You are on page 1of 42


The Ineffectiveness of
United Nations Peacekeeping

Andrew Casey
Mr. Babcock
May 8th 2015

Casey 1


Casey 2

The following report will examine the issue of ineffective peacekeeping put in
place by the United Nations in developing countries around the world. This report will
address not only the failures of the past and present, but also how peacekeeping needs
to change to suit the changing world.
The theory of peacekeeping is the idea that the United Nations, with support from
the Security Council, can intervene to halt or prevent conflict. Peacekeepers can also be
sent to places that have already been devastated by war in order to stabilize the country
and help rebuild society for the locals. This theory has faced many challenges and if an
attempt to stabilize or maintain the peace in a region fails, many people suffer as a
consequence. The United Nations states that the role of peacekeeping is:

UN peacekeeping operations are, in principle, deployed to support the

implementation of a ceasefire or peace agreement, they are often required to
play an active role in peacemaking efforts and may also be involved in early
peacebuilding activities.

Today's multidimensional peacekeeping operations facilitate the political process,

protect civilians, assist in the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of
former combatants; support the organization of elections, protect and promote
human rights and assist in restoring the rule of law. (United Nations)

Often, the responsibilities listed above are not met or completed.


Casey 3

The are many examples of the United Nations sending peacekeepers into an
area of conflict too late or with an ineffective mandate that allows for the suffering of the
locals to continue. Over time, millions of people have been victims of ineffective
peacekeeping, peacebuilding, peace enforcement, and conflict prevention. Case studies
from Rwanda, Bosnia, and Sudan shows how the United Nations needs to continue
adapt and change the approach when it comes to peacekeeping.

Summary of Research

The research for this paper was conducted by reading many different articles,
primary documents, and witness accounts. For context and background information,
documentaries and other forms of media from the countries used as case studies were
used. Interviews with key persons affected also contributed.

Table of Contents




Casey 4

Summary of Research





p 12

Role of Control

p 15

Logic of Evil

p 19


p 22

Case Studies

p 23


p 23


p 28


p 33

International Organizations

p 36

Canadian Connection

p 38


Casey 5


p 40


p 42


The United Nations was founded in 1945 after the end of World War Two in
hopes of preventing another, potentially nuclear, global conflict. The United Nations has


Casey 6

also and more recently taken on the role of keeping the peace and protecting victims of
violence who are incapable of protecting themselves.

The Security Council took on most of the responsibility for this task. The Security
Council has five permanent members (USA, United Kingdom, France, Russia, and
China) and ten non-permanent members that change every two years. The five
permanent members are able to veto any item put forward to a vote, the Council can
create a stalemate that ties the hands of the United Nations when it comes to deploying
peacekeeping forces. The United Nations itself does not have an army but instead is
given troops by member states of the United Nations. Different countries donate or lend
different amounts of soldiers, police, aid workers, and equipment.

The first peacekeeping operation took place in 1948 in the Middle East. After
Egypt nationalized the Suez Canal, forces from several different countries (Israel,
Britain and France) stood against Egyptian forces. The mandate for said mission by the
United Nations was

UNEF I the first United Nations peacekeeping force was established by the
first emergency special session of the General Assembly which was held from 1
to 10 November 1956. The mandate of the Force was to secure and supervise
the cessation of hostilities, including the withdrawal of the armed forces of
France, Israel and the United Kingdom from Egyptian territory and, after the
withdrawal, to serve as a buffer between the Egyptian and Israeli forces and to


Casey 7

provide impartial supervision of the ceasefire. UNEF was withdrawn in May-June

1967, at Egypt's request (United-Nations, 1949).

Ever since the success of the mission in 1948, peacekeeping became a favoured
idea by many and was put to the test in many areas around the world. Some examples
include countries from all over the world such as: Somalia, Chad, Cambodia, Croatia,
Bosnia, and Yemen. These are just a few of the many operations conducted. Africa has
seen the most peacekeeping operations, but almost every continent has had
peacekeeping mandates at one time or another. Many of the missions have resulted in
a failure of some sort and with a new mandate another mission is sent. However, this
strategy doesnt always solve the problem. The first peacekeeping mission was to
prevent conflict between Egyptian and Israeli forces and once this force withdrew,
conflict ensued on and off for decades. These issues persist today. This particular case
is an example of how the approach of occupying an area wont prevent future conflict
(UN, 2015).

