Reports from 2010

  • Dec. 10: The African Union mission in Somalia: decision time
    By Paul D. Williams
    | Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
    December 10, 2010

    The African Union (AU) dubbed 2010 the year of ‘peace and security in Africa’. For the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) it has been anything but. Not only has AMISOM continued to suffer heavy casualties but several non-governmental organizations have accused it of killing hundreds of civilians through indiscriminate shelling of residential areas. There is near-universal agreement that AMISOM in its current form is incapable of fulfilling its mandate to help bring peace and stability to Somalia, but time is running out to find an alternative.

    Read the rest of his essay here on SIPRI's website.

    Africa, African Union Peacekeeping | December 10, 2010
  • Engaging with Communities: The Next Challenge for Peacekeeping
    By Clea Kahn
    | Oxfam International
    November 22, 2010

    Oxfam’s aim is that “all women and men in humanitarian crises will be assured both the protection and the assistance they require, regardless of who they are or how they are affected, in a manner consistent with their human rights.” Years of experience have shown us that, in the contexts in which Oxfam works, United Nations peacekeeping forces are key to improving the protection of civilians. Oxfam is closely following the United Nations “New Horizon” process – which is currently assessing the major policy and strategy dilemmas that face UN peacekeeping today – to ensure that it results in a shared vision of protection of civilians as the main purpose of UN peacekeeping and establishes the effective approaches and capacities required to implement this vision on the ground. The report is being launched to coincide with a debate on the protection of civilians in the UN Security Council to be held on 22nd November.

    All Regions, UN Peace Operations | November 29, 2010
  • Choosing defense mission priorities
    By Dr. Gordon Adams, Matthew Leatherman and Hans-Inge Langø
    | Henry L. Stimson Center
    November 17, 2010


    It is time to discipline the defense budget, along with the rest of the federal budget. Americans understand the logic of fiscal discipline.  Spending less requires doing less.  Doing less requires setting priorities.  Setting priorities means having clear options and a strategy for managing risk.

    Over the past decade, U.S. defense spending has grown to roughly $700 billion a year, higher in real dollars than any year since WWII and equal as a percentage of the federal budget to that taken by Social Security, or income-based entitlements, or domestic discretionary spending.  Today we face pressing problems of jobs and economic recovery, along with unprecedented debts and deficits. ADM Michael Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has rightly noted that today the “single-biggest threat to our national security is our national debt.”

    Security Sector Reform, United States, UN Peace Operations, US Gov't Peacekeeping Issues | November 17, 2010
  • Congo: No Stability in Kivu despite Rapprochement with Rwanda
    | International Crisis Group
    November 16, 2010


    To the Government of Congo, its international partners and MONUSCO:

    1.  Suspend offensive military operations in the Kivu pending deployment of internationally-trained battalions, including units trained by the U.S., China, Belgium, South Africa and Angola, and then:

    a) deploy the trained Congolese battalions first in Masisi and Rutshuru territories in North Kivu to provide security for the population while the 23 March 2009 agreement between Kinshasa and the Congolese armed groups is being fully implemented; and apply targeted military pressure on the FDLR in North and South Kivu, while international partners monitor and support these battalions in the field;

    b) focus MONUSCO forces on immediately increasing protection of the population from gross human rights violations, including by maintaining an airborne rapid support and deployment capacity, defensive deployments and joint protection teams; help the national army hold territories left by the FDLR; and regain Congolese trust by ensuring that the rules of engagement are actively implemented and pursuing the arrest of Bosco; and

    c) start a revised program combined with a new disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) program under international responsibility to process all soldiers who have joined the national army since January 2008, including ex-CNDP and Congolese rebels now associated with the FDLR; and begin to reduce the 60,000 troops in the Kivu to the target number of 21,000 in the government’s January 2010 army reform plan.

    To the Government of Congo and the CNDP:

    2.  Implement fully the 23 March agreement, including by:

    a) renewing the mandate of the National Steering Committee (CNS) that expired in May 2010, so that international partners can support and monitor the CNS by reporting regularly on implementation of each side’s commitments; and reopening discussions on the ranks of the officers of other Congolese armed groups who have been integrated into the national army;

    b) appointing CNDP figures to the North Kivu provincial institutions in exchange for verifiable dismantlement of CNDP parallel administrative and tax structures, subject to MONUSCO monitoring and reporting to the CNS; and arresting Bosco;

    c) handing over responsibility for security of the Masisi and Rutshuru territories to national army battalions trained by foreign partners and MONUSCO;

    d) committing troops who have participated in the “Amani Leo” operation to join the new DDR program, so that all ex-CNDP fighters are either completely integrated into the national army or police or reinserted into civilian life; and

    e) committing not to engage in any political or military activities with foreign dissidents, including those of the Rwandan general, Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa.

