A critical role, an uncertain future : the legacy of United Nations peacekeeping in Sub-Saharan African during the 1990s


United Nations' peacekeeping operations became increasingly difficult to label in the post-Cold War era. Taking on multi-dimensional natures, operations evolved from their traditional capacities. The roots of this evolution, however, are traceable to prior United Nations' endeavors, specifically to the Congo in the 1960s and Namibia in the 1980s. During the 1990s, the UN and Sub-Saharan Africa continued to share a relatively intertwined history, with more peacekeeping operations aimed towards that region than to any other the world over. Ultimately the interaction between the two left an indelible mark on the other. Thus, this paper serves a two-fold purpose: an examination of how UN peacekeeping operations made an impact on the African continent and how the African continent created an impression on UN peacekeeping operations. The research relies upon a literature review and the author's personal interviews. The cases of UN peacekeeping operations to Somalia, Mozambique and Sierra Leone are presented for analysis. Each state represents a distinctive sub-region within Sub-Saharan Africa; each UN operation employs different approaches. Each incident, however, revolves around internal conflict, a likely precursor to or possible indicator of state collapse. For the reason that each of the concerned UN peacekeeping operations attempts to react to this crisis, state collapse remains the crux of the matter, as it underscores questions to the viability of Sub-Saharan African political systems and UN peacekeeping operations. As state collapse remains a potent global force, recommendations based upon lessons outlined in the-case studies address the strengths and weaknesses of these two institutions' responses to this phenomenon.


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Thesis Completion





Sadri, Houman A.


Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


College of Arts and Sciences

Degree Program

Political Science


Arts and Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic;Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Sciences;United Nations -- Mozambique;United Nations -- Peacekeeping forces -- Africa, Sub Saharan;United Nations -- Sierra Leone;United Nations -- Somalia







Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus-only Access


Document Type

Honors in the Major Thesis

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