Peace Support Operations Programme

Peace Support Operations Programme (PSOP)

Though peacekeeping in Africa began in Congo in the 1960s there are still considerable gaps in the manner in which Peace Support Operations (PSOs) are conducted. These limit the success and speed of exit of the mission.

In addition, though peacekeeping training has been conducted for the past 15 to 20 years in Africa, it has been difficult to establish the impact that it has had on peace and security in the region.

The PSOP enhances research and training in the wide range of subjects that come under peace support operations.

The three main areas are:

  • Peacekeeping: the deployment of civilian, police and military personnel to conflict-affected countries
  • Mission support: specific demand-driven operational support to facilitate success in mission theatres
  • Post-conflict peacebuilding:  the transition between peacekeeping, stabilization, and democratic governance

Some of the areas explored by the programme include: peace agreements and mandates, troop contributions, deployments and exit strategies, conflict-related sexual violence, the protection of civilians, standby forces and security sector reform, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and African Union (AU). A special area of interest is mission support.

Another critical dimension the programme explores is the gendered impact of peacekeeping. How are women, men, girls and boys affected by conflict and how can peacekeeping missions respond appropriately to the needs of these groups?


The PSOP manages the Annual Review of African Peace Support Operations

This publication provides a critical understanding and explanation of existing and past PSOs across the continent. It analyses the background to the missions; their mandates and operations.

It is intended to inform sound policymaking and enable students of conflict and security studies to access information about these missions.

The Mission Watch Newsletter

is produced quarterly to provide relevant and current information about peacekeeping missions in Africa. It delivers concise information to policy-makers, academics, security services, civil society organisations and students of peace and security on issues of concern to missions in the region.

Civilian Working Group (CWG)

The PSOP also chairs the Civilian Working Group (CWG) of the ECOWAS Standby Force (ESF). The CWG aims to increase awareness of, and support for, the civilian component of ESF activities, including among ECOWAS member states. CWG comprises the National Defence College (NDC) Abuja, the Ecole de Maintien de la Paix (EMP) Mali and the KAIPTC.

Conflict Related Sexual Violence

The Conflict Related Sexual Violence project aims to draw the attention of policy-makers and security sector entities to sexual violence in conflicts. It helps build the capacity of senior security officials and regional policy makers in preventing CRSV in West Africa..

The Discord between Peacekeeping and Regional/International Policies on Countering Violent Extremism project

This project documents the challenges peacekeeping missions face countering violent extremism, the preparedness of the troop and police contributing countries to these tasks, vis-a-vis UN, ECOWAS and AU policies to these violent extremism in peacekeeping missions.

Sustainability of African Military project

The main objective of this project is to interrogate how peacekeeping has sustained the Ghana Armed Forces locally. Particular attention is paid to the impact of international peacekeeping on individual personnel of the GAF, how experiences from international peacekeeping has impacted on local peacekeeping efforts in conflict prone areas across the country and on Ghana’s national security, growing democracy and development..

Financing ECOWAS Peace Support Operations

The project on Financing ECOWAS Peace Support Operations assesses the implementation of the ECOWAS Peace Fund in the maintenance of peace and security in West Africa. It identifies challenges confronting the implementation of the EPF and examines the effects of the implementation of the EPF on the capacity development of the ESF both at the strategic and operational levels respectively.

Domestic Security Implications of UN Peacekeeping

This project examines the hypotheses that global peacekeeping participation results in the assembling of new practices, norms and discourses that shape the organization and provision of domestic security in public and private domains. It explores the correlation between peacekeeping participation and domestic security. The project is implemented by a consortium of Danish, KAIPTC and other Ghanaian research institutions.

Effectiveness of Peace Operations

Researching the Effectiveness of Peace Operations project looks at current definitions and conceptualizations of effectiveness, and discusses the varying perceptions stakeholders have of the effectiveness of peace operations. The aim of this project is to produce knowledge that is both academically valuable and relevant for policymakers. The project is implemented by a consortium of NUPI, KAIPTC and other research institutions.

The PSOP works through research, advocacy and development of training curricula.

The PSOP works through research, advocacy and development of training curricula.

  • Emma Birikorang– Head of Programme (Deputy Director, FAAR)
  • Dr Fiifi Edu-Afful
  • Dr Festus Aubyn
  • Susan Nelson
  • Rahima Moomin