United Nations, Regional Organisations and Peace-keeping in Africa

In the last five decades, both inter and intra-state conflicts of variegated magnitude with different humanitarian implications confronted the African continent. According to a recent study 16 wars took place between 1990 and 1997 in Africa. Of these, 14 were intrastate conflicts (Algeria, Angola, Chad, Ethiopia, Liberia, Mozambique, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Uganda, Western Sahara, and the Republic of Congo). Only 2 were interstate (Chad/Libya and Rwanda/Uganda) (Tadesse, 2009). This situation necessitated numerous peace-making and peacekeeping interventions in Africa especially from the United Nations.
The UN Charter gives the Security Council primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. In fulfilling this responsibility, the Council can establish a UN peacekeeping operation. UN peacekeeping operations are deployed on the basis of mandates from the United Nations Security Council. Their tasks differ from situation to situation, depending on the nature of the conflict and the specific challenges it presents (http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/operations/pkmandates.shtml). Peace-making interventions are often administered along with peace-keeping operations when conflicts have passed prevention stage so as to build peace after a ceasefire.