Toward the end of the Cold War in the late nineteen eighties, the priorities of the
United Nations and the Security Council shifted. Fifty-six of the sixty-nine missions took
place after 1987. Expectations of the Security Council and peacekeeping operations
themselves were raised after the short-lived success. This period was followed by doubt
of the effectiveness of peacekeeping. A few, but catastrophic, failures and many
unresolved issues lost the confidence of world leaders and citizens. Peacekeeping
missions with strict mandates tied the hands of the peacekeepers on the ground. In


Casey 8

areas such as Yugoslavia, Rwanda, and Somalia there was no actual peace to keep.
Many of the areas, regardless of peace agreements or cease fires, continued to rage on
in conflict when peacekeepers arrived. The mandate, for example, given in Somalia was
a proper example of how mandates require constant observation to remain effective
through changes:

UNOSOM I was established by Security Council resolution 751 (1992) of 24 April

1992, to monitor the ceasefire in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia; and to
provide protection and security for United Nations personnel, equipment and
supplies at the seaports and airports in Mogadishu and escort deliveries of
humanitarian supplies from there to distribution centres in the city and its
immediate environs.
On 28 August 1992, UNOSOM I's mandate and strength were expanded by
Security Council resolution 775 (1992).
On 3 December 1992, after the situation in Somalia had further deteriorated, the
Security Council, by its resolution, authorized Member States to form the Unified
Task Force (UNITAF) to establish a safe environment for the delivery of
humanitarian assistance. UNITAF worked in coordination with UNOSOM I to
secure major population centres and ensure that humanitarian assistance was
delivered and distributed (United-Nations, 1992).

The mandate had to be changed and eventually an entirely new mandate was
created. Also, these new mandates took time to develop and implement and could not


Casey 9

be done in a short period of time. Many people have to review and agree to the new
mandates. The Rwandan Genocide was able to continue for three months after the
United Nations knew what was happening. In modern times this is unacceptable. This
example shows that the idea of peacekeeping was losing favour among member
nations as well as effectiveness in operation.

Because of the ineffectiveness of peacekeeping, there was a large reform at the

beginning of the twenty-first century which resulted in a new surge of peacekeeping
operations. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon created an Independent Panel for UN
Peace Operations on the thirty-first of October, 2014 (UN, 2015). This panel reviews
and asseses current peacekeeping operations and analyses for future peacekeeping
needs of the future. Ban Ki-moon said, The world is changing and UN peace
operations must change with it if they are to remain an indispensable and effective tool
in promoting international peace and security (UN, 2015). Jose Ramos-Horta is the
chair of this panel. The panel has seventeen experts from all different kinds of fields to
have opinions from a variety of perspectives. Peacekeepers have never been in so
many places at once as they are today. Many large reforms such as the Capstone
Doctrine created in 2008 were made to improve peacekeeping efforts. This doctrine was
to guide peacekeepers in the field. In 2007, there was a large structural reform to the
Peacekeeping Department. Part of the objective of said reform was to increase the
ability for the UN to operate in many places at once with effectiveness. The reform
divided some fields into smaller departments to narrow their focus and effectiveness.
Other attempts at decreasing the number of crimes committed by peacekeepers have


Casey 10

been made with zero tolerance policies for things such as sexual exploitation and

Peacekeeping has changed since the end of the twentieth century and now the
idea, again, is going through a test; a test to see if peacekeeping is a viable option to
use throughout the world to keep the peace and provide security. In its conception, the
purpose of peacekeeping was to separate and place a barrier between warring factions
long enough to find peace without bloodshed. An example of this is the first United
Nations peacekeeping mission in Egypt. After fighting started when Egypt nationalized
the Suez Canal, the United Nations, led by a plan put forth by Canadian Foreign
Minister Lester B. Pearson, brought a halt to the fighting by putting peacekeepers in
between the two sides. This led to a war through diplomacy, and many lives were
spared. Times have changed and conflict has become more complicated than before
the Cold War (Lang, 2009). Now, instead of two countries (or more) going to war there
are civil wars, insurgencies, genocides, and regional conflicts between different
ethnicities. This adds many new variables to the equation of peace. It is almost
impossible to stay impartial during conflict as it was when two states went to war. Some
groups do not believe in a peace, their motivations lead them to fight until victory, or

Some of the reforms made attempted to target the ineffectiveness of these

operations when put into physical use, but there are still major problems created by the
bureaucratic organization of the United Nations.


Casey 11


Many people have been a part of UN Peacekeeping reforms and changed

mandates but one of the most experienced people in this area of knowledge is Romeo
Dallaire. Dallaire was a Lieutenant-General in the Canadian Army and was set in charge
of the peacekeeping force in Rwanda. Rwanda was possibly the biggest failure on part


Casey 12

of the United Nations. Over eight-hundred-thousand civilians were killed during a Hutu
cleansing of Tutsi people.

Before the hundred day period of the genocide, Dallaire knew that people all over
the country were being armed and organized by Hutu leaders. After receiving this
information from an informant, Dallaire contacted superiors at the United Nations
requesting permission to find and capture these weapon caches but was denied
because his requested course of action did not fit the mandate that was given to him for
his deployment, which was to lead the intermediary peacekeeping force in Rwanda.
Dallaire did the best he could by setting up safe zones where he suspected Tutsis to
be hiding and hoped more would arrive. After hundreds of thousands of people were
murdered, the mandate was finally changed. Thousands more peacekeepers were sent
and the genocide was ended (Dallaire, 2015).

After his time in Africa, Dallaire went back to Canada and continued to serve as a
high ranking General in the Canadian Army. He also went through a period of
depression and attempted suicide. This was a result of seeing the worst things the world
has to offer. In 2004, Dallaire testified in court to help put Hutu leader Theoneste
Bagosora in jail for the murder of 10 Belgian peacekeepers in Rwanda. The next years
of the Generals life were spent in politics. In 2005, he was appointed to the Canadian
Senate and still serves in this capacity. Romeo Dallaire has gone on to research and
write about child soldiers, veteran affairs, and conflict resolution.