    To the Governments of Congo, Rwanda and Uganda and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR):

    3.  Oversee and ensure a secure environment for refugee return in the Kivu, including by:

    a) conducting a census of the undocumented refugees who returned to the Kivu since summer 2009 in partnership with UNHCR; starting a nationality verification process and issuing voter cards to eligible persons before elections; and reviving the joint Congo-Rwanda-Uganda verification mechanism to deter illegal immigration into the Kivu; and

    b) starting repatriation of refugees from Rwanda and Uganda under UNHCR conditions, including voluntary return and security of the zones of return; the permanent local conciliation committees (CLPC) should decide if security conditions allow return based on clear benchmarks; and areas determined by MONUSCO to be under parallel administration should not be considered open for return.

    To the Government of Congo:

    4.  Build the institutions and the capacities to foster inter-communal reconciliation and dispute management, including by:

    a) developing expertise to manage land conflicts, including a land commission to review titles; reinforcing Starec, the Congolese government organisation in charge of stabilisation programs, as a permanent conflict resolution mechanism; implementing the 2008 Goma conference resolutions on peace and security; and dedicating adequate resources and additional staff taken on through a transparent recruitment process;

    b) empowering provincial institutions with resources and authority to respond to local needs; and creating the legal and administrative framework to address issues of ethnic minorities’ political representation and inconsistencies between customary and modern law; and

    c) holding a roundtable with local communities, provincial authorities and national representatives to set clear guidelines for allocating posts in the provincial administration; map out a consensual process for distancing local communities from armed groups; and adopt a code of conduct for political activities in the Kivu.

    To the presidents of Congo, Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi:

    5.  Organise a special summit of the Economic Community of the Great Lakes Countries (CEPGL) to:

    a) open political discussions at head-of-state level and chaired by the African Development Bank (ADB) to agree on economic, land and population movement issues, with the aim of forming a mutually beneficial vision for the future of the Great Lakes region;

    b) analyse jointly the region’s traumatic history, so as to foster reconciliation between Congolese and Rwandans; and

    c) commit not to interfere in legitimate efforts at consolidation of the state in eastern Congo.

    Report found here:

    Africa, Protection of Civilians, UN Peace Operations | November 19, 2010
  • Countering Terrorism in East Africa: The U.S. Response
    By Lauren Ploch
    | Congressional Research Service (CRS)
    November 3, 2010


    The United States government has implemented a range of programs to counter violent extremist threats in East Africa in response to Al Qaeda’s bombing of the U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya in 1998 and subsequent transnational terrorist activity in the region. These programs include regional and bilateral efforts, both military and civilian. The programs seek to build regional intelligence, military, law enforcement, and judicial capacities; strengthen aviation, port, and border security; stem the flow of terrorist financing; and counter the spread of extremist ideologies. Current U.S.-led regional counterterrorism efforts include the State Department’s East Africa Regional Strategic Initiative (EARSI) and the U.S. military’s Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA), part of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM). The United States has also provided significant assistance in support of the African Union’s (AU) peace operations in Somalia, where the country’s nascent security forces and AU peacekeepers face a complex insurgency waged by, among others, Al Shabaab, a local group linked to Al Qaeda that often resorts to terrorist tactics. The State Department reports that both Al Qaeda and Al Shabaab pose serious terrorist threats to the United States and U.S. interests in the region. Evidence of linkages between Al Shabaab and Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, across the Gulf of Aden in Yemen, highlight another regional dimension of the threat posed by violent extremists in the area.

    Congress has appropriated increasing counterterrorism assistance for Africa over the past decade, and has demonstrated continued interest in both the nature of the terrorist threat and efforts to counter it through hearings, investigations, and legislation. Questions have been raised regarding

    • the level of U.S. funding and personnel dedicated to these efforts;
    • the underlying assumptions on which these programs have been developed;
    • cooperation between implementing agencies; and
    • the extent to which U.S. programs actually prevent or mitigate radicalization,
    • recruitment, and support for violent extremist organizations.

    This report provides an overview of current U.S. counterterrorism assistance programs and influence operations in East Africa and explores some of the strategies underpinning them. It also provides a brief description of the evolving terrorist threat in the region. The security cooperation and civil affairs activities of the U.S. military in the region have grown substantially in the past decade, primarily in response to these threats, and the report explores the various roles of the Departments of State, Defense, Homeland Security, Treasury, Justice, and the U.S. Agency for International Development, among other agencies, in implementing counterterrorism and counterextremism programs in the region. The report does not address covert or clandestine operations to collect intelligence or capture or eliminate terrorist targets in the region.

    Related legislation includes several bills introduced in the aftermath of the July 2010 Kampala bombings: H.Con.Res. 303, H.Res. 1538, H.Res. 1596, and H.Res. 1708, as well as S.Res. 573, on Somalia; S. 3757, on Ethiopia; and H.Res. 1708, on Eritrea. For further information, see CRS Report R41070, Al Qaeda and Affiliates: Historical Perspective, Global Presence, and Implications for U.S. Policy, coordinated by John Rollins; CRS Report RL33911, Somalia: Current Conditions and Prospects for a Lasting Peace, by Ted Dagne; and CRS Report RL34003, Africa Command: U.S. Strategic Interests and the Role of the U.S. Military in Africa, by Lauren Ploch.

