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New geopolitics of peace operations: Africa

UN peacekeeper on duty in Liberia
UN peacekeeper on duty in Liberia, 2012. Photo: UN Photo/Staton Winter

The New Geopolitics of Peace Operations II: Africa project aims to improve understanding about the peace and security needs of different African regions, and foster dialogue on how international cooperation on peace operations in Africa could be improved. This will be achieved through a series of dialogue meetings with key stakeholders in five African regions, culminating in a global dialogue event.

One of the key findings of the first New Geopolitics of Peace Operations initiative was that the future of peace operations is likely to be in Africa. The number of peace operations on the continent remains high, and their mandates continue to develop and are often robust and intrusive. In contrast, the number and character of peace operations in Asia, the Middle East and Eastern Europe will be more limited. The activism of African stakeholders and the shared security interests of the ‘great powers’ will continue to foster cooperation in the region. Yet, despite a constructive spirit on international partnership for peace in Africa, important economic, political and institutional challenges remain. This project thus aims to examine the variety of African and international perspectives on the future requirements for peace operations in Africa and how to improve the cooperation between African and external actors.

The project was launched with support from the Finnish and Dutch Ministries for Foreign Affairs, and a continued partnership with the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES).

Research staff

Dr Jaïr van der Lijn is a Senior Researcher and Head of the SIPRI Peace Operations and Conflict Management Programme.
Timo Smit is a Researcher with the SIPRI Peace Operations and Conflict Management Programme.