The intellectual and charismatic nature of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces coupled with his huge experience in Diplomacy has not only affected and reformed the way things are being done in Africa but has also helped in the creation of peacekeeping institutions of reference which today serve the whole continent.
Peacekeeping refers to activities intended to create conditions that will bring about favorable lasting peace solutions in the resolution of conflicts. Research generally finds that peacekeeping reduces civilian and battlefield deaths and reduces the risk of renewed warfare. UN Peacekeeping was born at a time when Cold War rivalries frequently paralyzed the Security Council.
Peacekeeping was primarily limited to maintaining ceasefires and stabilizing situations on the ground, providing crucial support for political efforts to resolve conflict by peaceful means.
Within the United Nations (UN) group made up of nations, state governments and organizations, there is a general understanding that at the international level, peacekeepers monitor and observe peace processes in post-conflict areas, and may assist ex-combatants in implementing peace agreement commitments that they have undertaken. Such assistance may come in many forms, including confidence-building measures, power-sharing arrangements, electoral support, the rule of law as well as the economic and social development.
Accordingly, the UN peacekeepers (often referred to as Blue Berets or Blue Helmets because of their light blue berets or helmets) made up of soldiers, police officers, and civilian personnel. The United Nations is not the only organization to implement peacekeeping missions. Non United Nations peacekeeping forces like the NATO mission in Kosovo, the Multinational Force and Observers on the Sinai Peninsula or the ones organized by the European Union like EUFOR RCA and the African Union like the African Union Mission in Sudan all this side-lined bodies needs the authorization of the UN to carry out their missions.
All decisions about peacekeeping or the deployment of the Cameroon military forces are highly centralized under the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President, Paul Biya, who has ruled Cameroon since 1982 but who usually delegates power to the Minister Delegate at the Presidency in charge of Defense for execution or implementation of the road map he gives to him. According to Article 8 of Cameroon’s constitution, the President of the Republic is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, appoints all military posts, and is tasked with ensuring internal and external security. According to Article 9, the President has powers to declare an emergency, where he may take on any additional power, presumably including those that involve the military. The President relies on the Minister Delegate at the Presidency in charge of Defense to implement defense policy. The Secretary of State for Defense in charge of the National Gendarmerie, the Secretary of State for Defense in charge of Ex-servicemen and War Victims, the Defense Chief of Staff, and other undersecretaries report to the Minister Delegate. The Defense Chief of Staff has authority over the Chiefs of Staff of the Army, Navy, and Air Force. Cameroon’s military command structure is divided in two; there is an operational command and an organic command. The latter is responsible for administrative management, training, and effectiveness of forces. Both African-led and other international peacekeeping operations fall under the control of the International Relations Directorate, which was set up in 2001.