    Africa, African Union Peacekeeping, Security Sector Reform, US Gov't Peacekeeping Issues | November 19, 2010
  • Globalization and Scarcity: Multilateralism for a world with limits
    By Alex Evans
    | Center on International Cooperation
    November 1, 2010

    As the issue of resource scarcity arriving on the global agenda, especially in the areas of land, water, food and energy, what forms of multilateral action are needed in order to prevent a slide towards zero-sum games, resource nationalism and intensifying competition for dwindling resources?

    This is the question tackled in this new Center on International Cooperation report. It takes a functional approach to the issue, concentrating on identifying the concrete tasks that the international system needs to deliver in order to manage a new ‘age of scarcity’. The report looks at four areas for action - development and fragile states; finance and investment; international trade; and strategic resource competition between states – in each case identifying why a multilateral approach is needed, and what actions need to be taken over the short, medium and longer term.

    All Regions, UN Peace Operations | November 15, 2010
  • New Horizons Progress Report #1
    By UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations and UN Department of Field Support
    October 31, 2010

    Excerpt from the foreword:

    This paper summarizes the key outcomes of the past year and highlights the ongoing steps towards meeting the necessary peacekeeping reform agenda. It is part of a standing commitment of our two Departments to update Member States regularly on progress and prospects towards realizing the common goal of more efficient peacekeeping, adapted to the new complex realities we are facing.

    All Regions, UN Peace Operations | October 31, 2010
  • Peacekeeping and Peacebuilidng: Clarifying the Nexus
    By UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations and UN Department of Field Support
    October 31, 2010

    Summary of the paper from Security Council Report's November Forecast:

    In October 2010, "DPKO and DFS circulated an informal paper entitled 'Peacekeeping and Peacebuilidng: Clarifying the Nexus.' The aim of the paper was to clarify the priorities and sequencing of early peacebuilding tasks in the post-conflict peacekeeping context. The paper identified three primary roles of peacekeepers as early peacebuilders: articulating peacebuilding priorities; enabling the implementation of peacebuilding; and implementing early peacebuilding tasks."

    All Regions, UN Peace Operations | November 10, 2010
  • Private Contractors in Conflict Zones: The Good, the Bad, and the Strategic Impact
    By T.X. Hammes
    | Institute for National Strategic Studies
    October 28, 2010

    "There has been very little investigation by the U.S. Government into the strategic impact of contractors.  Yet contractors reduce the political capital necessary to commit U.S. forces to war, impact the legitimacy of a counterinsurgency effort, and reduce its perceived morality.  These factors attack the Nation's critical vulnerability in an irregular war - the political will of the American people." - Strategic Forum #260

    The United States has hired record numbers of contractors to serve in the conflict zones of Iraq and Afghanistan but has not seriously examined their strategic impact.  There are clearly advantages to using contractors in conflict zones, but they have three inherent characteristics that have srious negative effects during counterinsurgency operations. 

    As of March 31, 2010, the United States deployed 175,000 troops and 207,000 contractors in the war zones.  Contractors represented 50 percent of the Department of Defense (DOD) workforce in Iraq and 59 percent in Afghanistan.  These numbers include both armed and unarmed contractors.  The presence of contractors on the battlefield is obviously not a new phenomenon but has dramatically increased from the ratio of 1 contractor to 55 military personnel in Vietnam to 1:1 in the Iraq and 1.43:1 in Afghanistan.

    In this new Strategic Forum, Dr. T.X. Hammes explores the question "Does using contractors in a conflict zone make strategic sense?"

    African Union Peacekeeping, NATO & EU Peacekeeping, Security Sector Reform, All Regions, UN Peace Operations, US Gov't Peacekeeping Issues | October 28, 2010
  • No Will, No Way: US-funded Security Sector Reform in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
    | Oxfam America
    October 26, 2010

    This paper is a follow-up case study to Oxfam America’s 2009 report on US security assistance and the protection of civilians. In that report, Oxfam America examined the importance of SSR and the evolution of US policy and doctrine and then surveyed US practice. DRC is an important and useful case study of US implementation of SSR because the US government has committed to improving the security of the Congolese and to helping promote development and democracy in DRC, and SSR is crucial to solving the problems in the country. The US has provided tens of millions of dollars in support of armed forces and police reform in the DRC, yet the impact of the US efforts has not been measured and thus is not actually known. Moreover, notwithstanding these and other donor efforts, it is clear that true reform in the DRC security sector has yet to occur: “No progress at all,” according to one senior MONUC official. True reform, including the training of all security forces in civilian protection and human rights principles and the implementation of that training in field operations, plus effective application of military justice and measures to remove known human rights abusers from the army and the implementation of a judicial system based on the rule of law, is crucial to improving the humanitarian situation in DRC and moving DRC to a position of stability, economic development, and robust democracy.

    Africa, Security Sector Reform | October 27, 2010

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