Casey 13

While being interviewed by Macleans Magazine, Romeo Dallaire stated his

opinions on the subject of peacekeeping and conflict resolution. He said:

How long have [UN peacekeepers] been in Cyprus? Sixty years. They are not
killing each other there anymore. Were still patrolling this line in between them,
and the way its going, it might take another generation, another 20 years. Whats
70 years in the life of a nationif they are not killing each other, theyre building a
future. So Afghanistan, the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Sierra Leonenations
that are in tumultuous scenariosyou need to invest in giving them the ability to
nurture their future. Those of us who have the capacity should be [helping]
economically, development-wise, but we should also be willing to do it securitywise (Geddes, 2014).

This quotation illustrates that Dallaire believes peacekeeping is not a short-term

project. He has advocated for long-term operations to slowly withdraw from the area so
that when peacekeepers leave the conflict does not resume. While the peacekeepers
are there, Dallaire believes that a proper infrastructure and functional civil services need
to be created so that the country can survive without foreign troops, police, and money.

When asked about Canadas role in peacekeeping, Dallaire explains that as a

middle power Canada should be a very active member of operations. For example, the
Congo is a place engulfed with conflict and is in dire need of peacekeepers and United
Nations assistance. When asked about the Congo and what Canadas role in the


Casey 14

mission there should be Dallaire answered, Canada should have a battle group of
about 1,600 with a helicopter capability to be able to move at least a company at a time.
It should have engineering capability and extensive logistics and command-and-control
capability. We can be the backbone of that UN force (Geddes, 2014). Dallaire
continues to support the idea that Canada has a large role to play in peacekeeping.

Role of Control

The United Nations Security Council is the body that decides what missions will
or will not be conducted. They decide how many troops, police, and civilians will be sent
to the area of operation. Because the Council must come to a majority vote, with all five
permanent members approval as well, areas that need peacekeepers often go without.
For example, currently in Eastern Ukraine, Pro-Russian separatists are fighting against
the western-backed Ukrainian Army. The world watched this civil war rage on but only


Casey 15

when a civilian airliner with 298 people on board was shot down leaving no survivors did
the world call for a cease-fire, and even United Nations intervention. However, no
mission to do with this conflict would ever be approved by Russia, a permanent member
of the Council with the power to veto any motion put forward. This civil war continues to
take civilian lives to this day.
Russia is not the only country to use their ability as a permanent member to veto
a resolution put forward. Every permanent member has vetoed before. This list of the
last ten vetoes shows the latest trends of which countries have been using their veto:
Security Council - Veto List
(in reverse chronological order)

Prepared and maintained by the Dag Hammarskjld Library. Data from 1946-2004 were taken from th
of vetoes contained in document A/58/47, Annex III.



Agenda Item


22 May 2014



Middle East - Syria


15 March



Letter dated 28 February 2014

from the Permanent
Representative of Ukraine to
the United Nations addressed to
the President of the Security
Council (S/2014/136)


19 July 2012



Middle East - Syria


04 February



Middle East - Syria


04 October



Middle East - Syria


18 February



Middle East situation, including




Casey 16

the Palestinian question

15 June 2009





11 July 2008



Peace and Security - Africa



12 January





11 November



Middle East situation, including

the Palestinian question


13 July 2006



Middle East situation, including

the Palestinian question


05 October



Middle East situation, including

the Palestinian question


21 April 2004





25 March



Middle East situation, including

the Palestinian question


So, not one single person, country, or alliance controls the actions of the Security
Council and in turn, peacekeeping operations. This is one of the biggest issues within
the system regarding peacekeeping. Many countries that require conflict resolution and
peacekeeping go without because of conflicts of interest on the international level.

However, when an agreed upon mission is ready to go, the responsibility is

shifted to the Head of Department of Peacekeeping. The current head is Mr. Herv
Ladsous. People who take on this role often have an extensive background in politics
and foreign affairs. Born of French nationality, Ladsous studied at the National School of
Oriental Studies in Paris. He received a diploma in Chinese and Law. In 1971 Ladsous


Casey 17

began working for the French government in the Foreign Ministry. He has been
stationed in Hong Kong, Canberra, Beijing and Geneva.

Once military troops are on the ground, there are several commanders in
different aspects of the operations. The military component of missions is controlled by
a military leader seconded to the United Nations Peacekeeping force by a member
nation, like the aforementioned Lt. General Romeo Dallaire in Rwanda. It works similarly
for police and civilians who participate in peacekeeping operations.
Often the United Nations, because of all the reasons explained, does not have
control either within the UN or on the ground during operations. Peacekeepers on the
ground often feel helpless, a learned helplessness. Because of the non-violent
approach to peacekeeping and mandates that become ineffective in changing
environments, soldiers and their commanders in blue have had their hands tied when it
comes to using their assets.


