This chapter critically examines how the UN builds resilience in the Sahel region. After providing an overview of the UN approach to the region, the analysis focuses on the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali (MINUSMA), showing that the mission focuses primarily on providing security rather than enhancing state institutions and societies’ ability to withstand shocks. MINUSMA is a crucial case for understanding why even complex, ambitious, all-encompassing, and multidimensional peacekeeping missions might ultimately be unable to build resilience. The chapter concludes by identifying some preconditions to achieve this goal, and most notably need to bring the local population to the centre and develop UN mandates to build peace from below.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
PowerPoint presentation by representative of UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations, Carlisle Barracks, United States, 28 January 2015.
Interviews with military representatives of the intelligence staff at the UNheadquarters (U2) and ASIFU headquarters by one of the authors.
Interview with the chief of the all source intelligence cell of the ISR Company by one of the authors.
Autesserre, S. (2014a). Going Micro: Emerging and Future Peacekeeping Research. International Peacekeeping,21(4), 492–500.
Autesserre, S. (2014b). Peaceland: Conflict Resolution and the Everyday Politics of International Intervention. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Autesserre, S. (2019, January/February). The Crisis of Peacekeeping: Why the UN Can’t End Wars. Foreign Affairs.
BBC. (2015, November 20). World’s Most Dangerous Peacekeeping Mission.
Boeke, S., & Scuurman, B. (2015). Operation Serval: The Strategic Analysis of the French Intervention in Mali: 2013–2014. Journal of Strategic Studies,38(6), 801–825.
Bove, V., Ruffa, C., & Ruggeri, A. (Forthcoming). Why and How Peacekeeping Composition Matters. Oxford University Press.
Campbell, S. P. (2008). (Dis)integration, Incoherence and Complexity in UN Post-conflict Interventions. International Peacekeeping,15(4), 556–569.
Campbell, S. P., & Kaspersen, A. T. (2008). The UN’s Reforms: Confronting Integration Barriers’. International Peacekeeping,15(4), 470–485.
Chauzal, G., & Van Damme, T. (2015). The Roots of Mali’s Conflict: Moving Beyond the 2012 Crisis (CRU Report). Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael.
Danish Institute of International Studies. (2017). African Peacekeepers in Mali. Copenhagen: DIIS.
De Coning, C., & Friis, K. (2011). Coherence and Coordination: The Limits of the Comprehensive Approach. Journal of International Peacekeeping,15(1), 243–272.
Donini, A. (2011). Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Integration or Independence of Humanitarian Action. International Review of the Red Cross,93(881), 141–157.
Dorn, A. W. (2010). United Nations Peacekeeping Intelligence. In L. K. Johnson (Ed.), Oxford Handbook of National Security Intelligence (pp. 275–295). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Dorn, A. W. (2016). Smart Peacekeeping: Toward Tech-Enabled UN Operations. New York: International Peace Institute.
Duursma, A. (2018). Information Processing Challenges in Peacekeeping Operations: A Case Study on Peacekeeping Information Collection Efforts in Mali. International Peacekeeping,25(3), 446–468.
Elron, E., Shamir, B., & Ben-Ari, E. (1999). Why Don’t They Fight Each Other? Cultural Diversity and Operational Unity in Multinational Forces. Armed Forces & Society,26(1), 73–97.
Fjelde, H., Hultman, L., & Nilsson, D. (2019). Protection Through Presence: UN Peacekeeping and the Costs of Targeting Civilians. International Organization, 73(1), 103–113.
Fortna, V. P. (2008). Does Peacekeeping Work? Shaping Belligerents’ Choices After Civil War. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Friis, K. (2012). Which Afghanistan? Military, Humanitarian, and State-Building Identities in the Afghan Theater. Security Studies,21(2), 266–300.
Gressly, D. (2013). How to Build Resilience in the Sahel. The Guardian.
Gubbels, P. (2012). Ending the Everyday Emergency: Resilience and Children in the Sahel. https://www.preventionweb.net/publications/view/27663.
Hultman, L., Kathman, J., & Shannon, M. (2013). United Nations Peacekeeping and Civilian Protection in Civil War. American Journal of Political Science,57(4), 875–891.
Hultman, L., Kathman, J., & Shannon, M. (2014). Beyond Keeping Peace: United Nations Effectiveness in the Midst of Fighting. American Political Science Review,108(4), 737–753.
International Peace Institute. (2018). Threats and Drivers of Mass Atrocities in Mali. https://www.ipinst.org/2018/06/threats-and-drivers-of-mass-atrocity-in-mali.
Karlsrud, J., & Osland, K. M. (2016). Between Self-Interest and Solidarity: Norway’s Return to UN Peacekeeping? International Peacekeeping,23(5), 784–803.
Karlsrud, J., & Smith, A. C. (2015). Europe’s Return to UN Peacekeeping in Africa? Lessons from Mali (Providing for Peacekeeping No. 11). New York: International Peace Institute.
Levy, J. S. (2008). Case Studies: Types, Designs, and Logics of Inference. Conflict Management and Peace Science,25(1), 1–18.
Lotze, W. (2015). United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). In J. Koops, T. Tardy, N. MacQueen, & P. Williams (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of United Nations Peacekeeping Operation. Oxford: Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199686049.013.72.
