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Abstract: Why do some armed groups commit wartime rape on a large scale, while others never turn to sexual violence? Although scholars and policymakers have made many claims about the rates, severity and locations of wartime sexual violence, there have been few systematic efforts to gather data on sexual violence during conflict. Using an original dataset, I examine the incidence of sexual violence by both insurgent groups and state actors during civil wars between 1980-2009. I first establish that there is substantial variation in the severity of wartime sexual violence, both across and within conflicts. I then use the data in a statistical analysis to test a series of competing hypotheses about the causes of wartime sexual violence. I find strong evidence that the choice of recruitment mechanism—namely, whether the armed group abducted or press-ganged its members—predicts the use of sexual violence. I maintain that this finding supports an argument about the use of rape as a method of combatant socialization, in which members of armed groups who are recruited by force use rape to create and to maintain unit cohesion. I also find that contraband funding and genocide predict sexual violence by insurgents. Notably, there is no support for several common explanations for wartime sexual violence, including ethnic war and gender inequality. Drawing on data from the Sierra Leone civil war, I examine the observable implications of the proposed mechanism on the micro level in a brief case study. The results undermine conventional wisdom on the causes of sexual violence and suggest that multiple mechanisms may be at work in understanding wartime sexual violence.
Abstract: People become refugees for many
reasons, not least because of violent
civil conflicts in which ordinary citizens
are the greatest victims. This has
led to large numbers of women,
men and children being forced to
seek sanctuary in their neighbouring
countries and further afield. These
people can remain displaced for years,
or even decades. Some may fear that
the prolonged presence of refugees
will have a negative impact on their
community or country.
In reality, if given the opportunity to
integrate and belong, former refugees
are able to be self-reliant and to
contribute socially and economically,
in many cases becoming an asset to
their host States.
Local integration is one of the
three ‘durable solutions’ for refugees
developed by the Office of the
United Nations High Commissioner
for Refugees (UNHCR), in partnership
with host and origin countries. The
other durable solutions are voluntary
repatriation to the refugees’ country
of origin, and resettlement in a third
country. Local integration is particularly relevant
when people cannot return to their
country of origin in a foreseeable
future, or have developed strong
ties with their host communities
through business or marriage. It
is based on the assumption that
refugees will remain in their country
of asylum permanently and find
a solution to their plight in that
State, possibly but not necessarily
though acquiring citizenship.
Local integration is all about
partnerships and collaboration
between agencies and countries in
the pursuit of collective solutions.
Ultimately, however, both the vision
and leadership of host governments
and the support of the international
community are critical to the
ongoing success of local integration
Abstract: What role do women play in statebuilding? How do statebuilding processes affect women's participation? Support for statebuilding has become the dominant model for international engagement in post-conflict contexts, yet donor approaches lack substantial gender analysis and are missing opportunities to promote gender equality. This paper presents findings from a research project on the impact of post-conflict statebuilding on women's citizenship. It argues that gender inequalities are linked to the underlying political settlement, and that donors must therefore address gender as a fundamentally political issue.
Abstract: This paper identifies the factors linked to cross-country differentials in growth performance in the aftermath of social conflict for 30 sub-Saharan African countries using panel data techniques. Our results show that changes in the terms of trade are the most important correlate of economic performance in post-conflict environments. This variable is typically associated with an increase in the marginal probability of positive economic performance by about 30 percent. Institutional quality emerges as the second most important factor. Foreign aid is shown to have very limited ability to explain differentials in growth performance, and other policy variables such as trade openness are not found to have a statistically significant effect. The results suggest that exogenous factors ("luck") are an important factor in post-conflict recovery. They also highlight the importance in post-conflict settings of policies to mitigate the macroeconomic impact of terms of trade volatility (including countercyclical macroeconomic policies and innovative financing instruments) and of policies to promote export diversification.
Abstract: I consider it a singular honour to have been invited today by Chatham House
to address this august forum. The Economic Community of West African
States (ECOWAS), which I represent, is a regional organisation which has,
over the years, gained your attention only for the unfortunate reasons of state
implosion and instability caused by bad governance and marginalisation. I
therefore welcome the opportunity to throw further light on its objectives,
challenges, and achievements, which factors have effectively brought
together fifteen West African states in the enterprise of improving upon the
living standards of 230 million people as well as integrating them.