Casey 18

Logic of Evil

The idea of peacekeeping is a noble one, but when put into practice it is not quite
perfect. By sending in peacekeeping forces it is thought that this will add stability and
security for the locals living in the area of operations; it does mostly, however sending in
thousands of foreign troops and equipment can also have negative effects.

Looking at the issue simply, it makes sense that more peacekeepers is a good
thing. They are there to protect and help people. Many of the troops sent on these
missions grew up in developing nations themselves; therefore, the armies they serve in
are not quite professional and the soldiers are not held to the same standards as
soldiers from fully developed countries. The current mandate in The Democratic
Republic of Congo is called MONUSCO. $8.73 billion has been spent on this mission
in the Congo since 2000 (UN Statistics, 2014). Peacekeepers in the Congo in the
past decade specifically have been found guilty of not fulfilling their duties. Nightly
patrols were not completed and investigations went ignored. Peacekeepers have also
be caught committing crimes and adding to the instability. For example, child prostitution


Casey 19

has been discovered within the peacekeeping operations, mostly in Africa. Obviously
this was not intended but was the consequence of sending unprofessional personal.
Money is also a large factor in these missions as it is key to building up a destroyed
country. This can also have negative effects on locals and even the country on a
national scale. These poor countries learn to rely on foreign money to support their
society. These countries are expect to pay back their debt or at least the interest, and
this situation may cripple a developing economy. Once the sums of money stop coming
from the larger developed countries, it creates an enormous problem and can result in
massive budget cuts to local police and other security forces. So, a deeper examination
into peacekeeping reveals that more peacekeepers and money does not solve all the

The mandates also call for cooperation between all sovereign states involved.
Peacekeepers are to never work against the governments army in the country they are
deployed to. This became an issue when the protection of civilians interfered with
cooperation with the Congolese army. When the army of the Congo begins to commit
crimes and attack their own people, peacekeepers are left with a dilemma: confront the
army they are there to help or do nothing. The mandates are what prevent the
peacekeepers from confronting anyone.

The veto system was created so that nothing could be passed unless the entire
Security Council agreed to the resolution. The reason behind this is clear and has merit.
The problem with this system is that areas of conflict often have outside forces involved


Casey 20

in some form, sometimes from one of the permanent members of the Security Council.
Korea was one of the many places that a peacekeeping force could have been used,
but a United Nations force was never been deployed in Korea. This is because of
conflicts of interest between members on the Council. If the mandate put before the
Council had any bias or seemed to favour one side over the other, the nation feeling
short-changed would simply veto the motion. Previously the Soviet Union had
withdrawn from the United Nations in protest, leaving them unable to use their veto in
the Korean peninsula. This allowed western nations to agree upon a United Nations led
coalition to fight against North Korea, which led to the Korean War.
Syria is a more relevant example for today. Five of the last six vetoes used in the
Security Council have been used while on the agenda item of Syria and the Middle
East. Four of the vetoes have come from the Russian Federation and China, while one
has come from the USA. Syria is in need of support from the international community
but no peacekeepers, and other forms of support, will reach the country because world
powers cant reach a middle ground on the subject.


Casey 21


Ineffective peacekeeping is not due to religion but there are some small
connections. Article Eighteen of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that
all people have the freedom to practice any religion they wish (United Nations, 1948).
This article shows that the organization of the United Nations does not favour one
religion over another, it is impartial. However, many of the peacekeeping missions are
sent to areas of religious conflict. For example, The Bosnian War had one of the most
notorious religious based genocides in recent history. More than eight-thousand people
were murdered in this conflict and one of the reasons was religious. Religious practice
itself does not bring in the United Nations but the twisted actions by extremists around
the world can result in peacekeeping intervention. To continue with the example of
Bosnia, the peacekeeping mandate failed. Those eight-thousand were murdered in front
an ill-equipped, ill-prepared, and outnumbered contingent of United Nations
Sometimes the troops themselves who are sent on these peacekeeping
operations have conflicting religious views with the people they are meant to protect.
Obviously for most first-world professional armies this is not a major issue, however it


Casey 22

has created problems in the past. In some cases, UN Peacekeepers were guilty of
sexual abuse and depriving the populace of humanitarian aid until their demands were
met. This is not uncommon in peacekeeping missions around Africa. The reasons for
the ineffectiveness of peacekeeping missions does not originate from religion or
spirituality. Views held by some troops will not affect an entire mission.
Case Studies

Case Study 1 - Bosnia

In 1991, the country of Yugoslavia faced rebellion from different ethnic minorities
wishing to become independent states. The breakup of Yugoslavia was a violent part of
history during which many suffered. Ten separate groups formed across the country in
an attempt to found their independence. Several wars between different factions
continued for several years, leaving millions displaced and starving. Such a conflict,
causing pain and suffering for many civilians, was a perfect case for United Nations
peacekeeping operations to be put into place. Gaining approval of the Security Council,
UNPROFOR was established in February of 1992. The mandate of this operation was
to protect civilians by creating no-fly zones and green-zones. These areas provided
refuge to any civilians looking for a safe place from the war with protection by armed
peacekeepers. Larger goals for the mission included aiding the creation of cease-fire
agreements and over-seeing them so that the conflict could be resolved through
diplomatic means.


