of all Africans have been directly impacted. The 6 million refugees and internally displaced people in Africa represent 28 per cent of the global total. 3
Africa has been challenged by multiple crises over the last two years: multiparty and ethnic violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC); a coup and its aftermath in Côte d’Ivoire; ethnic attacks and horror in Sudan; the conflict and subsequent expulsion of Charles Taylor in Liberia; Mugabe’s rule in Zimbabwe; the massacres by the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda; and on-going efforts to encourage or sustain peace in Ethiopia-Eritrea, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Burundi and along the Nigerian/Cameroon border, among others. Such challenges can also showcase leadership. In response to these conflicts, the G8, African leaders, the UN and regional/sub-regional organizations have taken action with mediation, peacekeeping, and support to peace-building.
This paper considers G8 commitments on peace and security two years after Kananaskis, focusing almost exclusively on the aspects of the Africa Action Plan centered on armed conflict: African capacity for peace operations through regional and sub-regional organizations, peace-building, and support from international organizations, especially the United Nations and external partners.4 This focus frames many important measures in the Plan – such as disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR), dealing with spoilers and illicit trade, and addressing civilian protection and landmines – which the international community supports via programs and institutions in Africa but are not addressed here.5 The UN agenda encompasses these measures, for example, and increasingly integrates them into UN planning and management of multidimensional peace operations. 6
In considering G8 compliance, success or failure is somewhat elusive: The G8’s own benchmarks include few timelines, little by which to evaluate G8 activity or African capacity, and no baseline by which to judge “success” in supporting African capacity. How, then, are G8 actions measured against their goals and reducing conflict? What is the baseline behind the G8’s own commitments: Are the action items based on clear gaps, on what the G8 could offer, or some analysis of where valuable assistance was most needed? The Africa Action Plan is roughly two years old, but it is hard to identify and attribute measurable shifts in conflict resolution directly to actions by the G8 and African actors. With these questions in mind, this paper looks first at Evian, which launched the Africa Action Plan; second, looks broadly at recent efforts by international, G8 and African actors to engage in peace operations in Africa, as well as considers the capacity for such operations; and finally, offers recommendations for meeting the G8 goals in light of the upcoming summit in Sea Island, Georgia, and its framework of prosperity, freedom and terrorism. The G8 gathering will be especially timely for considering these questions, coming at the 10th anniversary of the genocide in Rwanda, when over 800,000 people died.
Looking at the G8 Commitments: Capacity and Support for Peace Operations
Kanasakis, 2002. Before considering Sea Island, it is worth looking at the Kanasaskis commitments made in 2002. G8 members’ African Personal Representatives worked with African Leaders to produce the Action Plan at the Kananaskis Summit, which committed each G8 member to its priorities. Within it, three
3 “Canadian Peace and Security Initiatives,” Canadian International Development Agency, at http://www.cida.gc.ca/cida_ind.nsf/vall/2 (as of 1 April 2004).
4 5 Primarily Sections 1.1., 1.2, and 1.6 of the Africa Action Plan (2002). The breadth of the goals set forth by the G8 in 2002 and re-affirmed in Evian in 2003 is striking. Reporting on all the details of each section and subsection by each member, however, is beyond the scope of this paper: basic data is not readily available on all aspects and the task is huge, as demonstrated by the University of Toronto’s G8 Research Group’s May 2003 report which covered only one subset of one of the seven sections dealing with peace and security. See, for example: http://www.library.utoronto.ca/g7/evaluations/2003evian_comp_interim/index.html
6 See, for example, Handbook on United Nations Multidimensional Peace Operations, Peacekeeping Best Practices Unit, UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations, 1 December 2003. (http://www.un.org/Depts/dpko/lessons/).