The term ‘Chatham House Rule’ is today an internationally-accepted cliché
that this Institute has contributed to international diplomacy discourse, a
reference norm in rigorous and policy-oriented exchanges on global peace
and security. I therefore view your invitation to lead today’s discourse about
‘Democracy in the context of Regional Integration in West Africa’ as an
unique honour for me personally, and a recognition of ECOWAS as a leading
brand in regional integration.
Ladies and gentlemen, the evolution of ECOWAS can only be properly
understood against the backdrop of the fascinating history and circumstances
of West Africa since establishing contact with the world beyond its borders.
The fact that slavery, colonialism, as well as racial and economic
marginalisation, had left an intrinsic yearning for freedom, unity and solidarity
among peoples of African descent everywhere defines its wish to integrate its
states and peoples.
Abstract: Faced with vast post-war challenges, the government has made great strides in
rebuilding institutions and infrastructure, promoting development, providing basic
health and education, and respecting its citizens’ rights, as seen most recently in
the second poverty reduction strategy in the Agenda for Change.
However, despite important progress on many fronts, Sierra Leone is plagued by
corruption; poverty-related socio-economic rights violations; violence against
women; violations of children’s rights; impunity for past crimes against humanity;
justice system weaknesses; non-implementation of crucial Truth and Reconciliation
Commission (TRC) recommendations; and the looming threat of ethnic violence.
The absence of a clear land policy, appropriate demarcation of land, proper
registration of land and record keeping has caused disputes and violent attacks,
fuelling tensions between returned refugees and resettled IDPs over land.
In this submission, prepared for the UN Universal Periodic Review of Sierra Leone
in May 2011, Amnesty International expresses concerns in relation to the overall
human rights situation, in particular challenges within the justice sector and the
police, violations of children’s rights, gender based violence, and maternal mortality
and morbidity. Amnesty International is also concerned about impunity for past
human rights violations, and political-ethnic violence.
Abstract: It is frequently asserted that effective disarmament demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) in conflict-afflicted states can help reduce the chances of conflicts resuming and act as a platform for economic, political and social development. This follows the steadily growing importance attached to DDR as an instrument of conflict management and human development. Given the fact that many of these programmes take place in some of the world’s poorest countries, it thus makes sense to ask whether such programmes have arrested human insecurity through related programming, or, duly, established a receptive environment in which development can flourish. The literature is full of ‘lessons-learned’ assessments which attempt to chart the factors that account for the success (or failure) of a given DDR programme. Few assessments have in fact been made of these broader dimensions. This paper seeks to fill that gap.
Abstract: In early 2008, International Alert and its partner organisations in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone
launched a new sub-regional initiative funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark and
intended to empower citizens to challenge actual and perceived threats to human security and
personal safety experienced by vulnerable groups, especially women and girls, in the war-affected
area where the original three member states of the Mano River Union (MRU) converge.1
Between 1989 and 2003, these three countries experienced a catastrophic series of interlinked
wars that straddled the boundaries of the MRU, killing up to 300,000 people and displacing
several million, hundreds of thousands of them fleeing as refugees to neighbouring MRU states.
One of the legacies of these sub-regional wars and displacements has been a culture of impunity
surrounding sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV).
Untold, thousands of women and girls, but
also many men and boys, live with the psychological and sometimes physical or human legacy of
SGBV across the sub-region.
Such behaviour has not existed in isolation. In parallel to sexual violence, there is a legacy of
domestic violence and disempowerment of women that is embedded in many patriarchal cultures,
not just in West Africa.
In response to these post-war challenges, International Alert and its partners designed a tricountry
initiative to reduce threats to personal security, especially threats to women and girls, and
to challenge the culture of impunity around SGBV. The aim has been to empower communities
to lobby for more comprehensive and gender-sensitive reporting of SGBV, for more inclusive
and gender-sensitive security and justice responses, and for a coherent sub-regional response to
violence in border communities. The project has developed culturally- and linguistically-specific
programming for a network of community radio stations along the borders of the three countries
in order to promote a transformative dialogue that challenges local knowledge, attitudes and
practices around SGBV to reduce perpetration and the stigmatisation of survivors. It has also
developed a network of “animators” in nine war-affected communities who provide information,
counselling and advocacy to men and women in order to guide them through prevention and
redress actions, including access to statutory security and justice systems.
This report aims to capture the experiences of the project over two and a half years in the context
of work in three interlinked but quite specific country contexts. It looks at the extent of SGBV and domestic violence as experienced in the target communities, details the challenges and best
practices of project staff in their attempts to raise awareness and change attitudes and practices,
and analyses the particular challenges of providing security and accessing justice (statutory or
customary) in the various target communities. It concludes with a series of recommendations
for the improved provision of security and justice for women, girls and other vulnerable groups
within the MRU.
