n African Journal on Conflict Resolution - Peacekeeping operations and adjustment of soldiers in Sudan : Peace in the minds and hearts of soldiers?

Volume 12, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1562-6997


United Nations (UN) peacekeeping missions have become a reality for soldiers in Africa, specifically for members of the South African National Defence Forces (SANDF). In Sudan, SANDF members have to deal with severe challenges.On the one hand, Sudan is a vast, sun-baked dessert land. Temperatures are extremely high, making the heat unbearable for foreigners. On the other hand, the nature of the conflict includes dealing with death, mutilated bodies, rape and aggrieved communities. These factors can be very traumatic and require tremendous adjustment skills from members in peacekeeping operations from foreign countries like South Africa.

The article discusses the circumstances in Sudan which contribute to the adjustment challenges of members. The researchers interviewed five members (Capt. to Lt. Col.) of the SANDF on their experiences in Sudan. The article focuses on the stress reactions of members during the adjustment process, and makes recommendations on the selection of members of peacekeeping operations, their training and preparation, their support by leaders during the operation, and by their families after the operation. These recommendations are relevant for international peacekeeping forces and specifically for the SANDF.

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