, and Smidt, 2020). Other groups helped ensure smooth transitions in democracy and confirmed peace during democratic meetings. Some peacebuilding activities in various countries include removing landmines designed by one community to kill or destroy members of another community (Hultman, L., 2020). Since the conflicting communities no longer adhere to the general laws of the country, it is the work of peacekeepers to restore the rule of law and make sure that citizens abide by those laws. They also ensured that the conflicting communities realized that human rights governed them and expected to observe them. During elections, peacekeeping groups were responsible for giving assistance and ensuring peace all over the country. In addition, the peacekeepers helped disarm and demobilize various groups suspected to be causing the conflicts occurring in their countries.

These missions have shown tremendous results as they have led to a change of heart in those conflicting communities and made them realize the importance of peacekeeping and maintaining their peace. The development of OAU has helped develop more peacekeeping operations internally (Coleman and Job, 2021). The peacekeeping exercises are conducted after the right individuals have been fully trained and equipped for peacekeeping missions. Nonetheless, these initiatives are flawed since Africans have not established their capacity to utilize their available resources to tackle the issues they face. The countries have also not set the ability to build and develop together towards a common goal. Their failure makes it challenging to connect their capacity to produce, utilize and uphold other missions like peacemaking and peacekeeping (Adetiba, T.C., 2017). The U.N. can correct these flaws by accepting coalitions and help from other peacekeeping bodies.

Possible debates

Recent studies indicate that peacekeeping missions have turned from monitoring and keeping the peace to warfighting and protecting other interests. These activities are not part of the peacekeeping missions, thus raising arguments about whether these peacekeeping missions are effective (Bara and Holman., 2020). Some of these peacekeeping operations began taking sides with conflicting communities which was against the guidelines given to them by the U.N. They started serving their interests and forgot the mission’s main objectives. The African Union directed other peace operations after the member states had agreed on what to be done and where. As discussed earlier, Some U.N. peacekeepers were sexually exploiting and abusing the vulnerable members of the African communities (Kim and Sandler, 2021). Such allegations questioned the integrity of some peacekeepers, and strict measures were put in place to ensure such did not occur again.

Peacekeeping missions are a way for rich countries to use their power and get soldiers from poorer countries to resolve conflicts in other wealthy countries. These occurrences have raised questions on whether the peacekeeping missions are essential or are just ways of exploitation by the rich countries. In most cases, rich countries do not care much about the individuals who participate in the missions. Instead, they use their power to intimidate and their money to silence their leaders (Council on Foreign Relations, 2021). Peacekeeping missions in African countries have not given the expected results since there is no guarantee that these groups will solve the problems that African countries problems. These missions may not end conflicts and wars immediately, but they restore peace to the countries at war. Despite many debates and questions facing peacekeeping missions, there is enough proof that these missions help manage conflicts in different countries and restore peace, albeit not a permanent solution.

Major criticism includes the mismanagement of resources such that not all civilians in the line of conflict are rescued. The most common problem is the mismanagement of funds by the peacekeeping groups, which deems their efforts unsuccessful (Bara and Hultman, 2020). Other criticisms and debates that have also presented themselves with time include how effective these peacekeeping missions are regarding the type of terrain found in Africa. The geography of Africa has proven to be complicated, with rugged landscapes that are difficult for peacekeepers to navigate (Van, 2021). The terrains make it challenging to reach all the communities that need the help and services of the peacekeepers, thus eventually succumbing to illnesses, injuries, and lack of proper medical assistance. The peacekeepers have been blamed for failing to take their services where they are direly needed, thus prompting other nations to ask if their missions are effective (Blair, Di Salvatore, and Smidt, 2020). The concerned bodies should direct some resources to alleviate poverty before administering the peacekeeping missions, thus making the initiative more sensible to the receivers of their services.

Other critics have also come up with different possibilities of these missions becoming more costly and not registering the desired results. They claim that the successes of these missions do not correspond to the number of funds they receive for their peacekeeping activities (Sandler, T., 2021). The peacekeeper solely relies on funding from donors, yet they seem to be misappropriating those funds. These findings prompted President Trump to reduce the U.S.’s contributions toward these missions. To counteract this, China has boosted the funding of peacekeeping missions by giving them a massive donation that will facilitate their operations (United Nations Peacekeeping, 2021). Other critics, however, think that leaders may use the veto power to disapprove of peacekeeping missions, thus weakening them and slowing them down even with the availability of China’s funds (Nations, 2021). The political strategies of peacekeeping mandates need to be made more transparent to help clear the air about their effectiveness in their target countries.

Research aims and objectives

This research aims to identify the peacemaking and peacekeeping missions that have taken place in Africa. Some of the questions that the study seeks to answer include; how effective these missions are and if the efforts of peacemakers and peacekeepers bore the anticipated fruits. The study will help determine the effectiveness of the peacekeeping missions and how they were conducted. The objectives include specifying how the peacekeeping and peacemaking missions need to be undertaken and the specific procedures to be followed to be successful. Most of the U.N. missions are centered around peacekeeping missions and ensuring various bodies cooperate to achieve these objectives and keep all countries peaceful and free from conflicts. Discussed below are in line with these objectives stating how these missions were adequate and the challenges faced by peacekeepers, thus making their task goals complex and impossible to achieve.

Peacemaking and peacekeeping efforts in Africa have been complex since different countries often have conflicts. Such a scenario makes the actions of the U.N. and other peacekeepers more stretched, thus not reaching all those who need those efforts (Coleman and Job, 2021). Some factors that complicate these missions include political scenarios where the citizens do not favor what politicians have agreed to do. Some of these political players may also have hidden motives when working together. As time goes by, conflicts arise, and the different political groups and their supporters start fighting, as observed in South Sudan. The fight breaks the former political coexistence, and the country goes to war, prompting the efforts of peacekeepers (Adetiba, T.C., 2017). Since they are not allowed to be partial, the peacekeepers ensure that they resolve such differences amicably, which can sometimes be tricky.

Peacekeeping missions have become unsuccessful in Africa, thus bringing debates of whether the initiatives should continue or stop because of these challenges. Some countries like Libya and Mali have little or no authority over their people, so they cannot be governed appropriately (Both, 2021). Such situations can create parallel bodies to the government that prevents the state from using the needed force in dealing with them. Such countries derail the efforts of peacekeepers and continue being at war and derailing their national developments. Continuous conflicts make countries inaccessible to traders or interested people. Thus, their economy drops since they cannot earn anything because of conflicts and war. Such countries have little political endurance since the chosen leaders find it hard to control their people, thus allowing them to continue fighting (Sandler, T., 2021). No leader would be happy to endure a conflict-stricken country, especially when there is no solution in sight for them since the peacekeepers have not succeeded in their mission. The right peacekeepers for such scenarios support the political strategies available in that country, thus working together with leaders to restore peace.

Peacekeeping efforts may be fruitful sometimes and keep conflicts at bay for several countries, but not all of them. There is always the fear of relapse of other countries back to their conflicting days. These relapses can be brought about by organized groups in several countries who may hold the country, hostage, by using their positions to intimidate weak states (Van Nieuwkerk, A., 2021). Other debates occur where socio-economic justice is not given equally to those who deserve it. Such cases give rise to rebels who want to see all perpetrators punished similarly, and fail to raise other conflicts quickly. Peacekeepers have been tasked with equal land and wealth after a country has attained peace, often difficult to resolve. Since everyone wants a share of wealth or land, it becomes challenging to identify the real owners of specific resources, thus making it easy for people to get into conflicts again (Adetiba, T.C., 2017). Trouble makers in these countries are supposed to face the law because failing to punish them brings mistrust among other members of their communities, leading to wars and fights.

Some internationals responsible for executing peacekeeping missions fail to coordinate themselves well and develop the right plans to ensure their missions are successful. Proper coordination ensures they identify the funding source for their assignments and determine how much funding they need to see to the end of their missions (Ani, N.C., 2019). Large organizations sometimes coordinate tasks that direct their resources to countries that are easy to add to the team. In doing this, the peacekeeping mission, funding, and resources may not reach those who need them because of the partiality shown to others. Such cases raise questions on how peacekeeping missions are distributed and which countries deserve more than the others (Botha, A., 2021). However, this should not be the case since peacekeeping is about helping conflicting countries resolve their issues and go back to their everyday lives. As the peacekeeping strategies are implemented, more debates keep arising to question the integrity of peacekeepers and the effectiveness of these missions.


All the information for this research came from different peer-reviewed sources, thus ensuring their validity. In addition, the study used other books, articles, and journals to develop the information. All these materials were easily accessible from the internet, which helped make the work easier. Some of the sources had disclaimers that their information was only for educational purposes but was also genuine and could reflect on the past regarding peacemaking and peacekeeping missions. Furthermore, the researcher ensured that the sources adhered to the inclusion and exclusion criteria that fit the study design to ensure that the materials were credible enough. The sources used had all the recommended standards, such as the populations studied and the study’s outcomes and timeline. All these ensured that the information in the research would be verifiable.


In conclusion, this essay identified the need for peacemaking and peacekeeping missions in African countries since they are frequently affected by conflicts and wars among their communities. Some of these missions have successfully restored peace in the warring countries, but most of all, they have helped preserve the lives of ordinary civilians not getting caught in the crossfires during war and conflicts. Several criticisms arising from these missions are worth looking into and rectifying the mistakes mentioned. The research objectives of this essay were all discussed well according to the guidelines. The methodology used in developing the paper shows that the study used credible sources to get all the information used to create the essay and succeed.

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DemoEssays. "Peacemaking and Peacekeeping Efforts in Africa." March 2, 2023.