Abstract: The level of women’s participation in armed violence in Africa is determined by the nature and
typology of conflict. Using prior research as a data source, the article examines the nature of
women’s participation in on-going and recently-concluded armed conflicts in 15 countries in Africa.
Based upon data that show variations, and similarities in the contextual conditions under which
women become war participants, this article presents three kinds of wars, and the conditions that
distinguish them from one another, as a theoretical framework in analysing women’s involvement in
Africa’s armed conflicts. The findings show that in ‘resources/opportunistic’ driven wars, women’s
participation is higher and more complex when compared to ‘ethno-religious’ and
‘secessionist/autonomy’ driven wars. Moreover, this paper finds that women’s participation can be
active and passive; coerced and voluntary.
Abstract: The issue of child soldiers has become an increasing global concern. More than 300,000 soldiers under the age of 18 are fighting in conflicts in 41 countries around the world. The problem has been particularly serious in Sierra Leone where thousands of children have participated directly in armed conflict or have been recruited for labour or sexual exploitation among armed groups. Despite international concern about children in armed conflict, minimal empirical research has been dedicated to this problem. To fill the research gaps, this study has traced the experiences and perspectives of former child soldiers in Sierra Leone and investigated the implications of their participation in armed conflict. The research findings will be used to enhance community based programs and policies for the rehabilitation and reintegration of former child soldiers into community life.
Abstract: Since the end of the cold war, the way we talk about war has changed.
Instead of talking about ‘noble’ inter-state warfare, as was common in the
past, there is a new Western vocabulary depicting modern conflict as chaotic
and callous. Child soldiers are seen as emblematic element of the ‘new
wars’, yet the presence of girl fighters has been continually ignored by the
international community and neglected in academic writing. When girls
have attracted attention, it has been purely as victims. Using a case study
of Sierra Leone, this essay analyses how the Western representation of
girls as victims plays into the Western construction of Africa as a place
needful of military and humanitarian intervention. By looking at discourses
of gender and youth, I examine how the construction of the girl child is integral
to maintaining the myth of the young ‘aggressive’ African male and the white
‘saviour’; both essential for ‘new wars’ and the humanitarian industry.
The conflict in Sierra Leone has been considered by many academics
as a prime example of a ‘new war’ (Kaplan 1994; Kaldor 2001) and thus
lends itself particularly well to the subject under discussion. The emphasis
in the West has been on the ‘barbarity’ and high level of atrocities carried
out by combatants as well as the use of child soldiers. As Rosen points
out, it is seen as a ‘symbol of the horrors of modern war’ (2005:58) and
continues to attract media attention, as has done the recent film Blood
Diamonds shows. Sierra Leone has also been chosen as a case study because
of the high level of female participation in the conflict (Mazurana and Carlson
2004:2) and because of the recognition that girls were failed in the
Demobilisation Demilitarization and Reintegration (DDR) process (Coulter
2005), which I shall briefly touch on in this essay, although space limits a
more detailed analysis.
Abstract: The Examples from the Ground are concrete illustrations of ways in which a gender perspective has been integrated in different security sector institutions around the world. They range from measures to counter human trafficking in Kosovo, to women’s organisations’ involvement with security institutions in Nepal, to female parliamentarians’ contribution to post-conflict reconstruction in Rwanda. These examples can help policymakers, trainers and educators better understand and demonstrate the linkages between gender and SSR.
The examples are organised around the following nine themes, for which a short introduction is provided:
• Police Reform and Gender
• Defence Reform and Gender
• Justice Reform and Gender
• Penal Reform and Gender
• Border Management and Gender
• Parliamentary Oversight of the Security Sector and Gender
• National Security Policy-Making and Gender
• Civil Society Oversight of the Security Sector and Gender
• SSR Assessment, Monitoring and Evaluation and Gender
Individual examples can also be downloaded individually, in English or in French, at: http://gssrtraining.ch/index.php?option=com_content&view;=article&id;=4&Itemid;=131〈=en
Abstract: This special research report provides an analysis of a set of new issues that have been emerging in the West African subregion and possible implications for the Security Council in the coming year(s). It identifies some key emerging threats to peace and security in the 16-state subregion and their linkages to existing security challenges. The report points to a key feature: the fact that some of the new threats are essentially criminal rather than political in nature. However, it explains also the growing political and security implications. The report also highlights action already taken by the Council to recognise these threats and considers options available to the Council to tackle these issues going forward.
