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National Consent is Critical for the Success of Peace Support Operations

Given the changed circumstances in the contemporary environment and the realities of complex and highly unpredictable intra-state conflicts there has is a shift from the traditional peacekeeping missions to the current peace support operations. The difference is on the mandate of such missions; the terms and conditions under which they are mounted; and the kind of activities that the peacekeepers are now engaging in. Given the prevailing circumstances it is only logical that there be a shift of mandate to suit the changed environment in the post-Cold War world of complex emergencies.

Failure of certain peacekeeping missions such as UNAMIR in Rwanda and UNOSOM I &II in Somalia was a cry loud enough to call for action. It is in response to such that the UN has shifted from the tiny military oriented missions to more robust missions deployed in intra-state conflicts and dealing in a wide range of activities. In such missions the mandate becomes different and the scope broader. In most conflicts there is no peace to keep therefore there is need to build peace and as such it requires multi-actor involvement. Again in recent conflicts there is seen an increase in the number of conflicts resolved through mediation and other diplomatic tools other than the traditional military settlement. We should have a situation where more technocrats are coming in to help in unpeaceful situations than bringing in more guns. After all, guns are becoming lesser effective in ending wars. 

The shift from the traditional peacekeeping which was a bit narrow to the modern day wider peace support operations is as ambitious as it is complex. Some pundits like Bellamy, Paul and Griffin have highlighted some of the reasons as to why numerous UN peacekeeping missions have failed. Some of these challenges are: inadequate mandate; a mandates that are difficult to implement; confusion over the rules of engagement; inadequate resources and logistics; organizational problems, as well as, withdrawal of consent and/or failure of political will by the host country. Whereas the UN can possibly respond to, and effectively so if, it so wishes to the rest of the issues; it is unlikely that it can do anything significant as regards political will and national consent of the host country. This is the most important reason the UN and other regional bodies like the AU need support and cooperation from states both as individual entities and in their collectivity as the community of nations. Otherwise we are going to see more incidences like that recently witnessed in Burundi whereby a resolution to deploy is passed by threats from within inhibit even its very inception. 
National Consent is Critical for the Success of Peace Support Operations National Consent is Critical for the Success of Peace Support Operations Reviewed by Ibrahim Magara on April 25, 2016 Rating: 5

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