Nontraditional Actors: China and Russia in African Peace Operations

Issue Brief
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Nontraditional Actors: China and Russia in African Peace Operations

By Elor Nkereuwem

As permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, China and Russia have presented themselves as supporters of the principle of “African solutions to African problems.” Yet their voting behavior at the Security Council, and their support for U.N. peace operations in Africa, have not always been consistent with this rhetoric.

This report analyzes how these two nontraditional actors have engaged with peace operations in Africa. It examines how China and Russia have responded to controversial U.N. missions in five African states: Sudan, South Sudan, Burundi, Mali, and Libya. It uses meeting records of U.N. resolution deliberations and debates since 1989, as well as interviews with stakeholders, to characterize how both states have behaved in the past, with a view to understanding how they may engage on peace operations in the future.