The raw material for the study was derived from literature research; field research in a number of countries in the West African subregion (including Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Senegal, Ghana and Nigeria); and interviews in the region with diplomats, government officials and officials of relevant international intergovernmental bodies (e.g. UN Office in West Africa or UNOWA, UN Office for Drugs and Crime or UNODC, the Economic Community of West African States or ECOWAS and the AU), NGOs and academics.
Abstract: This paper reviews the recent literature on processes of violent mobilisation. It highlights
the need to distinguish between conflict and violence, arguing that violence deserves specific
attention, separate from an analysis of the macro-cleavages which lead to social conflict.
It goes on to detail those circumstances which result in political violence. Political violence
is generally initiated by ‘specialists’, people with the specific skills and desire to trigger
such conflict, and we analyse what makes non-specialists follow them. We question the
validity of a dichotomy between greed and grievances as drivers of violent engagement.
Instead we show that participation in violence could be seen, from an individual perspective,
as a constantly changing process of ‘navigation’. However, this makes establishing motivations
for violence difficult, both analytically and empirically. We therefore suggest an alternative
way of studying the causes of the worst forms of collective violence, shifting attention
from the individual to armed organisations. Indeed, these armed organisations are where
the external constraints on insurgency (logistical, political, military) and the internal imperatives
of military cohesion and efficiency are dealt with. The forms of collective violence (of
high intensity or not, targeted or indiscriminate etc.) stem from how such organisational
puzzles are solved. We detail some of the causal mechanisms that could be significant in
shaping the histories and routes taken by such armed organisations. The last section discusses
the policy implications of these findings.
Abstract: This briefing paper outlines the key opportunities and challenges
presented by a more integrated approach to international engagements
to build stability in fragile states. In particular,
it considers the risks and benefits of greater coordination between humanitarian, development and security agendas, suggesting
that the potential tension between these objectives must be recognised and addressed in a pragmatic and principled manner.
Abstract: Poor conflict-affected countries tend to have large numbers of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and, in at least some cases, large numbers of refugees. But the figures should be treated with caution; in some cases, such as Angola and Sierra Leone, governments simply decided that there are no longer IDPs, even if in fact many of those displaced by the conflicts have yet to find durable solutions. It is important to note that displacement is not confined to poor conflict affected states, but it is also a characteristic of some middle income countries, some of which have stable governments, such as Georgia, Colombia, Azerbaijan, Syria and Turkey.
This report was prepared for the Education for All Global Monitoring Report 2011. It explores patterns of displacement and the linkages between armed conflict and education. Some recommendations include:
• That UN agencies and civil society organizations provide necessary technical support to governments to adopt the necessary laws and policies to ensure that IDPs and refugees have access to education.
• That UN agencies, NGOs and bilateral donors ensure that programs developed to provide education to IDPs and refugees take into consideration the broader context of DACs, for example in ensuring that host and return communities are supported in their efforts to provide educational opportunities to the displaced or returnees.
• That GMR highlight the importance of humanitarian and development actors working together to develop ways to re-establish educational systems in post-conflict settings.
Abstract: The phenomenon of the use of child soldiers, particularly in violent conflicts in the developing world, is widely recognized as a problem deserving serious world attention. Indeed, given the number of gala events and international conferences held to discuss the issue and the elaborate structure of international agreements to halt the recruitment of children already in place, one might think that the problems should all have been solved some years ago. They have not.
This paper is grounded on the belief that the child soldier problematique might benefit from a more detached analysis than it usually receives. While the authors share the emotional horror at conditions faced by many helpless children forced into violent conflict by unscrupulous adults, we also think that it is not useful to try to separate the problem from its political, security, economic or social contexts. Contemporary dialogue seldom goes deeper beneath the surface of the problem to look at underlying issues associated with basic assumptions about the nature of states or the ways in which political power can be harnessed or challenged by non-state actors. Fundamental notions about the relationships between obligations, agency and human rights under conditions of conflict need also to be considered as part of any serious attempt to intervene on behalf of children. Children are part of larger contexts and thus the attempt to carve out a protected space for them must take into account the social, economic and political factors affecting the communities in which they live.
