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Protection of Civilians from Physical Violence: Lessons from the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL)

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Of physical violence. 3As compared to combating such violence whereby in most cases there are usually already immense negative effects that have occurred to civilians, preventing such damages would be most effective. The UN, through the Security Council, is responsible for employing peaceful methods to resolve conflicts in warring countries and further use military intervention where peace talks fail. However, the UN is facing a lot of criticism and challenges in the way it handles its peacekeeping responsibilities, not only in the US but also globally. 4 The most primary reason that is given for such criticism is that the UN is unable to restore peace in countries where peace is urgently needed; more like a basic need.

Therefore, it is assumed that the UN may be assuming such countries and basing in countries with security problems that are less risky. However, as stated earlier, the UN has also failed to protect the public from physical violence due to some reasons they give. For instance, the Security Council has taken so long to talk about the security situation in Somalia, although little effort has been put in place to reduce the intensity of the war.

However, failure to restore order in the country put innocent civilians at risk about their security and this also involves citizens of neighboring countries like Kenya. Somalia has faced various military and political constraints with neighboring Ethiopia for quite some time since they claimed that Ogaden region belonged to Somalia. 5 Although UN intervened by sending military troops from various parts of the world to Somalia, they did not manage to cub the constraints. Although UN has finally discovered that food delivery into Somalia needs military intervention, the next step towards bringing order in the country has not been established.

Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali came up with an encouraging idea when he said last year that peacekeeping interventions in Yugoslavia should not be carried out at the expense of urgently needed peace in Africa. The UN may also be encouraged to stabilize warring countries through serial processes i. encouraging peace talks, education on good governance and finally economic development. Another incidence where the UN failed in protecting civilians from physical violence was during the Rwandan genocide because there were earlier warnings of the war, which were ignored.

Had the UNAMIR taken preliminary action, thousands of lives could have been saved

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