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UN Peacekeeping Missions in Africa Struggle to Fulfill Mandate in the States in which they Operate

United Nations’ peacekeeping missions in countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), South Sudan, Mali, and the Central African Republic (CAR) are struggling to succeed. The forces, who operate under strict guidelines, are unable to ensure general security, stabilize volatile situations or even protect civilians. Some analysts say that such a scenario is far from successful. experts blame the lack of success on the operational mandates of the missions in Africa, which restricts forces’ activities. For example, UN peacekeeping operations are not considered tools of enforcement: The “blue helmets” are not allowed to use lethal force except in self-defense or defense of the mandate. “I wouldn’t say that the UN missions in Africa are all failing, but rather it is the nature of their mandate that limits their efficacy or effectiveness in the areas they are meant to operate,” Fidel Amakye Owusu, an analyst with the Conflict Research Consortium for Africa. Conflict situations in Africa are very fluid and very unpredictable and, according to Owusu, that makes the nature of UN mandates very difficult to execute in volatile situations.