Are the blue helmets helping in Congo?

The International Crisis Group is warning that the UN peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo–still one of the organization’s largest–needs major improvement: There is a risk of serious escalation of violence and the United Nations Stabilization Mission in the Congo (MONUSCO) is failing in its core mandate of stabilisation and protection of civilians. ...

By , a professor at Indiana University’s Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies.

The International Crisis Group is warning that the UN peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo--still one of the organization's largest--needs major improvement:

The International Crisis Group is warning that the UN peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo–still one of the organization’s largest–needs major improvement:

There is a risk of serious escalation of violence and the United Nations Stabilization Mission in the Congo (MONUSCO) is failing in its core mandate of stabilisation and protection of civilians. This month’s renewal of MONUSCO presents a vital opportunity for the Security Council to review its strategy in the DRC…[T]he mission has had strikingly little success at fulfilling its primary objective to protect civilians, though some of its innovative operational improvements should be acknowledged and encouraged. The population remains profoundly vulnerable to violence and frustrated by the lack of protection…

Meanwhile, Amnesty International and other activists insist that the increasing violence in Congo evidences the need for a global arms trade treaty, set to be debated at the United Nations next month. A new Amnesty report documents several instances of imported weapons being used by the Congolese armed forces to commit large-scale violations but also notes that weapons from government forces often make their way to rebel groups.  

David Bosco is a professor at Indiana University’s Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies. He is the author of The Poseidon Project: The Struggle to Govern the World’s Oceans. Twitter: @multilateralist

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