20 May 2014

UN report: force ‘almost never used’ by peacekeepers in order to protect civilians

A report of the Office of Internal Oversight Services on the implementation of mandates to protect civilians in United Nations peacekeeping operations found that ‘peacekeeping missions with protection of civilians mandates focus on prevention and mitigation activities and force is almost never used to protect civilians under attack’. (para. 79)

The report points out at the ambiguity of mandates but also at the unwillingness of some troop contributing States to accept the risks¬†associated with the use of force.¬†It notes that doctrines on the protection of civilians have been developed at the political and strategic levels, but insists that they must ‘move downwards to the tactical level, so that peacekeepers in even the smallest units know how and when to respond when they see civilians under threat.’ (para. 85)

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Source: UNGA | UN Doc A/68/787 | Report on the activities of the Office of Internal Oversight Services | 7 March 2014
Source: Reuters | U.N. study finds peacekeepers avoid using force to protect civilians

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