oa Scientia Militaria : South African Journal of Military Studies - Chapter 6 : Peace missions in the African context : Democratic Republic of the Congo

Supplement 3
  • ISSN : 1022-8136
  • E-ISSN: 2224-0020



This study explores the feasibility of the concept (DPMs). It seeks to answer the question whether DPMs is an ambitious construct or a feasible ideal and whether DPMs could be effectively applied during peace missions. The study takes the form of a descriptive analysis of the theoretical underpinnings and philosophical points of departure of the concept of DPMs, and includes the analysis of various relevant case studies with a view to studying the application of the concept of DPMs.

The study explores the evolution that has taken place in terms of United Nations (UN) peace missions in that most modern peace missions include both peacekeeping and peacebuilding initiatives. The study also illustrates the modern approach to peace missions, based on an integrated systems-thinking approach by means of which the activities of all relevant role-players are integrated and fused towards a common end state : that of sustained security and development. In order to analyse the concept of DPMs, the underpinnings of the concept human security, the security-development nexus and peacebuilding were researched in depth. These concepts were then coupled to the concept of DPMs in terms of their utility during recent and current complex peace missions, both internationally and on the African continent. In view of this, the concept of DPMs was studied in the context of contemporary peacekeeping in terms of three case studies, namely the peace missions in Kosovo, Sierra Leone and the DRC. Thus DPMs was applied to these case studies and analysed in terms of the extent to which the peace interventions in these countries were conducted in accordance with the theoretical underpinnings and philosophical points of departure of the concept.
The study concludes that DPMs is indeed a feasible ideal for peace missions, as it is based on and in line with the approved current UN and AU integrated planning processes. However, in terms of its practical utility in Africa, it currently remains an ambitious construct, given the limited capacity and resources of the AU and regional organisations. Therefore, DPMs should not be viewed as a short-term solution to, or panacea for, all intra-state wars. The study proposes that the UN, the AU, as well as relevant regional organisations will have to adjust and make changes in terms of their institutions, structures, funding and the provision of resources in order to operationalise the concept of DPMs successfully. This is especially true as far as the AU is concerned, as the AU currently experiences severe limitations in both logistics and human resources. However, the fact that both the UN and the AU have adopted the Integrated Mission Planning Process concept as planning tool for their respective missions is an indication that progress is being made towards the achievement of establishing a more holistic and integrated approach to finding sustainable solutions to global conflict. Ultimately, the success of DPMs will be determined by the will and commitment of all the relevant role-players involved in finding a lasting solution to intra-state conflicts. The concept itself cannot provide sustainable peace and development.

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