U.N. Peacekeepers Must ‘Not Fear to Use Force’ to Foil Attacks, Report Says

U.N. Peacekeepers Must ‘Not Fear to Use Force’ to Foil Attacks, Report Says by Rick Gladstone – New York Times

A lack of leadership and a reluctance to move aggressively against potential attackers are responsible for the worst spate of United Nations peacekeeping fatalities in the organization’s history, according to a report released on Monday.

If adopted, the recommendations of the unusually blunt report could significantly increase the prospects for use of deadly force by United Nations peacekeepers. Roughly 110,000 blue-helmeted soldiers and police officers from a range of countries are deployed in the organization’s 15 peacekeeping missions around the world, entrusted with the responsibility of protecting civilians.

“Overall, the United Nations and troop-and-police-contributing countries need to adapt to a new reality: the blue helmet and the United Nations flag no longer offer ‘natural’ protection,” stated the report, which was posted on the United Nations website.

“Unfortunately, hostile forces do not understand a language other than force,” it stated. “To deter and repel attacks and to defeat attackers, the United Nations needs to be strong and not fear to use force when necessary.”

It warned that without willingness by the United Nations and the contributor countries to “change their mind-set, take risks and show a willingness to face these new challenges, they will be consciously sending troops into harm’s way.”…

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