The United Nations has been on a peacekeeping mission in the Congo for 14 years with little success as the death toll rises. Now, the UN Security Council has set a new plan in place. The Security Council has voted to deploy 3,000 troops to fight some of the rebel groups. This is the first time in history that the UN is actually sending its own troops into battle. They will be responsible for artillery fire, helicopter gunships, and the resulting casualties. The 3,000 UN enforcers are not especially cohesive or powerful and some may have ulterior motives, which could damage the UN’s reputation and undermine its mission.
While this may seem like a tactic that has the potential to end the “African World War,” there is a question as to whether going to war threatens the purpose of the UN, which is to keep peace. If the UN becomes yet another participant in wars, can the world really defend them as a peace keeping organization? It would seem that war and peace are opposites. However, despite concerns, the UN seems to think potentially ending the conflict is worth the risk.
Source: “The United Nations in Congo: Art of Darkness,” The Economist, June 15, 2013, http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21579462-almost-unnoticed-un-about-fight-its-first-war-gamble-worth-taking-art.
Student Researcher: Shelby Wade (Sonoma State University)
Faculty Evaluator: Robert McNamara (Sonoma State University)