During the 1990s, nine out of ten of the world’s bloodiest conflicts occurred on the African continent. And despite some twenty peacebuilding operations in Africa over the last 25 years, a cohesive strategy for regenerating the key areas of a conflict-ridden country is still elusive. An Afrocentric perspective on strategies for post-conflict peacebuilding is overdue.
The authors of this book consider the problems surrounding the concept of “post-conflict” and the blurring of military and civilian roles as they analyze UN actions in the DRC and Sierra Leone, as well as the African Union Mission in Burundi. The main context of the book, however, is the South African Army’s strategy for Africa, which has been developed with the African Union’s 2006 Post-conflict, Reconstruction, and Development Needs Assessment Guide in mind. This book emanates from that plan. It therefore also explores South Africa’s policy imperatives to integrate development projects and peace missions, involving the military as well as civilian organizations. While this book is not intended as an instruction manual, it attempts to foster an understanding of the particular processes required to develop a sustainable and cohesive post-conflict peacebuilding strategy within the African environment.
It is clear that a military approach to peace missions needs to include developmental, economic, and governance support to ensure lasting stability and human security. An army needs to be equipped and trained for these multiple roles that were regarded as secondary functions but are now priorities in peace mission involvement.