Panoramic view of Paris
Paris 14 e 15 November 2019
The Historical Defense Service, the School Research Center of Saint-Cyr Coëtquidan (CREC Saint-Cyr), the University of Utrecht and the UMR Sirice (Sorbonne-Identities, International Relations and Civilizations of Europe) , with the support of the Zentrum für Militärgeschichte und Sozialwissenschaften der Bundeswehr, the Netherlands Defense Academy and the Labex EHNE (Writing a New History of Europe) are organizing an international symposium on 14 and 15 November 2019 in Vincennes " The Army in the Fabric of Peace “ (19th-21st Centuries ) ".
The commemorations of the end of the First World War have recalled the fact that the making of peace has been a delicate and time-consuming endeavor, highlighting the de facto heuristic value of the notion of "leaving the war" for a long, non-linear process that moves from war to peace. To the logic of a peace of sovereigns, ministers, diplomats, politicians and a handful of experts from the "Europe of Congresses" born in Vienna, Versailles and all the treaties that organize up to Washington and Lausanne peace at the end of the Great War seem to substitute a peace of experts.
In so doing, the ambition of this symposium is also to pay special and renewed attention to the consideration of the military aspects of peace, whether by the military themselves or by civilian experts and decision-makers. For this, three directions will be considered in the study of the role of the military in the peace factory from 1792 to the present day. The proposals may be from history, international relations and political science.
Military arrangements capable of guaranteeing a favorable framework for the creation of a lasting peace: (delimitation of frontiers, no-fly zones or demilitarized zones, dispatch of missions of interposition zones of occupation, disarmament or limitation of armaments , establishment of military deterrence systems ...).
The military actors of the peace factory. Who are they ? How are they chosen? Do the memberships of armies and weapons affect their motives, their designations, their capacity for influence, their visions of the peace factory?
The link between the role of the military in the making of peace and the forms of conflict that must be ended. How the fabric of peace is influenced by the form of the conflict that is coming to an end: intra-state or inter-state, colonial or imperial conflicts, on the national theater or at the borders.
Blue Helmets and Peacebuilding in Postcolonial Africa
Some insights on the role and contribution of African soldiers
Dr Mohieddine Hadhri Emeritus Professor of History of International Relations at the University of Tunis
After being one of the key actors of peace and security in the African continent in the wake of the Cold War and decolonization (Crises de Suez 1956, Crisis of Bizerte 1961, the Civil War of Congo 1960, etc.), the UN is once again at the heart of the conflicts and endless wars that Africa has been facing since the beginning of the century (civil war in Somalia, genocide in Rwanda, secessionist conflict in Sudan, Jihadism in Mali , etc.)
As a result, Africa has been throughout the last fifty years and is still today the main theater of deployment of United Nations peacekeeping operations with nearly 72% of peacekeepers posted on the continent, in view of the multifaceted crises and wars that are shaking this continent.
For many years, historical research over this period has focused too much on the political, diplomatic and legal aspects of peacekeeping operations as a UN mechanism to deal with African crises and wars. However, little research has focused on the crucial role and contribution of military units, particularly those from African countries, in the management of these conflicts, but also in peacekeeping processes from 1960 onwards. UN intervention in the Congo, during the civil war.
In this context, this contribution is based on archives, publications and resolutions of the UN and the African Union (ex OAU) to provide a retrospective look at the role of the African military in maintaining the peace in Africa trying to :
To enlighten on the basis of some examples of crises and indicative wars the contribution and the contribution of African countries in terms of contingents, manpower and military personnel in the constitution of the forces of deployment, pacification and assistance of the United Nations in postcolonial Africa.
Clarify the role of African military actors in the fabric of peace in Africa Who are they? What are their profiles, their military affiliations, their successes and their failures? It should be recalled here that the UN peacekeeping operations deployed in Africa were most often commanded by senior African officers
To finally evoke the new UN-AU partnership and the creation in 2002 of the repositioned African force, "The African Standby Force", whose mission is to assume functions in the following fields: observation and control missions; peace support missions; preventive deployment; peace building, including post-conflict disarmament and demobilization, etc. ..
In short, the ambition of this article would be to provide a cross-sectional reading of the military dimensions of UN peacekeeping operations, the repercussions of which will help to redefine the contours of a "geopolitics of peace", a kind of "Pax Africana" in a continent that has not ceased to be at the heart of international geostrategic issues and more than ever on the agenda at the beginning of the 21st century.
UN, Africa, Blue Helmets, peacekeeping, repositioned African force, Pax Africana