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Peace Operations Estimates, Themes, and Topics (POET2)

Global Trends

The Peace Operations Estimates, Themes, and Topics (POET2) are a 15-20 page overview of selected peace operation missions and organizations. They also include selected organizational estimates (i.e. United Nations Peace Operations Organization), and Political Missions (i.e. Columbia, Burundi, Libya).

They are unclassified, open source, easily digestible and accessible. They are intended to provide a comprehensive summary of the actors, issues, and considerations of various global peace activities.

The POET2s are updated quarterly or semi-annually, depending on type, and after a revised mandate is in place.

April 25, 2018
Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute African Union Mission to Somalia (and related UN Missions) Estimate

Despite the February 2017 election of a new president, Somalia remains one of the most fragile states in the world. It remains vulnerable to terrorism and criminal entities and activities, as well as crippling food insecurity and significant population displacement.

April 15, 2018
Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo Estimate

Peace in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) remains precarious, with a surge of violence throughout 2017 that suggested “a dramatic escalation of conflict.” The violence continued to intensify into 2018 which is the agreed-to year for national elections, resulting from months of negotiations amongst many domestic and most regional and international parties.

March 26, 2018
Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) Estimate

The political, security, and humanitarian environment in the Republic of South Sudan remains one of the most complex among fragile states, creating “the largest refugee crisis on the African continent,” according to some reports. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) predicts the refugee population could exceed three million by December 2018, with some observers currently reporting almost 2 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

March 20, 2018
Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute United Nations Organization for Peace Operations Estimate

As of January 2018, nearly three times the number of "troop" peacekeepers are currently deployed than in 2000 (from almost 28k to approximately 80k), not including the corresponding number of police and civilians. These escalated personnel numbers—with the corresponding “footprint” of resources demanded to support the peace operations missions—contribute to some of the most significant concerns with UN peace operations missions today. These are essentially the lack of: effectiveness and efficiency, accountability (particularly, but not exclusively, regarding conduct and discipline issues), and leadership at all levels.

February 15, 2018
Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute G5 Sahel's Force Conjointe des Etats du G5 Sahel (FC G5S) Estimate

The five African nations of Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger formed the G5 Sahel (G5-S) in 2014 for the stated purpose of strengthening cooperation on development and security in the region. The organization works together to identify priority investment projects and seek sources of international financing, focusing on areas such as infrastructure, food security, agriculture and pastoralism as well as terrorist threats and other security concerns.

February 12, 2018
United Nations Multidimensional Stabilization Mission in Mali and United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel

In late January 2018, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, described the Mali situation as a “race against time”:
…with growing insecurity claiming hundreds of civilian lives, in addition to fatalities among peacekeepers in the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) and members of Mali’s defence [sic] and security forces. The human rights and humanitarian situation was worsening…with humanitarian actors estimating that 4.1 million Malians, or 22 per cent of the national population, facing the prospect of food insecurity in 2018.

January 30, 2018
Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute UN Verification Mission in Colombia Estimate

Just over a year ago, the western hemisphere’s longest insurgency in modern history (52 years) came to a close with the Colombian Congress’ approval of a revised peace deal between the government and the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia-Ejército del Pueblo (FARC-EP, or simply FARC).
While the FARC sought peace with the Colombian government for several reasons, sustainable stability is not assured. According to one report:

January 28, 2018
United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (Golan Heights)

UNDOF of the Golan Heights is one of five current missions with a Chapter VI mandate (sometimes referred to as a “traditional” mandate). Since 1974, the mission tasks have been to maintain the ceasefire between Israel and Syria and to supervise the areas of separation and limitation, as defined by the Separation of Forces Agreement between Israel and Syria (also known as the Agreement of Disengagement, which is the same title of a similar agreement between Israel and Egypt). However, in the 43 years of UNDOF—and the 50 years since the 1967 Six-Day War which resulted in the current disposition of borders—not much else has occurred to resolve the conflict.

December 15, 2017
United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic and United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa

Although the 2016 elections were peaceful and President Faustin Archange Touadéra’s new government was confirmed, Central African Republic (CAR) remains one of the ten “most fragile” states, ranking third on the 2017 index. Almost two years since the installation of the new government, and over three years after its activation, MINUSCA is still struggling to have a significant impact on the situation. In October 2017, the UN Secretary General reported:

December 4, 2017
United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei

The Abyei Area Administration was established to permit its citizens to be simultaneously members of the states of South Kurdufan (Republic of the Sudan) and Northern Bahr el Ghazal (South Sudan) until a projected referendum could be conducted following South Sudan’s independence. However, the referendum did not occur as planned, nor has the Administration been fully implemented to date. Instead, when violence increased along the disputed borders, the United Nations mission, UNISFA, was established for “demilitarizing and monitoring peace.