As mandate of African intervening forces for peacekeeping and peace enforcement missions continues to change, African militaries have gathered in Lilongwe to discuss ways of responding to new security realities to such missions.
With support from the US Africa Military Command (Africom) and the African Centre for Strategic Studies (ACSS), countries are meeting on a sideshow to the forthcoming joint military exercises between African countries and the US government codenamed Africa ACOTA.
Speaking at the opening session, US Ambassador, Jeanine Jackson, said Africa remains a region of several conflicts, noting that peacekeeping faced several challenges in areas of robust peace operations and protection of civilians, among others.
“Security professionals and political analysts have begun to advocate earlier intervention in conflict zones. Many missions are now challenged to operate with a robust mandate and protection of civilians is being prioritised,” said Jackson.
MDF Commander Ignasio Maulana said the meeting will discuss emerging trends and challenges in peace support operations.
“Over the past decades, peace support operations have evolved into a complex global undertaking. What has been observed is that the nature, context and adapting new realities have left planners facing a number of complex situations,” said Maulana.
He said African countries are facing a dilemma over the interpretation of UN charter on its role of African peace support.
“Compounding it all is the crucial question of African capabilities that still hamper effective peace support operations emanating from insufficient resources, lack of adequate training and the debate that Africa should manage its own conflicts,” he added.