Wars, states as their persistent weakness seems to

Wars, whether intrastate
or interstate, are—at least for rationalists
like Fearon (1995)—quite costly, not least because besides leading to the utter
obliteration of innocent civilians—men, women, and
children—they engender corruption, displacement, state failure, environmental
depredation, catastrophic poverty and insouciant injustice. This is the grim
predicament of Africa where the flames of civil wars seem entrenched and far
from being extinguished: from Somalia to Sudan, Niger to Nigeria, Central
African Republic to Libya, and the Democratic Republic of Congo to Sierra Leone—to mention but a few—one swiftly discovers the
concomitant impact of civil wars stirred by tribal, ethnic, religious,
political, and ideological polarisations. Indeed, the continued existence of
many such civil wars have incontrovertibly undermined the empirical statehood of
myriad African states as their persistent weakness seems to largely stem from

Cognisant of this somewhat disquietingly precarious reality,
the United Nations (UN)—an intergovernmental
organisation that fosters international cooperation and preserves international
order and peace—employs its multidimensional peacekeeping missions to quell the
attendant perils of wars throughout the world, not precluding in the African
continent. UN peacekeeping operations have so far recorded tremendous successes
in Africa such as the settlement of civil wars in Namibia, Burundi, and Mozambique.
But, alas, there have been notable failures as when the peacekeeping operations
failed in the Somali and Angolan civil wars as well as in the prevention of the
gruesome massacre of ethnic Tutsis by Hutus during the Rwandan civil war. This
raises eyebrows as to the determining factors—or, as it were, sources—of UN
peacekeeping successes and failures. To appositely comprehend this basic problematic—the prime focus of this research—this
paper makes a comparison of two similar cases in Africa where UN peacekeeping
operations were carried out, but with profoundly divergent outcomes: Angola and

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This paper is thus divided into two sections. The
first section comprises the analytic framework which will serve as the
bailiwick that pivots the entire research—here, I will
explicate the main concepts, causal mechanisms, case selection and method, as
well as the parameter with which to generally measure the success and failure of
UN peacekeeping; the second section applies the already deciphered and
delineated causal mechanisms to the cases of Angola and Mozambique. As science—and,
by extension, social science—is an intellectual endeavour which seeks to
explain and understand—and, here, I plainly
allude to the Weberian verstehen
tradition—the general causes of events, it is
envisioned that problematising UN peacekeeping in Africa via the invaluable prism
of a comparative case study analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars may
steer us toward divulging the general sources of UN peacekeeping success and failure.