The Senegalese head of state and current president of the African Union (AU), Macky Sall, today warned of the limits of the United Nations peacekeeping operations on the continent to deal with jihadism.

“In the face of terrorism, the UN’s traditional peacekeeping operations have shown their limits,” said Sall during the opening speech of the eighth edition of the Dakar International Forum for Peace and Security in Africa, which runs until Tuesday.

“Blue helmets attacked even in their own bases, without any significant response capacity, certainly cannot protect populations threatened by terrorist groups,” added the president, questioning whether these missions can maintain peace when it “not even it has been established”.

Sall considered “it is necessary to update the entire doctrine of peace operations to fully integrate the fight against terrorism, also in Africa”; and he recalled that this is not an “African issue” but a “global threat” and a primary responsibility of the UN Security Council.

The Dakar International Forum on Peace and Security in Africa annually brings together African heads of state and government, ministers, representatives of international organizations and experts.

Under the slogan “Africa in the face of exogenous shocks: challenges of stability and sovereignty”, this edition is being held at the Abdou Diouf International Conference Center (CICAD), in Diamdianio, a city under construction some 36 kilometers from Dakar.

The presidents of Angola, João Lourenço, and Cape Verde, José Maria Pereira Neves, were present today, with the African Portuguese speaking guest of honor at the forum.

During his speech at the opening of the event, Lourenço alluded to the recent coups in West Africa, which should not be seen “as something normal”, and to the conflict in northern Ethiopia, which deserves attention “until we achieve peace definitive”.

Likewise, he pointed out the importance of food security and climate change, which have consequences for the economies, peace and security of countries, without forgetting that “poverty has worsened” and, therefore, “the probability of new factors of internal conflicts has also increased”.

For his part, the president of Cape Verde proposed in the face of these challenges “to do our job” and, at the level of the continent, “reform the AU, create a true system of government.”

Also participating in the forum are more than fifteen ministers from various African countries, France, India, Japan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey; representatives of Qatar, Kuwait, the Czech Republic and the European Union, as well as international organizations such as NATO and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

The event aims to promote “pragmatic reflection” and “realistic solutions” to African security problems.

Among the issues addressed, the strategic orientations necessary to favor the autonomy in security matters of the AU and other regional organizations stand out, with the aim of finding answers to the crises of the continent.

In the wake of international crises, new, more resilient African models of sovereignty will also be discussed to deal with stability challenges.

The forum takes place at a time when African economies have not fully recovered from the covid-19 pandemic and are suffering the effects of the war in Ukraine, with more than a third of African countries depending on wheat from Russia and Ukraine.

Added to this is insecurity in various regions of the continent, mainly due to jihadist extremism, which has a strong impact on food security and development in these countries.

Categorized in: