Skip to content

How have UN Missions in Africa Fared?

Military interventions under the United Nations banner are deployed to deal with armed conflicts on the continent. However, despite having superior weapons compared to armed groups scattered across Africa, these UN missions have failed and continue to fail dismally on their mandates. In countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), South Sudan, Mali and the Central African Republic, peacekeepers find themselves having to deal with different political and cultural situations they often don’t understand. There are also vested interests that often work against the UN mandate. “Peacekeeping missions in Africa face new challenges every day that they didn’t anticipate,” said Henrik Maihack, who heads the Africa department at the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung. “And because of the political will of the contributing country – it may be difficult for them to engage armed groups directly.” The biggest concern about peacekeeping in Africa is that it hasn’t improved in the past 25 years. The missions seem to be wrapped up in economic interests rather than protecting local populations. Until the whole peacekeeping system is overhauled to serve the people’s interests and operate strictly under the terms of their mandates, local populations in Africa’s hotspots will remain at the mercy of militia groups and other warring factions.