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Chapter Summary

When speaking of blue helmets one usually thinks of the UN peacekeeping forces. However, UN observers are also an important element of peacekeeping operations. There are three types of observers which can be deployed together or separately: UN military observers (UNMOs), police observers or monitors, and civilian and political observers. Military observers are usually officers between the ranks of captain and lieutenant-colonel. Police observers usually observe and assist local police forces in (or after) internal conflicts (UNCIVPOL). In addition to the military and police observers, civilian observers and experts are increasingly deployed, to assist peace-building and confidence-restoration missions, or to prepare and supervise elections. Like the military observers, civilian observers write reports, but their main function lies in their often long-term presence on the spot, thus assisting the parties to the conflict and the local population to gain trust and confidence.

Keywords: civilian observers; police observers; UN military observers (UNMOs)



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