Casey 23

The mission continued, just as the violence did, with several changes to the
mandate. More personnel and resources had been requested several times since the
beginning of the mission. With the escalation of violence among warring factions the
threat to peacekeeping forces increased as well. Eventually airstrikes were authorized
in an effort to protect civilians and peacekeepers alike.

Even with these changes to the mission, war crimes and civilian casualties
continued for years. The United Nations, according the mandate given, was able to
protect civilians in the safe areas of Srebrenica, Sarajevo, Tuzla, Zepa, Gorazde and
Bihac. In other areas however, ethnic cleansing and war-rape occurred. Thousands


Casey 24

were murdered, mostly Bosnian-Muslim (Bosniak) men and boys by Bosnian Serbs.
Rape camps were used by Bosnian Serbs as a tool of terror and ethnic cleansing. The
limitations imposed on United Nations forces prohibited peacekeepers from venturing
out and putting an end to these crimes. UN mandates prohibited the aid or hindering of
one faction over the other. This means that if soldiers are committing crimes
peacekeepers cannot get in between the offender and victim. This wasnt the only
drawback of UNPROFOR during the war.

The town of Srebrenica was under siege for two years by Serb forces. The tactics
used are described by a former fighter:

It was almost like a game, a cat-and-mouse hunt. But of course we greatly

outnumbered the Muslims, so in almost all cases, we were the hunters and they
were the prey. We needed them to surrender, but how do you get someone to
surrender in a war like this? You starve them to death. So very quickly we
realized that it wasn't really weapons being smuggled into Srebrenica that we
should worry about, but food. They were truly starving in there, so they would
send people out to steal cattle or gather crops, and our job was to find and kill
them... No prisoners. Well, yes, if we thought they had useful information, we
might keep them alive until we got it out of them, but in the end, no prisoners.
(Anderson, 2014)

In April of 1995 a safe zone was created in Srebrenica by the United Nations,
from Resolution 819. This safe zone was meant to ensure that Srebrenica should be


Casey 25

freed from any presence of armed attack or hostile acts. After the Bosniak forces inside
the city gave up their weapons to the United Nations forces, the Serb forces outside the
city remained with their heavy weapons. With a force of 600, the Dutchbat (Dutch
Contingent) was beginning to run out of supplies as were the civilian Bosniaks. By July
people had begun to starve to death as UNPROFOR was unable to supply food or

The Serb forces pushed into the town in the summer of 1995, took peacekeepers
hostage, and began to murder Bosniaks. A small Dutch compound remained in the area
and refugees flooded the base. Unable to support the civilians, the Dutch expelled the
civilians from their compound, knowing the men and boys would be killed. As the
situation became chaotic, municipal authorities helped to organize a column formed by
Bosniak men who were trying to flee to friendly territory to avoid being captured and
killed by Serbs. The United Nations did not aid in this plan. Only about one-third of the
men who started the journey made it. Genocide and other crimes on a horrific scale
were perpetrated without a response from any NATO or United Nations forces.

The numbers are not known for certain, but it is estimated that almost 8,000
people were murdered, countless women were raped, and thousands more were
displaced by these events (United Nations, 2014). Perhaps the most difficult of these
facts to understand is that they happened over the course of months without
intervention. The Bosnian war was able to rage on for almost four years before it came


Casey 26

to a close. Violence in the region has never truly ended as rebel groups have continued
to fight governments and harm civilians through crime and violence.

UNPROFOR is one of the best examples of a peacekeeping mandate that failed.

Developing countries around the world that rely on UN peacekeeping are all at stake if
lessons are not learned from instances such as the events that occurred in Bosnia.
There was a strong disconnect in the chain of command. There were reports from
ground commanders not reaching superiors and disagreements between regional
commanders from the UN. A journalist and political analyst assessed the situation well:

UNPROFOR was not a successful force/ suffered from being spread too thin
over too great an area to be effective as a consistent military force/ caught
between war criminals and their UN mandates the blue helmets kept people alive
but could not alter their fate/ the UN mission in Bosnia highlighted the risk of
sending peacekeepers where there was no peace to keep (Pollock, 2015)

Examples like Bosnia are a clear indication that UN peacekeeping can be, and is
in many areas of the world, ineffective.


Casey 27

Case Study 2 Rwanda

Before the creation of the United Nations, the Berlin conference of 1884 divided
Africa up for European powers to colonize the continent without conflict amongst
themselves. The map drawn to divide the land in Africa did not take into account the
ethnicities of the inhabitants. While the colonizers were in these places they were able
to maintain peace, but once they retreated and left, competing tribes often fought for
power resulting in unstable regions.

Rwanda is a clear example of this situation. When the Hutu people were left in
power in the country of Rwanda by the Belgians, who had been the colonizer of
Rwanda since 1919, the Tutsi people were subjected to forced labour and lesser
positions in society. Tutsis were forced into the lower ranks of society which included
manual labour and even slavery. The poor treatment of Tutsis was the result of a civil
war in the country during the 1980s.