This study will devote a good deal of effort to the discussion of what we feel are core concepts of the child soldier context: governance and Agency. We use the term ‘governance’ in the neutral sense relating to the capacity of polities5 to govern themselves. The term ‘Agency’, when capitalized, we associate strictly with the notion of collective action. We hope the discussion of the relationship between these concepts will both clarify the ways in which we use the terms and illustrate the difficulties of trying to apply abstract notions of human rights to contexts characterized by political and moral complexity.
Abstract: This paper discusses the uneasy role of chiefs within three cycles of security and justice reform in Sierra Leone during the past decade. Interaction has been indirect, by default or marginal, and always hesitant. This has been the case, even though chiefs constitute the most important governing institution in Sierra Leone’s rural communities. One of the key tensions, I argue, has been the tendency to cast chiefs as state or non-state, respectively, or even as a hybrid between the two. However, as illustrated in this paper, while they are formally and discursively tied into a ‘state system’ in the Constitution and in legislation, they are subjected to limited oversight, and therefore govern in relative autonomy. A new program, designed in 2010, might help to transcend the state-non-state dichotomy and prepare the ground for a more productive way of engaging chiefs that do not fit into either a state or non-state category. This is done by focusing on which actors are actually providing security and justice, rather than who donors would prefer did it, i.e., the state.
Abstract: This briefing note seeks to contribute to the knowledge on Resolution 1325, building on
International Alert’s work in the MRU region during the last few years. The first section briefly
discusses the need to adjust the approach to implementing Resolution 1325 in challenging
contexts such as post-conflict Sierra Leone and Liberia and conflict-prone Guinea.2 Based on a
brief discussion of salient issues and thematic priorities across the three countries, the subsequent
section sketches the contours of a comprehensive agenda for implementing Resolution 1325 in
the MRU region. The three components of this agenda are addressing women’s security needs,
enhancing their political participation, and implementing gender equality legislation and policies.
The briefing note ends with the following four broad recommendations to sustain and enhance
work on Resolution 1325 in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone:
1. Working (better) with what exists: Engage custodians of the customary justice system.
2. Address sexual and gender-based violence: Mobilise communities through change agents.
3. Economics matters: Address the economic dimension of gender, peace and security.
4. From plans to action: Make smart investments in civil society.
Abstract: The period after a conflict provides a unique opportunity to reform political institutions and
processes in a way that will increase the opportunities for women to participate in decisionmaking.
Much of the international peacebuilding effort to build sustainable and peaceful societies
has focused on seizing this opportunity. Elections, for example, offer women the chance to translate
the new roles they assumed out of necessity during conflict into formal political representation.
However, elections also expose women to lingering discriminatory mindsets and cultural practices
that are considerable barriers to their greater political participation.
Despite notable positive developments in many post-conflict countries in Africa, women’s
representation in the parliaments of Liberia and Sierra Leone remains low and elections are still
a considerable source of tension. This paper draws on local views to provide a largely qualitative
assessment of the current state of women’s political participation in the two countries ahead of
their forthcoming elections. It initially identifies the expanding opportunities for women that have
emerged since conflict ended and shows how accompanying trends affect their greater participation.
The paper then highlights the key issues on women’s minds ahead of the forthcoming elections,
before proposing a set of recommended actions to advance women’s political participation further
in the two countries.
Abstract: The project sought to examine the relationship between these statutory bodies and
conflict issues and dynamics in the context in which they operate. The project also explored
the extent to which the protection and promotion of human rights by national human rights
institutions contributes to constructive conflict management and peacebuilding in their
societies, and considered the relevance of conflict management and peacebuilding, both as a
theoretical and practical discipline, for national human rights institutions. Independent
analysts carried out research in Ghana, Uganda, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, working closely
with in-country experts and organisations to facilitate access to the staff of human rights
commissions and other key stakeholders. Practical conflict management training was carried
out concurrently by CCR with the Commission for Human Rights in Tanzania, and a case
study on this commission was compiled.
The research project and the resulting edited volume constitute, as far as we are aware, the
first attempt to consider national human rights institutions from a perspective of conflict
management and peacebuilding. This was undertaken by CCR’s Human Rights and Conflict
Management Programme (HRCMP), which was established in 1999 to explore, understand and
promote the relationship between the fields of human rights and conflict management – two
fields that had, until then, seldom been considered in conjunction with one another. In recent
years, the HRCMP has increasingly focused on national human rights institutions as bodies that
are strategically located not only to have an impact on the protection and promotion of human
rights, but also on the constructive management of conflict in their societies. The aims and
objectives of such institutions may predominantly or exclusively be framed in the language of
human rights, yet the implementation of their mission and mandate often involves managing
conflict on a continuous basis.
