Leaked U.S. Concept Note describes the wished changes in the UN Peacekeeping Operation Missions!

The United States delegation to the United Nations have leaked a document on planned discussion for the United Nations Security Council that are to be commenced in next month (April 2017). These notes are clearly setting the course and wish for the goals and ambition of the discussion in the UNSC. This concept note is supposed to be a Peacekeeping Operation Review. That would lead to certain decisions by the Member States and the Council Members.

The reason why the United States delegation to the UNSC about the Peacekeeping operation:

As of January 31, 2017, there were 99,034 uniformed personnel – including 85,408 troops and 12,786 police – serving in the 16 peacekeeping operations overseen by the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations, with an approved budget of $7.87 billion. UN peacekeeping is a vital aspect of the organization. However, a significant number of PKOs have mandates conceived years – in some cases decades – ago that are no longer supported by a political environment conducive to achieving the Council’s aims. It is crucial that missions contribute to increased safety and security, but they can also create a subsidized and unsteady peace that can quickly become a dependency that discourages long-term solutions. The UN becomes trapped in these frozen conflicts and peacekeeping missions that were initially conceived to provide temporary security to allow space for political solutions to take hold instead deploy for years without clear mandates or exit plans”.

Because of the cost, the longevity of the peacekeeping operations as they are creating a vacuum between the government hosts, the peacekeeping mission and the hostile forces. This is a consuming and makes it hard to generate any sort of sustainable peace, as the peacekeepers keeps a buffer and stops the need for a strong foundation of central government and their own security forces. They can always trust on the Blue Helmets to appear when needed and serve the citizens.

The United States has certainly ideas as this is their core idea for the discussion in the UNSC: “We encourage Council Members to consider whether current peacekeeping operations continue to be the best suited mechanisms for meeting the needs of those on the ground and achieving the Council’s political objectives, or if changes are needed”. So the US Mission to the UN wants the Peacekeeping Operations to achieve the political objectives and not be a stalemate operation that keeps the upkeep of unstability and uncertainty in the host nation. That is certainly a noble quest, but with that the UN Peacekeepers need to revise their missions, their mandate and their will of force, as their peacekeeping missions has been done in such diplomatic ways.

The United States delegates outcome of the review:

While no product is envisioned, we encourage the Council to apply the lessons and methods discussed in this meeting to our regular mandate review process to ensure that conditions still justify the missions and that political processes conceivably lead towards realistic, achievable solutions”.

That this is a quest and wishful thinking for the US mission, the United Nation needs votes and make sure the Members would strike agreement on the possible idea of changing the Peacekeeping Operations. The Blue Helmets are clearly on the loosing end of the stick, as their missions are not seen as fruitful, more like a costly operations not creating the effect and stage the peaceful transition in the host nations.

The UNSC and the Members should be hopeful to change the political climate and use the force to create the peace they are to make. If they weren’t peacekeepers than they wouldn’t be an issue, as if they we’re regular army on a territory, they should keep their citizens safe and the borders. The Peacekeepers has a mandate and mission, still they haven’t always been able to comply with that. Also, they have obligations not only to the United Nations, but to the host nations regime. Therefore, if the UNSC wants a bigger mission or extend their mandate, they still have to negotiate with the host nations.

The US Mission and the UNSC have to work on it and it is about time, as the AMISOM, MUNISCO, UNAMID, UNMISS and MINUSMA, who all should need a change of mandate and level of force if they should be properly creating the peace and make way for the central government. Peace.

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Continued Impunity Following Grave Human Rights Violations in July 2016 (16.01.2017)


South Sudan Rebels

In early January 2017, fighting in and around Yambio in Western Equatoria resulted in a further displacement of at least 7,000 civilians, mostly women and children.

GENEVA, Switzerland, January 16, 2017 -A UN report published today details the grave human rights violations and abuses – including killings and gang rapes – as well as serious violations of international humanitarian law committed in Juba during and after the fighting that occurred between 8 and 12 July 2016. Six months after the violence there remains widespread impunity, as violations continue unabated.
The report by the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and the UN Human Rights Office found that throughout the fighting between the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army in Opposition (SPLM/A-IO), “the belligerents blatantly ignored international human rights law and humanitarian law.”

The July 2016 events in Juba demonstrated the extremely fragile political and security situation in South Sudan and the complete disregard of civilians by the SPLA and SPLM/A-IO, given the serious human rights violations and abuses that were perpetrated, including the direct targeting of civilians, along ethnic lines and the extreme violence against women and children, the report states.

“Information documented and verified by the Human Rights Division suggests that hundreds of people including civilians were killed and many more wounded during the fighting in various areas of Juba,” the report states. “Moreover, UNMISS documented 217 victims of rape, including gang-rape committed by SPLA, SPLM/A-IO and other armed groups during and after the fighting between 8 and 25 July. According to victims’ testimonies and witnesses’ accounts, most cases of sexual violence were committed by SPLA soldiers, police officers and members of the National Security Services (NSS).”

Testimony from victims interviewed by the Human Rights Division paints a horrifying picture of the violence that civilians were subjected to during the fighting. On one occasion, women and girls were ordered to cook for the soldiers at checkpoints when their friends or family members were raped. According to other testimony, Nuer men and women appeared to have been particularly targeted for attacks, including killings and arrests, during house-to-house searches, with Nuers with tribal markings on their foreheads particularly vulnerable. The whereabouts of some of those arrested remain unknown.

“The fighting that erupted in July 2016 was a serious setback for peace in South Sudan and showed just how volatile the situation in the country is, with civilians living under the risk of mass atrocities,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said.

“In total, a staggering 1.38 million South Sudanese have fled to other countries and another 1.8 million are displaced in their own country. In the absence of any semblance of justice and accountability for the violations perpetrated – including possible war crimes – such unbridled outbursts of violence could quickly escalate civilians will continue to suffer immensely. Concrete steps to halt this downward spiral must be urgently taken, beginning with justice and accountability.”

The report emphasizes the need for accountability and justice for all human rights violations. It urges the Transitional Government of National Unity to take action to “break the cycle of violence and impunity” and take steps to fully support the prompt establishment and operationalization of the Hybrid Court for South Sudan by the African Union. The report also recommends that the State ensure that all victims of human rights violations and abuses, as well as violations of international humanitarian law, have access to an effective remedy, just and fair reparation, including compensation and rehabilitation.

The human rights situation remains grave in South Sudan. In Greater Equatoria, the UN Human Rights Office has received credible reports of serious human rights violations and abuses committed by SPLA and SPLM/A-IO in and around Yei, including killings, sexual violence, abductions and destruction of civilian property.  As a result, thousands of civilians have fled Yei and surrounding towns. They have sought refuge in other regions and in neighboring countries. In early January 2017, fighting in and around Yambio in Western Equatoria resulted in a further displacement of at least 7,000 civilians, mostly women and children.

High Commissioner Zeid reminded the Government of its obligation to protect the rights of all South Sudanese and bring to an end the desperate suffering of the people.

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