Peace is a stated loved and sought after by so many, be it for economic, social or political reasons. Basically, peace means the absence of hostility and the presence of humility among people. The absence of peace causes a lot of humans and problems to the people. It is on this premised that peace keeping had evolved to ensure the presence of adequate long lasting peace. Hence, peacekeeping as a term entails the keeping of agreed peace.
The United Nation (UN) being the body that initiated peacekeeping shows that the first peacekeeping operation data back to 1948 when the United Nations security council deployed it UN peacekeeping troops as observers to the middle East. (Caplan, 2008). Over the years, hundreds of thousands of military personnel as well as tens of thousands of UN police and other civilian from almost all countries have joined and served in various capacities around the world, although mostly in the third world (Caplan, 2008).
Peacekeeping has proven to be a very effective tool in ensuring transition from conflict to peace in affected nations or countries. Today, peacekeeping effort have exceeded the maintenance of peace and security and include, supporting the organization of election, protection and promotion of human right and also rendering assistance in restoring the rule of law or even creating it in some cases (Caplan, 2008). The success of any peacekeeping cannot be determined easily as the operatives are usually placed in the most physical and politically challenging environs.
Peacekeeping has within it fold unique abilities including legitimacy, burden sharing and an ability to deploy and sustain troops and police from around the globe, integrating them with civilian peacekeepers to advance multidimensional mandates. Peacekeeping operations are guided by; consents of the parties, meaning parties to the existing conflict must be part of the intended operation. In partiality; the peacekeeping operatives are neural in carrying out their duties of restoring peace or normally to the state. The non use of force except in self-defense and defence of the mandate, operatives do not attack but only defend their scalp as well as that of the mandate (Caplan, 2004).
More than ten years have passed since Darfur, the western region in Sudan erupted in bloody conflict. The crisis in Darfur is not an accidental disaster or a catastrophe that humanitarian intervention can reverse or solve. The conflict is not as simple as presented in the media, which cast the conflict in terms of Arabs versus black Africans. The reality is far more muddled. It is a human tragedy brewing for decades that finally erupted into a vicious cycle of violence in 2003 (Cheadle and Prendergast, 2007).
The Darfur conflict is not only a problem for the Sudanese it is also a regional problem. The conflict is threatening the stability of countries such as Somalia, Chad and the Central African Republic. Looking at its nature, magnitude and internal dynamics that fuel it, one can argue that unless it is addressed soon, the conflict has the potential to plague and the whole African region with a continuous cycle of violence and lawlessness.
The chaotic and atrocious nature of the Darfur conflict has attract much attention from the international community. As a result, regional and international actors have carried out several peace initiatives to end the violence. The peace efforts that constitute the Darfur peace process include
N’Djamena peace negotiations of September 2003 and April 2004. The Addis Ababa peace negotiation of August 2004 – May 2006 and the Sirte peace negotiation of October 2007.
These initiatives have not made sustainable progress towards substantial peace. Since the peace effort began in 2003, every peace effort has been followed by increased violence and ultimately, the process has failed. It is against this background that this study examine the role of African Union in bringing an end to Darfur conflict.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The African Union (UN) has played a vital role in mediating peace agreement and assisting in their implementation, helping to reduce the level of conflict in several countries of African. However, the current situations in Darfur Sudan and other African countries have not changed too positively. The Darfur crisis which is a largely misconstrued clash has waged on for quite a while and has primarily been about land. Scarcity of food and drought had resulted in the forceful encroachment of the lands of the predominant black sandwiched farmers by the cattle and camel rearing Arabs or non-blacks of the upper and lower region of the Darfur area. The conflict had been destroying the peoples of Darfur since 1950’s and has resulted in more less than could be accounted for.
Since conflict are intrinsically bound to occur, Africans must begin to address issues that will enable them manage conflict in the continent effectively. On this regard, this research investigates the role and challenges of the African Union (AU) peacekeeping operation mission in Darfur. Therefore, solutions and remedies to those need to be enquired upon so that peace and stability can be restored to this region and any other warring zone.
This research will therefore seek to answer the following pertinent questions;
1. What is the nature and character of Darfur conflict?
2. How successful is the African Unions peacekeeping operation mission in Darfur conflict?
3. What role did the Sudanese government play in aiding the effectiveness of the peacekeepers?
4. What are the major challenges affecting AU mission in Darfur?
AIM AND OBJECTIVES OF THE RESEARCH
The main objective of this is to examine the role of African Unions peacekeeping operations in Darfur. Specifically the study has the following objectives:
i. To discuss the nature and character of Darfur conflict. ii. To examine the success of AU mission in Darfur conflict.
iii. To discuss the role of Sudanese government in aiding the effectiveness of AU operation in Darfur.
iv. To identify the challenges faced by the AU peacekeeping operations in the resolution of the conflict.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The need for Africa to begin in addressing issues that will enable them to manage conflict in the continent. This study therefore is expected to provide options in bringing about peace to the Darfur region and all other conflicting zones in general. It is also expected that the research will contribute to the frontier of human knowledge and stimulate further works on the continental organization and its peacekeeping techniques to ensure the achievement of better results. Furthermore, it is also of great concern that the non-resolution of the crisis may lead to spillover effects of the refugees and civil unrest in some neighboring countries which has varying negative effective on the host country.
In this regard, this study employ qualitative instrument of data collection. This instrument involves the use of secondary source of data, including books, journals articles among others are to be consulted. For the books; the Usman Danfodiyo University Library provides tangible number of books mainly from the circulation, reference and reserve section of the establishment. The same establishment also provides journals sources. The department of political science resource center serve as another equally important source of materials.
The internet, a modern academic tool will serve as a great deal in providing links to the website and blog spots linked to the research. Collected data will be analyzed i.e. the data resulting from the above mentioned sources shall be dissected and analyzed using a method analyzing involving description and content explanations.
SCOPE AND LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This research centers on the role of the African Union (AU) missions in peacekeeping operations in Darfur, Sudan. The research has been curtailed by the lack of tangible literature from libraries, the death of relevant and contemporary literature on the specific research. Also the recent change and division of the country has made some materials less useful since the country is no more a whole state. Time and financial constraints have also played a deterring role in getting more relevant materials for the conduct of this research.
Nonetheless, as much effort diligence as possible will be employed in the pursuit for an objective research.
The following shall be used as guides in the conduct of the research:
1. The attitude, behaviour and response of the Sudanese government served as a hindering factor for the success of the African Union mission in Darfur conflict.
2. The limited nature of the mandate, fire power, funding and equipment alongside the multilingual composition among the peacekeeping troops and personnel had limited the effectiveness of the mission.
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