Abstract: Militias, rebels and Islamist militants: human insecurity and state crises in Africa explores how armed non-state groups have emerged as key players in African politics and armed conflicts since the 1990s. The book is a critical, multidisciplinary and comprehensive study of the threats that militias, rebels and Islamist militants pose to human security and the state in Africa. Through case studies utilising multidisciplinary approaches and concepts, analytical frameworks and perspectives cutting across the social sciences and humanities, the book conceptualises armed non-state groups in Africa through their links to the state. After contextualising these groups in history, culture, economics, politics, law and other factors, a systematic effort is made to locate their roots in group identity, social deprivation, resource competition, elite manipulations, the youth problématique, economic decline, poor political leadership and governance crisis. Differentiating militias from insurgents, rebel groups and extremist religious movements, the book illustrates how some of the groups have sustained themselves, undermining both human security and the state capacity to provide it. The responses to their threats by local communities, states, regional mechanisms and initiatives, and the international communities are analysed. The findings provide a conceptual reference for scholars and practical recommendations for policymakers.
Abstract: The United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) has reviewed its past support to transitional justice
processes in a select group of countries to assess the effectiveness of programming and draw lessons for the
development of a more coordinated, coherent and systematic approach. The objective is to design and support
strategies for the integration of a women’s human rights perspective into various transitional justice mechanisms;
including truth commissions, criminal prosecutions, traditional/local justice and reconciliation mechanisms, institutional
reform and reparations. The three country studies in this review—the
Republic of Sierra Leone, the Republic of Rwanda,
and the Republic of Peru—were selected
because each presents a unique opportunity
to extract lessons and best practice with regard
to securing gender justice in the wake of
armed conflict. The goal of the review exercise is
to inform the institutional response by all actors
engaged in justice and reconstruction efforts in
Each country study is structured
to include information on: the position of women
prior to the main political conflict; the situation
of women in the post-conflict period, which illustrates
the impact of the conflict and need for
redress; the key transitional justice mechanisms
employed and their effectiveness in addressing
women’s experiences of violations during the
conflict; UNIFEM programming in the country;
and recommendations for future programming.
The focus is primarily on women’s experiences
of sexual gender-based violence (SGBV) during
armed conflict and ways women have been
able to access justice for these crimes, whether
through prosecutions in the formal justice system,
accountability through truth commissions,
or reparative justice.
While access to justice for sexual violence crimes
is not the whole picture and will not deliver the
transformative reforms necessary to redress
the inequality, gendered norms and power differentials
that lead to and exacerbate women’s
vulnerability in conflict, it is an important component
of broader gender justice goals.
Abstract: This paper analyses the extent to which international and ‘mixed’ or ‘hybrid’ criminal courts, in particular the International Criminal Court (ICC), have focused on crimes against children and dealt with children as victims, witnesses and potential offenders. The paper underlines the major role played recently by international courts, notably the Special Court for Sierra Leone, followed by the ICC, in criminalizing as war crimes the conscription or enlistment of children and their use to participate actively in hostilities. The Special Court was the first to hand down convictions for these crimes. The first cases before the ICC also concern the unlawful recruitment of children or their use in hostilities, bringing these crimes to the fore.
Abstract: For the past 60 years, the United Nations has been keeping foes apart in strife-torn parts
of the world, and rebuilding countries and communities afterwards. In the UN’s peace
operations in Africa, India has been an active partner since its peacekeeping mission in the
Congo in 1960. In this paper, all references to ‘the Congo’ denote the Democratic Republic
of Congo (formerly Zaire), and not the Republic of Congo (or Congo–Brazzaville).
This paper explores India’s peacekeeping efforts in Africa over the last five decades.
It analyses the reasons for India’s engagement in African peace missions, and finds that
different motives and incentives appear to be driving India’s peacekeeping. Some of these
can be explained along Cold War fault lines.
A chronological account of India’s peacekeeping actions in Africa illustrates that country’s
commitment to securing peace, the depth of involvement, the fatalities bravely borne and
the hardships endured. Even more important, the record shows that India continues to use
the experience that has been gained to refine its approach to peacekeeping.
In conclusion, the paper offers a forecast of what form India’s commitments to Africa’s
peacekeeping requirements are likely to take in the future. India may well develop criteria
that require a greater return on investment than has been the case over the last halfcentury.
A more tempered approach — particularly in view of India’s global aspirations
— seems likely.