The leader in Rwanda in 1992, Habyarimana, used the attacks from guerrilla
fighters from the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) as a way to coerce people into
supporting his views on committing violence against Tutsi people. However,
Habyarimana was not the only person looking to eradicate the Tutsis. Many high
ranking military and government officials were looking to destroy the Tutsis sooner and
much more violently than Habyarimana wanted. These officials began to plot against the
leader to push forward their goals. Locally, the officials began to start murdering
hundreds of Tutsis in their controlled lands. The RPF used these crimes as a reason to


Casey 28

attack Rwanda, only making the situation even more chaotic for anyone living within the

Only until 1993 did the United Nations set up a peacekeeping operation to
intervene in an attempt to put a halt to the civil war that had recently escalated. The first
force sent was an observer mission named UNOMUR. Lieutenant-General Romeo
Dallaire was in charge of this mission. Only 81 observers were sent on this operation
and the goal was not to stop any ethnic based violence. The goal of this mission was to
halt any military assistance that was to cross the Ugandan-Rwandan border. The United
Nations admits the mandate didnt succeed:

Established to monitor the border between Uganda and Rwanda and verify that
no military assistance -- lethal weapons, ammunition and other material of
possible military use -- was being provided across it. While the tragic turn of
events in Rwanda in April 1994 prevented UNOMUR from fully implementing its
mandate, the Observer Mission played a useful role as a confidence-building
mechanism in the months following the conclusion of the Arusha Peace
Agreement and during UNAMIR's initial efforts to defuse tensions between the
Rwandese parties and to facilitate the implementation of that agreement.
UNOMUR was officially closed on 21 September 1994 (UN, 2015)

The observer mission itself did not aim to halt the killings of civilians in Rwanda
but to stop the Tutsi-dominated RPF from getting into Rwanda. This focus led to Hutus


Casey 29

being able to commit the atrocities that later shamed the United Nations for their inability
to act when needed.

In 1993, a ceasefire between the Hutu-dominated government of Rwanda and

the RPF was agreed upon, and UNAMIR was established by the United Nations
Security Council. The mandate was supposed to help in the supervision of the ceasefire
as well as to create stability in the capital city of Kigali. Humanitarian aid and mine
disposal was also a part of the mandate.

On April 7th, 1994, the genocide of Tutsi people began when the crisis committee
led by Bagosora took control of the country after Rwandan leader Habyarimana was
assassinated. The assassination took place on April 6 th in Kigali, Rwanda after
Habyarimanas private jet was shot down. Numerous other Government officials were
killed as well (ASN, 1994). Militias were raised on a national level to start killing on a
mass scale all over the country. Elite units headed the slaughter in the Capital city by
setting up roadblocks and murdering anyone with identification stating a Tutsi ethnicity.
Any officials that did not partake or dismissed orders of murder were quickly removed
from their post with physical force and serious injury. United Nations personnel
witnessed killings on mass scales in places such as churches, schools, medical centres,
and other public institutions (Frontline, 2003).

The rest of the world knew what was happening by April 13th when American and
other news stations had reporters in the area. Many people worldwide called for
intervention. One example of the United Nations failing to act when needed occurred on


Casey 30

April 11th when over 1500 Tutsis were slaughtered at a school that had been occupied
by Belgian UNAMIR soldiers. Overwhelmed, the soldiers withdrew leaving all the Tutsis
to face death at the hands of Hutus and their machetes.

On April 21st of 1994 the mandate was updated to adjust for the conflict that had
resumed between the two factions. Space in the mandate was made to create refuge
for displaced and threatened civilians. Again, on May 17th the mandate was changed to
account for the genocide taking place within the borders of Rwanda. However, this
revised mandate still did not give soldiers the ability to actually stop the killings, but only
the ability to set up safe areas for refugees to stay to avoid the Hutus.

The reaction of troops on the ground was delayed by UN headquarters in New

York. Months before the genocide began, several instances of soldiers firing their
weapons convinced headquarters that UNAMIR would avoid the use of weapons at all
costs. This message was relayed to commanding officers in Rwanda. After this
message was communicated repeatedly to soldiers, many of them felt they could not
use their weapons at all, without recourse. This inaction was due to the language in the
mandate being updated to further restrict the use of firearms.

Lieutenant-General Dallaire begged for permission from the United Nations to

intervene within Rwanda and proactively stop the killings only a few days after the plane
crash that killed Habyarimana. His request was denied and he was ordered by
headquarters in New York to keep his troops working under the assigned mandate.
Dallaire said that he only needed a few hundred more men to stop the massacres but


Casey 31

he was still denied any reinforcements. The United Nations forces didnt actually stop
the genocide; it only ended when the RPF was able to stop the government from the
crimes against humanity.

