Thursday, January 31, 2013

The MISMA: peace operation of a new model in Mali?

International Mission Support in Mali (MISMA) was born December 20, 2012 with the adoption by the Security Council Resolution 2085, a little less than eight months after the military coup that ended the presidency Amadou Toumani Touré and precipitated the descent into hell of the Republic of Mali.

Taken under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, its primary objective is the consolidation and reorganization of the Defence Forces and Malian security as the "recovery of the northern areas of its territory controlled by armed groups, terrorists and extremists ".

The French intervention began January 11, 2013 has clearly reversed the roles and possible to believe that the recovery from the north by the French Expeditionary Corps, supported by the Malian forces and African, allows quickly quickly move to other sections of the Resolution: activities "stabilization" to help the Malian authorities to ensure the security and strengthening the authority of the State, to protect civilians and assist in the safe delivery of humanitarian assistance as well as the voluntary repatriation of displaced and refugees.

Is there something new on the operating model of the MISMA?

Admittedly, this is not the first time that we see a great power intervention in primary care.

Of Australia in East Timor in 1999 to the intervention of last January 11, 2013 in Mali France, or through the UK in Sierra Leone (2000) and France in Côte d'Ivoire in 2002, many are examples of external forces "muscular" came to interrupt the course of history (Sierra Leone, Mali, Côte d'Ivoire) or put an end to chaos and serious humanitarian (East Timor).

This is not the first time that a mission aims to be fully "African". AMISOM, the African Union Mission in Somalia, dubbed in 2007 by the Security Council of the United Nations, and deployed from Mogadishu and in central and southern Somalia, can rely on fighters near a dozen African states, backed by the United States and France for training some military components, as well as a diversified international funding.

Other lesser known examples have historically allowed the African Union to deploy multinational expeditionary to implement peace agreements or impose peace, whether in Burundi (AMIB) or Liberia (ECOMOG). To date, with mixed results, the African Union Hybrid Operation - United Nations in Darfur (UNAMID), founded in 2007, which should show its deeply "African" relies on military components in 19 African countries as well as 15 countries in other continents.

But then it took several years for AMISOM to reach the desired level of force to carry out its mandate (8000 men), it seems that MISMA quickly reaches the same goal (8,000 men), and in record time.

Alongside Malian forces, including training and consolidation should be entrusted to the European Union (450 men), 8 000 armed men should be the strength of the MISMA all from ten countries in Africa West and Chad, Burundi, Rwanda or Tanzania. Côte d'Ivoire, still under UN embargo on arms since 2004, will in turn much of the logistical support to troops.

New model?

One might think that so far, everything is within normal limits. But the current process is distinguished in five points:

1) The limited military response "off continent" by both Europeans and other friends of France (USA, Canada) should give full visibility to African forces present on Malian territory.
Also, even if the plan "forces in expectations" on the continent and its sub-components is far from reaching its full capacity, never force "African" will have, to date, collected as quickly as many African military components around a national security threat from a member country of the Union. All combine to give the political legitimacy MISMA continental and international unpublished;

2) The immediate funding for the operation, which could be as soon as a charge to operations of peacekeeping UN, providing an almost immediate repayment of the amounts incurred for battalions and African operations in Mali.
Clearly, according to complicated rules enacted by the General Assembly developed in proportion to the GNP of each Member State, it is clearly the "North" to be the burden of financing the operation, without being able to make it to a political agenda.
This is a revolution that will save the participating governments to dry their respective defense budgets, even the "interest" to support a concept of operations falling within the period, and especially ensure a clear distinction between the development of military operations, policy objectives, and funding that will allow them to perform like the other one.

3) The fact that the United Nations are invited to quickly "get on the train" in financial terms will also quickly initiate efforts made necessary very soon to ensure other mandates MISMA already mentioned: protection of populations, restoration the Malian government in its sovereign rights, humanitarian assistance and peacebuilding. A reconstruction work which will certainly years;

4) Treatment political, diplomatic and military crisis since March 2012, and particularly since January 10, 2013, may accredit the thesis easier to maintain the legitimacy of the presence of a medium or high power (read: Western ) to serve the interests of African states. It was thus to impose the outcome of elections in Côte d'Ivoire in 2012 as the call with the president of Mali a few weeks ago.

This was not the case for the President of the Central African Republic, François Bozizé, because its "call for help" from Paris had pronounced hints of old "Franco" on which François Hollande wants to turn the page;

5) Finally, the solution designed by the international launch of the French operation and implementation Africa and UN Resolution 2085 certainly strengthen the legitimacy and stature must Dioncouda President Traoré management current transition phase "post-putsch" of March last.
The Security Council has clearly demanded last December that "no member of the Armed Forces Malian not interfere in the activities of the transitional authorities" even punish those who "prevent the implementation of the constitutional order of Mali" .

I bet that current operations will allow Malian forces to gain training and credibility while avoiding dealing with internal politics. Powers and mediators bedside Mali should remind them quickly.

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