Peacekeeping forces are deployed in record numbers in Africa today, working to support sustainable peace in regions from West Africa to the Horn of Africa and from the Western Sahara to the Great Lakes. While the United Nations (UN) leads many of these missions— more than 80 percent of its peacekeepers are deployed on the continent—African organizations are also organizing and leading missions through the African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), among other regional groups. African nations provide large numbers of personnel for UN-led missions, both on the continent and abroad, with nine African nations serving among the top 20 troop contributing countries to UN operations.
This issue brief explores current priorities for selected African leaders; considers the role of key countries in modern peace operations; reflects on the challenges of US programs to assist in these operations; and offers additional ways to further address improving the link between US goals and resources and those of African efforts.
This Issue Brief was produced in conjunction with the above workshop. The even was one of six held as part of Stimson’s series, A Better Partnership for African Peace Operations, made possible by a generous grant from the United States Institute of Peace. The series examined progress, challenges, and potential steps forward in expanding national, regional, and international capacity to lead and participate in peace operations in Africa. The six issue briefs produced in conjunction with this project provide background and analytical context for the insights gained through the Better Partnership workshops. Each brief also highlights workshop findings and identifies recommendations for the US, UN, regional organizations, and policymakers.