Lucius, G., & Rietjens, S. J. H. (2016). Effective Civil-Military Interaction in Peace Operations—Theory and Practice. Berlin: Springer.
Metcalfe, V., Haysom, S., & Gordon, S. (2012). Trends and Challenges in Humanitarian Civil-Military Coordination: A Review of the Literature (HPG Working Paper).
Nilsson, C., & Zetterlund, K. (2016). Sweden and the UN: A Rekindled Partnership for Peacekeeping? International Peacekeeping,23(5), 762–783. https://doi.org/10.1080/13533312.2016.1235097.
Paris, R. (2009). Understanding the ‘Coordination Problem’ in Postwar Statebuilding. In D. Paris & T. D. Sisk (Eds.), The Dilemmas of Statebuilding: Confronting the Contradictions of Postwar Peace Operations (pp. 53–78). Abingdon: Routledge.
Reliefweb. (2018). Report of the Secretary-General on the situation in Mali (S/2018/541).https://reliefweb.int/report/mali/report-secretary-general-situation-mali-s2018541.
Rietjens, S. J. H. (2017). Lifting the Fog of Hybrid War? UN Environmental Understanding in Mali. In E. Cusumano & M. Corbe (Eds.), A Civil-Military Response to Hybrid Threats (pp. 181–197). Palgrave: Basingstoke.
Rietjens, S. J. H., & Dorn, A. W. (2017). The Evolution of Peacekeeping Intelligence. In E. Braat, F. Baudet, & J. van Woensel (Eds.), Between Learning and Law: Perspectives on Military Intelligence from the First World War to Mali (pp. 197–220). The Hague: Asser Press.
Rietjens, S., & Ruffa, C. (2019). Understanding Coherence in UN Peacekeeping: A Conceptual Framework. International Peacekeeping, 26(4), 383–407. https://doi.org/10.1080/13533312.2019.1596742.
Rousseau, D. M. (2006). Is There Such a Thing as Evidence-Based Management? Academy of Management Review,31(2), 256–269.
Rubinstein, R. A., Keller, D. M., & Scherger, M. E. (2008). Culture and Interoperability in Integrated Missions. International Peacekeeping,15(4), 540–555.
Ruffa, C. (2014). What Peacekeepers Think and Do: An Exploratory Study of Ghanaian, Korean, French and Italian Soldiers in the UN Mission in Lebanon. Armed Forces and Society,40(2), 199–225.
Ruffa, C. (2017). Military Cultures and Force Employment in Peace Operations. Security Studies,26(3), 391–422.
Ruffa, C. (2018). Military Cultures in Peace and Stability Operations. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
Ruffa, C., & Vennesson, P. (2014). Fighting and Helping? A Historical-Institutionalist Explanation of NGO-Military Relations. Security Studies,23(3), 582–621.
Russo, M., & Cesarani, M. (2017). Strategic Alliance Success Factors: A Literature Review on Alliance Lifecycle. International Journal of Business Administration,8(3), 1–9.
Saideman, S. M., & Auerswald, D. P. (2014). NATO in Afghanistan. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Shetler-Jones, P. (2008). Intelligence in Integrated UN Peacekeeping Missions: The Joint Mission Analysis Centre. International Peacekeeping,15(4), 517–527.
Soeters, J. M. M. L., & Heeren-Bogers, J. (2013). The Quest for ‘Evidence-Based Soldiering’. In H. Amersfoort, R. Moelker, J. M. M. L. Soeters, & D. Verweij (Eds.), The Armed Forces: Towards a Post-Interventionist Era? (pp. 117–129). Berlin: Springer.
United Nations. (2012, December 20). Security Council Resolution 2085: Adopted at 6898th Meeting. New York, NY: United Nations Security Council.
United Nations. (2013, April 25). Resolution 2100 (2013): Adopted by the Security Council at Its 6952nd Meeting. New York, NY: United Nations Security Council.
United Nations. (2014). UNOCHA. Sahel Humanitarian Response Plan 2014.
United Nations. (2018). Building Climate Resilience and Peace, Go Hand in Hand for Africa’s Sahel. https://news.un.org/en/node/1025671/building-climate-resilience-and-peace-go-hand-in-hand-for-africas-sahel-un-forum-2. Accessed 20 March 2019.
United Nations. (2019a). The Sahel. https://www.un.org/undpa/en/africa/sahel.
United Nations. (2019b). Security Council Report, 2019. Mali: Chronology of Events.
Van Willigen, N. (2016). A Dutch Return to UN Peacekeeping? International Peacekeeping,23(5), 702–720.
Van der West, K. (2016). Civil-Military Communications Within Integrated United Nations Peacekeeping: The Interaction Between the Dutch Military and Civil United Nations Entities During the MINUSMA-Mission in Gao (Mali) (Master thesis). Groningen: University of Groningen.
Editors and Affiliations
Rights and permissions
© 2020 The Author(s)
About this chapter
Cite this chapter
Ruffa, C., Rietjens, S., Nygren, E. (2020). Resilience and Conflict Resolution: UN Peacekeeping in Mali. In: Cusumano, E., Hofmaier, S. (eds) Projecting Resilience Across the Mediterranean. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-23641-0_10
Publisher Name: Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
Print ISBN: 978-3-030-23640-3
Online ISBN: 978-3-030-23641-0
eBook Packages: Political Science and International StudiesPolitical Science and International Studies (R0)