John Saltford’s “The United Nations and the Indonesian Takeover of West Papua, 1962-1969: The Anatomy of Betrayal” provides an outstanding analysis of the failure of the United Nations to implement the 1962 New York Agreement. Moreover, although the main interest of the Saltford is not the right of peoples to self-determination under international law, it is impossible to examine the New York Agreement without reference … Continue reading Review: “The United Nations and the Indonesian Takeover of West Papua, 1962-1969: The Anatomy of Betrayal” – John Saltford
(This is an OLDIE – an old review from years ago! My views and opinions might have changed since then.) In 2016, the Extraordinary African Chambers (EAC) found Chad’s former warlord dictator, Hissene Habre, who seized power in 1982 with the support of the U.S. and France, guilty of war crimes, crimes against humanity and torture. Habre is the first former head of state to … Continue reading (OLDIE!) Review: “The Trial of Hissène Habré: How the People of Chad Brought a Tyrant to Justice” – Celeste Hicks
(Image: Protest in Haiti against UN sexual crimes against women. Source)
The word peacekeeping is like the word terrorism: it is meaningless on its own and able to be molded to serve the interests of a political clique. Like Alex P. Schmidt’s description of terrorism in The Routledge Handbook of Terrorism Research, peacekeeping “is usually an instrument for the attempted realization of a political…project that perpetrators lacking mass support are seeking”.
Peacekeepers have never kept the peace in any conflict. On the contrary, peacekeepers themselves have been linked to an increase in violence and human rights abuses, particularly of a sexual nature. In Bosnia, Somalia, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Mozambique, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea, peacekeepers have been “associated with criminal misconduct, including sexual violence. Crimes against women and children have followed UN peacekeeping operations in several locations, and the UN reported that the entrance of peacekeeping troops into a conflict situation has been associated with a rapid rise in child prostitution”. Allegations of sexual violence against peacekeepers dates back to the 1990s. During the 1995-2002 UN mission in Bosnia, Kathryn Bolkovac, a human rights investigator, found that young “girls from Romania, Ukraine, Moldova and other Eastern European countries [were] being brought in to service the UN and military bases as sex-slaves. The cases involved the officers from many foreign countries, including the USA, Pakistan, Germany, Romania, Ukraine, government contractors, and local organized criminals”. Bolkovac was subsequently fired for her investigation. As of 2015 more than 200 women and girls have been sexually exploited by UN peacekeepers in Haiti in exchange for food, clothing, medicine, and other basic necessities . In the Central African Republic, French peacekeepers have forced young girls to have sex with dogs , starving and homeless boys as young as nine have been sodomized by peacekeepers , and an entire UN contingent was expelled from the country due to sex crimes .
Extrajudicial murder, torture, and mass murder – all war crimes under international law – have also been committed by peacekeepers. A 14-year-old Somali boy was beaten, tortured, and murdered by Canadian peacekeepers in Somalia; the peacekeepers having posed in photos with the boy’s bloody corpse. Not to be outdone, Belgian peacekeepers were photographed roasting a Somali over a fire. Continue reading “Peacekeeping: Fiction vs. Reality”