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Keeping Peace In A Dying Continent

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Keeping Peace in a Dying Continent: How the United Nations Should Improve its Peacekeeping Operations in Burundi, Liberia, and Sudan 3994 Words Session Number: 001314-004

Abstract

'Keeping Peace in a Dying Continent: How the UN Should Improve its Peacekeeping Operations in Burundi, Liberia, and Sudan' is a paper which analyzes 3 nations that host United Nations Peacekeeping Operations (Burundi, Liberia, and Sudan) in order to assess how the UN can help quell the widespread human rights violations in these nations and the African continent in general. The candidate asks the question, 'How should the UN act in order to ensure peace, stability, and human rights in Burundi, Sudan, and Liberia??

After researching and discussing the chaotic political realities of Burundi, Liberia, and Sudan in relation to United Nations peacekeeping operations, this paper suggests that there are 3 key criteria that Peacekeeping Operations must meet to ensure peace, stability, and human rights in Burundi, Sudan, and Liberia. These factors include political support, rapid and hard hitting deployment, and sound planning. After this general set of requirements is established, the candidate analyzes specifically how the requirements can be met. If they cannot be met, an explanation is provided. Most prominently, the paper cites the need for teamwork between the UN Member nations, the African nations, and the world.

The paper makes the dismal conclusion that the citizens of the world powers do not, in the status quo, know or care enough about Africa to rally, and act decisively through the UN to end the disgusting human rights violations in areas like the Sudan, and that due to the magnitude of inner turmoil within these nations, things are unlikely to improve by themselves.

Table of Contents Intro/ Background''''''''''''................................................................5 Burundi's Predicament''''''''''''.....................................................6-8 Burundi Analysis''''''''''''........................................................... ..8-9 Liberia's Situation''''''''''''..........................................................9-11 Liberia Analysis''''''''''''............................................................11-12 Sudan's Problem''''''''''''...........................................................13-15 Sudan Analysis''''''''''''.............................................................15-16 Overall Assessment''''''''''''......................................................16-19 Conclusion''''''''''''.........................................................................20

Introduction

The 20th and 21st centuries have seen the despicable slaughter of millions of Africans (Scherrer 46). The United Nations watched passively as Hutu militias murdered approximately 800,000 Tutsis in Rwanda. By 1995, additional UN failures in Somalia, Haiti, Croatia, and Bosnia led to the world view that peacekeeping operations were not effective or worthwhile (Fleitz 2). Nonetheless, widespread and heinous human rights violations continued throughout the 1990s and persist today (Ransom 4, 'Crisis' 1). Regardless of past UN failure, such odious acts as genocide or mass civilian slaughter should be addressed. To specify how this should occur, this paper will analyze the successes and failures of 3 representative UN Peacekeeping operations in Burundi, Sudan, and Liberia. Like much of Africa, these countries have undergone prolonged violence and strife, and thus serve as good templates for UN Peacekeeping in Africa. To better understand the requirements of UN Peacekeeping operations throughout Africa, the question must be asked: how should the UN act in order to ensure peace, stability, and human rights in Burundi, Sudan, and Liberia? Answering this question means analyzing the situations and implications of UN involvement in these nations, and determining how significant obstacles should be overcome. This paper suggests that the UN member states should deploy more funds and military personnel to Peacekeeping Operations in a more timely manner to ensure peace, stability, and human rights in Burundi, Sudan, and Liberia.

Burundi's Predicament

Burundi could be likened to Rwanda's sister nation. Both originally Belgian colonies, Rwanda and Burundi gained their independence in the early 60's. The ensuing power vacuum led to constant unchecked violence between the social strata. Hutus and Tutsis began fighting openly in 1959. By 1972, Burundi's government was a police state which used the military to slaughter its perceived political enemies. Most Burundian massacres kill noncombatants disproportionately. In the estimated 200,000 mortalities of Burundian brutality since 1993, only a few thousand were actual combatants.

Violence in Rwanda tends to destabilize Burundi and vice-versa. Burundian massacres from 1965 to 1966, 1969, 1972, 1991, and 1993 up until recently have strongly influenced Rwandan violence. Rwandan violence likewise has contributed to Burundian violence, specifically in the massacres of 1959, 1961, 1963, 1964, 1972, 1973,1991, 1992, 1993, and in the genocide of 1994. Escalating violence in Burundi could easily reinitiate conflict in Rwanda (Scherrer xii, 9, 219). History indicates that a failed UN peacekeeping operation in Burundi could easily destabilize Rwanda and perhaps reinitiate the genocide. Hence, ensuring a lasting peace in Burundi means responding to violence in Rwanda.

Optimists at the UN claim that Burundi has shown strong democratic reform, even though presidential elections will not take place until 19 August 2005. Mr. Seck Ahmedou El Becaye, Head of the Electoral Unit at the United Nations Operation in Burundi, noted during his weekly press conference on Thursday, July 21 that Burundi's media strongly supported democratic reform and successfully encouraged people to vote. Becaye even claimed 'the international community has unanimously praised the conduct of the recent [council administrator] elections and has continually encouraged Burundi to build on and consolidate this achievement? ('Burundi has shown' 1). Ironically, on the 23rd, Burundian

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