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Author: Julia Keyser

UN Take-overs: Do they help or hurt?

The recent pirate attacks off the coast of Somalia have piqued international interest in the state of anarchy in Somalia. The African Union has requested that the UN take over the African Union Mission in Somalia, and while this option has been shelved for the moment, it is worth examining lessons learned from other UN take-overs of regional missions. The UN has on several occasions taken over regional missions, with Liberia and Darfur are prime examples. However, while some may think substituting a UN peacekeeping mission in replacement of under-staffed and under-funded regional missions will dramatically improve the situation, this ...
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The Cost of Skimping on Peacekeeping

Peacekeeping is rarely easy, but it is almost never effective when regional organizations try to do ‘peace on the cheap.’ In Liberia in the early 1990s, the Economic Community of West African States Monitoring Group (ECOMOG) was forced to rely heavily on Nigeria for both financing and troops. Soldiers were not only poorly equipped, but under-fed and under-paid. ECOMOG then took seven years to disarm Taylor’s rebels and organize elections, which were won by none other than Charles Taylor himself. Darfur’s vast land area and huge numbers of IDPs simply overwhelmed the insufficiently-numbered African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) troops, ...
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