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    UN rethinks Africa peacekeeping role

    APA-Dakar (Senegal) By Oumar Dembele

    The United Nations says it is reflecting on the nature of its peacekeeping missions around Africa with a view to carrying out reforms to improve such operations.

    Speaking in Dakar, Senegal on Wednesday, the UN Secretary General’s special representative in West Africa and the Sahel, Mohamed Ibn Chambas said this was necessitated by questions being raised about their impact in some regions of the continent especially those under the threat of terrorism.


    “We are in the process of reforming at the United Nations, including the ways in which we maintain peace in Africa and elsewhere,” Chambas said, calling for the intensification of the war against terrorism.

    “Violent extremism and terrorism are new challenges for us. And the way to tackle them must also be appropriate, because in fact peacekeeping missions in the past were done in a context where there existed two well-identified parties to the conflict (rebels against government)” the Ghanaian diplomat said.

    Today, we’ve seen an asymmetric war in which it is impossible to sit down and talk to the terrorists” he pointed out.

    Illustrating his point, he cited as an example Somalia “where we focused our efforts to fight al-Shabaab leading to great success”.

    The UN official said however with regard to the Sahel, the international community has not accepted this model, although it has proved effective in Somalia.

    On 5 November, Senegalese President Macky Sall while hosting the fifth International Forum on Peace and Security in Africa called for reforms of the UN military missions on the continent with a view to greater efficiency.

    Sall had argued that despite the deployment of UN troops in neighbouring Mali, the country continues to be plagued by insecurity.

    While urging a sustainable funding of the G5 Sahel joint force, Chambas, expressed hope that with the death of jihadist leader Hamadoun Kufa, acts of terrorism in Mali will decrease.

    Last week, Mali’s Defense ministry confirmed that Kufa along with 30 militants were liquidated.


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