BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA’S PEACEKEEPERS ON AFRICAN SOIL DURING COVID-19: PROCEDURES, CHALLENGES AND LESSONS
Keywords:COVID-19, Africa, South Sudan, UN Missions, peacekeepers, support
Abstract: Active United Nation missions on African soil are: MINURSO in Western Sahara, UNMISS in South Sudan, MINUSMA in Mali, MONUSCO in Democratic Republic of the Congo, MINUSCA in Central African Republic and UNISFA in Abyei. Peacekeeping has always been highly dynamic and has evolved in the face of new issues. But, in addition to the challenges they face while assisting host countries on the difficult path from conflict to peace, peacekeepers have recently had to deal with procedures and obstacles caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic. The aim of the article is to investigate the performance of everyday tasks in the COVID-19 era with an emphasis on issues related to the availability of basic supplies for UN peacekeepers, personal protective equipment, medical services, welfare, travel restrictions, and connections with the resident population in Africa. In this paper, we will present the results of qualitative research (in-depth interviews) on the experiences of UN staff from Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) who served in the mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), in the period 2020-2022. In anticipation of malaria, typhoid, hepatitis, salmonella, etc., the peacekeepers faced a new unknown disease, a shortage of medicines, they had no access to hospitals, and personal protective masks were made from their underwear. In some areas the local population believed that COVID19 was a “mysterious disease” brought and spread by peacekeepers and this fact shed new light on (non)cooperation with UN staff. Apart from the UN, the mission staff were (not) provided with support and assistance in various ways by the countries which they came from.
Akonor, K. (2017) UN Peacekeeping in Africa: A Critical Examination and Recommendations for Improvement. online Available at https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-319-39162-5 (Accessed: 27 September 2022).
Apuuli, K. Ph., (2020) ’The African Union and Peacekeeping in Africa: Challenges and Opportunities’, Вестник Российского университета дружбы народов. Серия: Международные отношения, 20(4), pp. 667-677.
Besenyő, J. (2017) ’Guerrilla Operations in Western Sahara: The Polisario Versus Morocco and Mauritania’, Connections, 16(3), pp. 23-45.
Besenyő, J. and Kármán, M. (2020) ‘COVID-19 Pandemic on the African Continent’, Safety and Security Sciences Review, 2(2), pp. 39-55.
Besenyő, J. and Kármán, M. (2020) ‘Effects of COVID-19 Pandemy on African Health, Poltical and Economic Strategy’, Insights into Regional Development, 2(3), pp. 630-644. DOI: https://doi.org/10.9770/IRD.2020.2.3(2)
Cilliers, J. (2021) The Future of Africa: Challenges and Opportunities. online Avaliable at: https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-030-46590-2 (Accessed: 20 Ocotober 2022).
Kelemen-Erdos, A. (2019) ‘Dead-end Development or Real Progress? Pradigm Shift Initiatives in Marketing Theory’, XV International May Conference on Strategic Management – IMCSM19, 24-26 May, Bor, Serbia, XV(1), pp. 26-38.
Kelemen-Erdos, A. and Meszaros, A. A. (2021) ‘Ethics and Social Responsibility of Information Intermediaries in International Businesses’, Arab Journal of Administration, Vol. 41, pp. 239-248.
Kelemen-Erdos, A., Molnár, A. (2019) ‘Cooperation or Conflict? The Nature of the Collaboration of Marketing and Sales Organizational Units’, Economics and Culture, 16(1), pp. 58-69.
Pushkina, D.B. (2020) ‘Successes and Failures of United Nations Peace Operations’, Вестник Санкт-Петербургского университета, История, 20(1), pp. 261-276.
Roach, S.C. and Hudson, K.D. (2019) The Challenge of Governance in South Sudan: Corruption, Peacebuilding, and Foreign Intervention. Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.
Sikimić, M. (2021) ‘African Relationships with the Military Industry of Bosnia and Herzegovina’, Journal of Central and Eastern European African Studies – JCEEAS, 1(3), pp. 135-152. DOI: https://doi.org/10.59569/jceeas.2021.1.3.33
UNMISS (2022) online Available at: https://unmiss.unmissions.org/about-unmiss (Accessed: 9 September 2022).
Walter, B., Howard, L. and Fortna, V. (2021) ‘The Extraordinary Relationship between Peacekeeping and Peace,’ British Journal of Political Science, 51(4), pp. 1705-1722. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S000712342000023X
Zambakari, C., Kang, T. K. and Sanders, R. A. (2019) ‘The Role of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) in Protecting Civilians’ in S. C. Roach and D. K. Hudson (eds.) The Challenge of Governance in South Sudan: Corruption, Peacebuilding, and Foreign Intervention. Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group. pp. 95-130. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3128701