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Full Access How Can an Information Campaign Win Support for Peacekeeping?

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How Can an Information Campaign Win Support for Peacekeeping?

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As peacekeeping operations become more ethically complex in countries such as Somalia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the need for assertive “information operations” is becoming more necessary to gain public support. Yet peacekeeping information operations remain underutilized, scantly understood, and poorly funded. In the past two decades, well planned and strategically targeted information campaigns have helped stabilize volatile political situations. This paper argues that, in countries where the UN needs to reach out to poor and illiterate populations amid sectarian violence, the UN should model information operations after that of the UN Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC). This campaign lasted from 1992 to 1993 and had a mandate to directly administer state institutions, including organizing the first free and fair elections in the country. UNTAC’s Information Division broadcasted a popular radio program, Radio UNTAC, and espoused intervention in political “hate media.” It also imparted Cambodia with an independent press and contributed to a high voter turn-out, despite threats of violence.

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