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When it finally did deal with the conflicts it chose

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When it finally did deal with the conflicts it chose to keep its distance, giv-ing vocal support to the existing regional efforts and taking very limited ini-tial steps itself. Such a policy provided tremendous freedom to the regionalgroups involved. The Security Council imposed no constraints on theirUN Security Council Policy on Africa17
actions and did not formally (or even informally) disapprove of the fact thattheir initial actions were taken without the authorization of a SecurityCouncil mandate.The lack of attention and fuss accorded to the fact that these militaryinterventions have occurred without Security Council authorization standsin sharp contrast to the international debate that accompanied the non–Security Council authorized NATO intervention in Kosovo. And even in thedebate about NATO actions in Kosovo, the African experiences were not raisedas precedents. This is a reflection of the pervasive lack of attention to events inAfrica rather than a sense that there is one standard of action for Africa andone for Europe. Differing standards of action are not the reason for the dis-parity in responses, but they are most definitely a product of that disparity.The record also indicates that the Security Council’s willingness to con-sider authorizing its own operation changes once a peace agreement is inplace. Even then, however, the Security Council chooses to rely heavily onthe existing regional operation to provide the major military presence andsecurity, and rather than providing support and resources to the regionaloperation itself the Security Council calls on member-states to provide finan-cial and other resources to the regional operation.The Security Council DebateThe Focus on AfricaBeginning in 1995, the Security Council focused on the problems associatedwith conflict in Africa, in recognition both of the specific needs there and ofthe UN’s own problems in dealing with them. In response to two requestsfor action,22on November 1, 1995, the secretary-general responded with areport on “Improving preparedness for conflict prevention and peace-keeping in Africa.”23The secretary-general noted that the lack of personnel,financial, and other resources posed real difficulties in UN operations inAfrica, but that “these difficulties are not confined to operations in Africa.”24In this context, much of the secretary-general’s report focused on howAfrican peacekeeping capabilities could be improved within the context of thegeneral efforts to improve UN peacekeeping capabilities. Accordingly, the sec-retary-general’s report discusses at length how African member-states couldmake use of standby arrangements for peacekeeping troop contributions, UNtraining efforts, and general UN attempts to ameliorate preparation and coor-dination of peacekeeping planning and implementation. In terms of specific18Jane Boulden
proposals to strengthen the OAU, the secretary-general proposed that a UN

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Term
Summer
Professor
Jane Oke
Tags
United Nations, regional organizations

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