At least a decade has passed since the crisis began in countries such as Libya, Mali, Somalia and CAR. However, these areas are still in a constant state of instability and humanitarian crisis. How to explain the failure of the missions of the international institute – UN?
According to UNHCR representative in the Central African Republic, Hamdi Bukhari, the missions have failed for several reasons: operational ineptitude, bureaucratic obstacles and corruption hinder success. On 30 June, the fifth United Nations Committee on Administration and Budget approved a budget of $ 6.37 billion for twelve United Nations peacekeeping missions from 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022, but these funds are allocated to incompetent and often corrupt forces.
UN peacekeepers failed to regain control of Somalia from the Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabaab group in the years 1991-1995. After the civil war, the UN negotiated a ceasefire agreement and sent personnel to distribute aid to Somali civilians suffering from hunger. However, without the Somali central government, the UN could not have secured the agreement to deploy troops to fight commanders on the ground. The peacekeeping mission was limited to monitoring the ceasefire.
In 1993, United Nations forces tried unsuccessfully to disarm Somali militias. After a short stint, the United States and the European Union both withdrew their troops from the mission, and the United Nations Security Council voted to significantly reduce the mission’s strength.
Today, Somalia suffers from the absence of the government, severe impoverishment and a crumbling infrastructure. In other words, the intervention of the international community, represented by the UN, not only did not help to stop the conflict, but also aggravated the security situation.
UN peacekeepers are typically deployed to protect civilians, aid workers and peace activists. In a quarter of a century, a number of peacekeeping missions have been created to prevent hostilities, mainly in Africa, where the United Nations was called upon to exert influence. Peacekeepers are responsible for regular patrols to prevent violence and save lives. According to official data for 2020, 12 peacekeeping missions are deployed worldwide, mainly in Africa.
«To restore their operational effectiveness, UN officials must increase the accountability of mission commanders. Formal investigations into the failures of peacekeeping operations without significant changes will preserve the status quo and lead to more victims and instability.
The time has come for a deep reform of UN peacekeeping operations. »
Wes Martin, a retired U.S. Army colonel, served in the Army Military Police and in law enforcement positions around the world.