Friction on the frontline: The role of African soldiers in the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali

The APSTA Peacekeeping This Month is pleased to share with you a new report on a collaborative research between the Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS) and the Royal Danish Defense College (RDDC).

The report provides new insights into the roles and experiences of African soldiers serving in the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), demonstrating the disproportionate dangers that confront African soldiers in comparison to their European and Asian mission counterparts.

The authors argue that a number of factors that shape these discrepancies include the areas where African soldiers are deployed in the mission, the equipment at their disposal and how their governments support them before, during and after deployment.

The report also illustrates how intra-mission inequality encumbers collaboration and coordination between African and non-African units in MINUSMA. Most of the time, the units operate more or less separately, to the extent that MINUSMA risks becoming a two-tier mission. It emphasises the need to address such fragmentation noticeable across all elements of the mission, by UN Headquarters in New York and by MINUSMA itself, otherwise MINUSMA, as a whole, will not be able to benefit from the specialiased support that European countries bring into the mission.

 To download and read the full report from the source, DIIS website, click here

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