Peacekeeping is not specifically provided for in the charter of the UN, which makes no mention of that word. However, chapter VII of the charter included the use of armed forces to maint or restore international peace and security in situations where the Security Council (SC) has determined the existence of a threat to peace, breach of the peace or an act of aggression.
This is a last resort and would have followed failure of a peacemaking process as envisaged in Chapter VI Art 33 (Negotiation, enquiry, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, judicial settlement, resort to regional agencies or arrangements, or other peaceful means of their own choice) (Peace Making – efforts by UN to settle a conflict or maint peace among member states, preferably through diplomacy, persuasion, mediation, negotiation or other forms of peace settlement but sometimes requiring the use of military force or other means of coercion).
The Ghana Armed Forces over the years have contributed to peacekeeping operations and support to countries like Liberia, Mali, Sudan, Lebanon, Congo, just to mention a few.
Additional roles and tasks that Ghanaian peacekeepers may be tasked to perform.
Civic Action Programme
- Caring for the orphans and personnel affected during the conflict.
- Improvement of roads, repairs of bridges and construction of airstrips.
- Good behaviour by the peacekeeping personnel.
- Mine clearing effort.
- Undertaking civic action programme aimed at improving the living conditions of the people, eg construction of schools, clinics and water points.
- Health outreach programmes
- Provision of basic essentials such as water to the community.
- The development and implementation of a programme of human rights education to promote respect for the understanding of human rights.
- General human rights oversight during the transitional period.
- The investigation of human rights corrective action.
- Instituting effective measures to ensure no return to the policies and practices of the past.
- Ensuring that the people adhered to the relevant international human right instruments
The Mixed Military Working Group
- To maintain close liaison with all the opposing armed factions.
- To explore fully dialogue as a conflict resolution technique
- Projecting the neutrality of the peacekeeping force in its activities.
- Given equal opportunity at all times to all armed factions and political groups during meetings.
- The suspension or abrogation, in consultation with the warring faction of provisions of existing laws which could defeat the objects and purposes of the Agreement.
- The design and implementation of a voter education programme.
- The design and implementation of a system of voters’ registration.
- The design and implementation of a system of registration of political parties and list of candidates.
- Ensuring fair access to the media for all political parties contesting in the elections.
- The design and implementation of a system of balloting and polling
- The overall direction of polling and the vote count.
- The identification and investigation of complaints of electoral irregularities.