The failure on part of the United Nations in Rwanda can mostly be seen in New
York and the lack of response to the events in Rwanda. When Romeo Dallaire sent a
message to United Nations Headquarters stating that weapons were being stored for
the purpose of murder, not war against the RPF in Rwanda, the reply he received was
to simply follow the mandate of the current mission. Anything reported to the
Headquarters was not completely new information. For years people had been killed
because of ethnicity in Rwanda during the civil war. It was not until the mass genocide
began that the United Nations and international community saw that something extreme
that had not happened before was occurring in the country. The added confusion of
Hutus killing Hutus who opposed the genocidal plans slowed the process of
understanding the situation and intentions of the parties involved. A lack of intelligence
can also be blamed for the little and too late action on behalf of the small peacekeeping

Case Study 3 - Sudan


Casey 32

In 2005, South Sudan began its road to independence from Sudan. The South
Sudanese longed for separation from their northern counterparts. Ethnic divisions,
language barriers, and conflicts of interest created hostilities. Talks of this continued
until 2011 when the goal of an independent state with its own government was
achieved. Of course, rarely is independence peaceful. What has resulted from the
creation of the newest nation is a bloody civil war between two main factions based
upon ethnic differences. Salva Kiir Mayardit and Riek Machar are the leaders of the two
groups in conflict. Mayardit is the current president of South Sudan and is blamed by
the resistance fighters in the north of the country led by Machar for starting the conflict
which has paralyzed the country from growing and making outside connections to
become stronger (France-Presse, 2014).

The entire reason for becoming independent in the first place was because of
violence between the South (currently South Sudan) and the North (currently Sudan).
Because of the violence and a likelihood of more violence to follow in the new country of
South Sudan, the United Nations created UNMISS. UNMISS was created to oversee
peace agreements and support the new government to ensure long term peace and
stability in the region. Aid was to be supplied to those in need and large tent cities
guarded by UN troops would offer a safe place to live for people who had been
displaced. The situation did not unfold as planned when in 2013 the President, who was
about to lose his power, declared that his vice-president, Machar, was staging a military
coup to topple the government. Machar, in an interview with Vice News, stated that this
was a lie and the only thing he wished for was peace and democracy. With an ousted


Casey 33

leader heading a guerrilla war in the north part of the country and an unstable
government to the south trying to maintain stability, the country has only fallen into
another civil war that has displaced millions and left many civilians wounded or dead.
The numbers are not know for certain but an estimated ten thousand civilians have
been killed in the fighting and ethnic cleansings taking place. Two Indian peacekeepers
have also been killed in the fighting (Indian Press, 2013)

Years later the war has continued to rage on as tribes side with either the
government or rebels. Tribes often take advantage of the war to kill members of rivaling
tribes. Crime virtually goes unpunished. To complete the mandate given, major changes
are needed to the abilities given to peacekeepers and their commanders. For example,
one of the UN personnel in the region stated:

Peacekeepers have been holding their ground in compounds set up by UNMISS,

however this limits the ability for peacekeepers to be proactive about keeping
peace. Civilians must try to escape from hostile people from both sides of the
conflict to reach these compounds which offer safety and supplies. Mandates
such as this which limit United Nations personnel in the area of operation from
completing the mandate itself to the best of their ability. The system in place
weakens the effectiveness anytime the system is put into practice. To make sure
that the United Nations remains neutral and never oversteps it often never steps
far enough or chooses to stop one side early enough. (Kulish, 2014)


Casey 34

International Organizations
Many organisations go to areas of conflict for many reasons. Some
nongovernment organizations (NGOs) aim to provide relief after the conflict has ended
or come to a standstill. For example, in Rwanda a NGO named RENCP (Rwanda
education NGO coordination platform) has set up relations with the struggling Rwandan
Ministry of Education and NGOs wishing to invest in the education of young Rwandans


Casey 35

(RENCP, 2015). Organizations such as this will reach areas where peace has been
achieved to help with the rebuilding of society. In South Sudan many such organizations
set up after the country gained its independence only to have their work abandoned
when civil war broke out, because of the issue that NGOs cant defend themselves
without receiving criticism from their investors. Because of this situation, the areas of
conflict that need help the most dont receive aid from NGOs.

The NGOs have been able to build connections with the governments that
administer the land in conflict, however the NGOs have no such connection with the
United Nations. NGOs and the United Nations work together on some fronts but not with
the Security Council, only economic and social affairs. The lack of cooperation between
the two sides makes relief efforts much less efficient. Once the private money and
skilled workers of NGOs and political (as well as military) strength of the United Nations
is combined recovery for the nations affected by conflict will speed up drastically.

The issue of ineffective United Nations peacekeeping is a direct result of the

United Nations organization and outdated structure. The United Nations was created on
the premise of peace and maintaining that peace. However, the peace to be maintained
was not between smaller countries in Africa and the Middle East but in the Western
world. As time went on and the Cold War ended, the focus shifted toward those smaller
nations in need of peace intervention. Often the interventions fail because the
organization was created and designed to prevent nuclear powers going to war (UN,


Casey 36

1970), but not ethnic disputes between tribes. Adaptations have been made for physical
peacekeeping on the ground but the effectiveness of which is often not high.

Other major world organizations such as NATO and the EU dont play a direct
role in the decision-making process within the Security Council. However, nations within
the EU and NATO participate in the United Nations. The Security Council has five
permanent members and three of which are in NATO and two more are in the EU. In
turn, western views are well represented within the Security Council. Opposing views
from Russia and China are also well represented and contribute to the ineffectiveness
of peacekeeping from deployment and effectiveness in operation.

