Has UN Peacekeeping Become More Deadly? Analyzing Trends in UN Fatalities

Has UN Peacekeeping Become More Deadly? Analyzing Trends in UN Fatalities by Marina E. Henke is the 14th paper in the Providing for Peacekeeping Series. How deadly is UN peacekeeping? Have UN peacekeeping fatalities increased over the past decades? Those who have attempted to answer these questions differ drastically in their assessments, in part due to the dearth of data and the variety of calculation methods employed. In order to fix some of these shortcomings and take a fresh look at these questions, this report analyzes trends in UN peacekeeping fatalities using a new dataset compiled by the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations. As a result of the new data employed and methodological innovations, this report constitutes the most detailed study of UN fatality trends thus far. The analysis reveals that overall UN fatalities are not substantively on the rise. Indeed, total fatality ratios are declining. Nevertheless, this decline does not equally apply to all types of UN fatalities; there is strong evidence that UN fatalities due to illness are on the rise. While these findings are important, further research is needed to adequately examine whether UN peacekeeping missions have become more dangerous in recent years. Read the paper...

Unarmed Civilian Protection: The Methodology and Its Relevance for Norwegian Church-Based Organizations and Their Partners

Executive Summary Unarmed civilian protection (UCP) is one of the most effective responses there is to one of the greatest, consistent challenges of our time: The killing of civilians in warfare. As opposed to other approaches to reconciliation and peaceful resolution to conflict which indirectly target violence, UCP is directly aimed at stopping violence. Simply through being present, and through using their presence strategically, international civilians deter violence, protect local civilians and support the efforts of the locals to protect themselves and plan for a peaceful future. The most utilized element of UCP is accompaniment. Results from accompaniment and other UCP methods include significant drops in gender based violence, locally facilitated peace agreements or ceasefires, reduced levels of violence in camps for internally displaced people, reduced levels of humiliation of civilians at military check-points, an increase in children’s access to education, an increase in access to health care, accurate and timely information delivered to key humanitarian actors, and multinational companies pulling out of investments that cause breaches of human rights law. The main actors in the accompaniment and UCP field of work utilize a variety of means to protect civilians. The means include protective presence, monitoring and documenting, internationalizing local abuse, building relationships with all stakeholders, building and supporting local civic capacities, and facilitating dialogue. Accompaniers and protection officers create spaces where local actors themselves can find the best approaches to peace. UCP is especially relevant for the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda. If the excruciating needs in conflict-affected areas are to be met, it is time to spend more energy on the women who suffer from violence...

Country Profile: Ukraine

Ukraine first participated in UN peacekeeping operations several months after its 24 August 1991 independence when it deployed a battalion to UNPROFOR. Since then it has remained an active contributor to UN-led and UN-authorized operations, although its profile changed from a significant troop contributor to a provider of specialist equipment and associated expertise, such as helicopters and crews, in the mid-2000s. Until then, Ukraine was an important contributor of uniformed personnel (see Figure 1). In January 2001, for example, it was the 7th largest provider of military and police for UN operations. But these contributions declined during the presidency of Viktor Yushchenko (2005 – 2010) and increased only marginally under the presidency of Viktor Yanukovych (2010-2014). Read more in our new profile on Ukraine by Dr Kseniya...

Country Profile: United Kingdom

In 1995, Britain was briefly the UN’s top troop-contributing country through its commitment to the UN Protection Force in Bosnia, UNPROFOR. Since then the number of British uniformed personnel in UN-led peacekeeping operations has gradually declined. During this time, most UK personnel were deployed in Cyprus (UNFICYP) and Kosovo (UNMIK) with token contributions in several missions in Africa. In UNFICYP, Britain leads Sector 2 and the Mobile Reserve Force. The UK contingent comprises approximately 50 reservists alongside regular troops, who have returned to UNFICYP for the first time since the Iraq and Afghanistan operations began in earnest. In stark contrast, between 2003 and 2013, Britain deployed well over 9,000 troops on various UN-authorized peace operations, principally in Afghanistan and Iraq. Since the beginning of the drawdown of forces in Afghanistan (the British Government has withdrawn all but 450 troops from Afghanistan), UK numbers have grown slightly in UN peacekeeping operations. The UK is currently building on its 2015 pledge to more than double UK military contributions to UN operations, with up to 70 personnel heading to the UN Support Office to Somalia (UNSOS) and between 250 and 300 to the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). The UK has deployed smaller contingents in UN-authorized and non-UN peace operations in Sierra Leone, the Balkans, Somalia, and Mali. It also deploys specialists as part of bilateral capacity-building initiatives such as British Military Advisory Training Teams (Sierra Leone, Czech Republic, Jordan, Ghana, Nigeria), British Peace Support Teams (South Africa, Kenya), and British Army Training Unit (Kenya). Read more in our newly updated profile on the United Kingdom by David Curran, Coventry University...

Country Profile: Denmark

Denmark played a key role in UN peacekeeping operations during the Cold War, contributing forces, developing doctrine and training manuals and programs in close cooperation with the other Nordic countries. It continued to do so in the first half of the 1990s making significant contributions to UNPROFOR and establishing and hosting the Standby High-Readiness Brigade (SHIRBRIG), a multi-national rapid reaction brigade earmarked for UN peacekeeping operations, which became operational in 1997. Read more in our newly updated Providing for Peacekeeping country profile on Denmark by Dr. Peter Viggo JakobsenRoyal Danish Defence College and Center for War Studies, University of Southern...

Country Profile: Colombia

Colombia’s participation in United Nations (UN) peacekeeping missions began when a Colombian Armed Forces infantry battalion was sent for military observation to the Suez Canal and the Sinai Peninsula, as part of the UN Emergency Force (UNEF I, 1956–67). In 1982, Bogotá sent troops to the Sinai Peninsula under the Multinational Force of Observers (MFO): Colombia still maintains over 350 observers in this mission. In the 1990s, it contributed military observers and police personnel to the UN Observer Group in Central America (ONUCA, 1989–92), the UN Observer Group for the Verification of the Elections in Haiti (ONUVEH, 1990–91), the UN Angola Verification Mission II (UNAVEM II, 1991–95), the UN Observer Mission in El Salvador (ONUSAL, 1991–95), the UN Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC, 1992–93), the UN Protection Force (UNPROFOR, 1992–95) in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, the UN Verification Mission in Guatemala (MINUGUA, 1997), and the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (2004–today). Furthermore, Colombia contributed to the Organization of American States’ (OAS) 1990s demining program in Honduras and the Special Mission for Strengthening Democracy in Haiti (2002-06). Read more on our new country profile on Colombia by Fernando A. Chinchilla and Janneth A....
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