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Militarised Peacekeeping in Darfur

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Discretion, Valour and the (Mal)Functioning of UNAMID

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In February 2014, the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations produced a Strategic Review of the troubled United Nations-African Union Hybrid Operation in the Darfur region of Sudan (UNAMID). The Strategic Review faults many aspects of the operation; however, it finds that its mandate is the correct one, concludes that its staffing levels are sufficient and warmly welcomes what it sees as an improved relationship with the Sudanese government. This report may be contrasted with a Foreign Policy investigation published in April 2014, where journalist Colum Lynch provides an unvarnished analysis of the operation. Relying on documents leaked by Aicha Elbasri, former Spokesperson for UNAMID, the Foreign Policy investigation describes a troubled operation, failing in many of its tasks and mistrusted by parts of the populace. The Foreign Policy investigation portrays a force that routinely downplays or covers up its shortcomings and under-reports violence by the host state government against Darfuri civilians and UNAMID itself. It is argued that the functioning of UNAMID provides a vivid illustration of the difficulties associated with a militarised peacekeeping operation, especially when it is emplaced in a country that never wanted it there in the first place.

Affiliations: 1: University of Glasgow, School of Law, Stair Building, University Avenue, G12 8qq, United Kingdom,


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