Canadian Connection
Canada has played a leading role in peacekeeping since its inception. In fact,
United Nations peacekeeping was first proposed by a Canadian, Lester B. Pearson at
the time, Foreign Minister and future Prime Minister of Canada. The first deployment of
Blue Helmets (United Nations troops) during the Suez crisis was Pearsons idea. Later
he received a Nobel Peace Prize for his actions. Since then, Canada has been at the


Casey 37

front of peacekeeping operations in the world. Canada often donates many troops in
comparison with other member nations (United Nations Association in Canada, 2000).
Canada has helped to change peacekeeping from simply sending in troops as a
buffer to actually building up destroyed areas. Renewed work by Canada could help find
a solution to the problems faced by peacekeeping worldwide. Non-military Canadians
have also made a large impact overseas during peacekeeping operations. Many police
officers and other emergency personnel have volunteered to help train and better
prepare new police forces and medics to help prepare the country to be capable of
supporting itself. Civilians have also helped to establish new governments and other
public services in developing nations. The Canadian military has been in over thirty
peacekeeping operations worldwide. More than 120,000 soldiers have been
volunteered to the United Nations by Canada, and 114 have died while serving in
operations (United Nations Association in Canada, 2000).
The reflection of such dedication to peacekeeping and peacebuilding is seen in
Canadas foreign policy. Canada has sent military observers to the Middle East in an
effort to better train those trying to halt ISIS/ISIL from expanding their oppressive reach
(Canada G. o., 2015). Although this mission is not executed through the United Nations
or Security Council, Canada continues to support a foreign policy based on peace.
Missions such as the one in Syria are done on Canadas accord because the motion
supporting a peacekeeping mandate in Syria or Iraq would likely not pass due to
strategic interests from other member nations.


Casey 38

Recently, Canada has taken a large step away from the United Nations when it
comes to peacekeeping. In March of 2015 the worlds military leaders met at the
headquarters of the United Nations in New York to discuss revived approaches of
peacekeeping and dealing with extremist groups like ISIS/ISIL. This meeting occurred
without a Canadian representative (Potter, 2015). Canada currently has 113
peacekeepers as opposed to Bangladeshs 9400. Willingly, Canadas government has
released their role of leading the peacekeeping cause to other member nations. Unless
Canada decides to return to peacekeeping with the United Nations, Canada will have no
role in the recovery needed for UN Peacekeeping. This would be a large loss to the
international community and millions of people around the world.

The ultimate goal of United Nations peacekeeping is to spread peace throughout
areas of conflict around the world so that people everywhere have the same
opportunities without being under the threat of violence. This goal may never be
achieved, but great strides can be made.


Casey 39

Most of the western world ruled by big governments has achieved peace on a
regional scale, but in areas that are new to a national government, peace is a rarity.
Africa, a continent that has been ruled through tribal leaders for centuries, is now trying
to adopt the western idea of an electoral system with different levels of government from
local to national. Because of the tribal systems before, Africa has been shaped into
thousands of different tribes controlling small amounts of land compared to other
countries around the world. With thousands of different localized groups and hundreds
of different languages, it is unrealistic to expect that putting many ethnicities under a
leader who is biased toward his/her own tribe/ethnicity is a good idea for conflict
resolution. This will only require more peacekeeping operations and other forms of aid
in the future.
It is possible that instead of fostering peace (or trying to) between young nations
that dont have control over their own territory, it would be wiser to create a large
congress of tribes. This already exists in a sense; the African Union has 54 member
states. To properly recognize the different groups with power throughout the continent,
the number of member states would have to increase greatly. Once governing bodies
can focus on improving the lives of their people instead of having to focus on controlling
many different, divided, and struggling ethnic groups, issues such as healthcare and
education can receive the attention and funding they deserve. The work done with that
attention and money will also be permanent, as it wont be destroyed or abandoned in
the next conflict to ravage all that has been done.


Casey 40

Anderson, S. (2012, July 11). Retrieved from New York TImes:
Canada, G. o. (2015). Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada. Retrieved from


Casey 41

Canada, U. N. (1992).
Dallaire, R. (2015, March 3). Retrieved from
Foundation, A. S. (1994). Retrieved from Aviation Saftey:
France-Presse, A. (2014, Jan 22). Global Post. Retrieved from
Frontline. (2003). Retrieved from
Geddes, J. (2014, July 14). The Interview: Romeo Dallaire. Retrieved from
Kulish, N. (2014, Jan 9). Retrieved from New York Times:
Lewis, S. (2014). Retrieved from Atlismta.og:
Pollock. (2015, May 7). Retrieved from Emperors and Interviews:
Potter, M. (2015, March). The Star. Retrieved from
Press, I. (2013, Dec 22). Retrieved from
RENCP. (2015, April). Retrieved from


Casey 42

UN. (1970). Retrieved from
UN. (2015). Retrieved from
United-Nations. (1948). The Universal Declaration of Human RIghts.
United-Nations. (1949). Retrieved from
United-Nations. (1992). Retrieved from