Political solutions frustrating peacekeeping operations in Africa-UN
London, July 1, 2019 (AltAfrica)-The United Nations says constant resort to political solutions is frustrating peace keeping operations on the African continent.
Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operation at the UN, Jean-Pierre Lacroix who was on a working visit to Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping and Training Center in Ghana is worried that the challenge, including targeting of UN peacekeeping troops and high civilian vulnerability is taking a lot of effort at the expense of moves to restore stability in troubled areas on the continent.
According to him, even though a lot of gains have been made in peacekeeping operations, “the political solutions that we are supporting with peacekeeping are very slow to materialize, and that leaves us without clear prospects for exit in most of the places where peacekeepers are deployed”.
H.E Jean-Pierre noted that the Secretary General’s Action for Peacekeeping Initiative in dealing with conflict situations is again being thwarted further by the increasing danger faced by troops on the ground.
“Today’s peacekeeping environment is becoming much more dangerous and challenging; and as a reflection of that, we have many more fatalities in peacekeeping. The blue helmet or the blue flag doesn’t protect anymore, our peacekeepers actually become a target; of course they are working with the UN. And we have to address this new challenge.”
The Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operation at the UN added “we are operating in most places where peacekeeping is deployed with high number of vulnerable civilians, and as a result the protection of civilians is becoming increasingly important in our mission.”
H.E Jean-Pierre nonetheless argued that effort must be channeled to improving impact and effectiveness through training and collaborations with relevant stakeholders and institutions.
Commandant of the KAIPTC, Air Vice Marshal Griffiths S. Evans on his part said the Center would continue to provide training and capacity building in the areas of peace operations and conflict resolutions for peace builders.
“KAIPTC has a niche, and our niche is to trade peace and security operations, that is what we do and we do it best. We have plied our trade with ECOWAS, African Union. We have done it very well and extensively worked with them to give lots of training”
AVM Evans added “unfortunately, we have not sunk deep into the United Nations, although we have organized a few courses with the UN. We want to break into the United Nations, to be the eyes and ears of the UN in Africa.”
The Commandant expressed the KAIPTC’s readiness and commitment to collaborate with the UN to find lasting solutions to the challenges in peace operations on the continent and other parts of the world.