TOPIC: WOMEN

My Year in Africa: Why This Brazilian Woman Peacekeeper Wants to Return

In one of the world’s most fragile and violent settings, Lieut. Comdr. Marcia Braga, a 45-year-old Brazilian naval officer, arrived in April 2018 as the third military gender adviser for the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic. She ended her yearlong stint there bestowed with the UN’s annual Military Gender Advocate award … Read more

Serving the UN Where Violence Never Ends: One Person’s Story

Simon Handy, a specialist in African politics and conflict, is a veteran of a hazardous and tormented mission in the Central African Republic that left him with an enduring cause that still haunts him. He argues that when a United Nations mission changes or is abandoned, as was the case for him, staff members can fall … Read more

As the UN Strives to Modernize Peacekeeping, the US Still Vows to Cut Funding

As peacekeepers sweat and toil and risk their lives in some of the world’s most lethal settings — South Sudan, Mali, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo — it is incumbent on the United Nations and its 193 members to alleviate the suffering and deaths of troops as fatalities keep rising. In 2017, … Read more

GOINGS-ON

The UN Formalizes Its Partnership With Sant’Egidio, the Rome-Based Mediator

The United Nations has formalized its relationship with the Community of Sant’Egidio, the highly regarded Catholic membership organization based in Rome that has been focusing on conflict prevention and resolution, primarily in Africa, for 30 years. A community of 60,000 laypeople founded in 1968, Sant’Egidio has been working with the UN on mediation prospects in … Read more

Women Managers Sought for Jobs in UN Peace Operations

The United Nations is looking for new blood to staff its peace operations while prompting long-serving employees to get out of headquarters and work in the field. In demand for jobs in UN peace operations are female managers, bilingual English-French speakers and those psychologically capable of performing effectively in a difficult environment where there is … Read more

Fixing UN Peacekeeping Operations: The World’s Most Complicated Army

It has been almost a year since a sweeping assessment of United Nations peacekeeping operations by experts recommended significant changes from top to bottom: a reformed hierarchy in New York and greater coordination and discipline among military contingents in ever-more dangerous missions around the world. Few of their substantive ideas have been adopted. As outrage … Read more

Report Damns the UN for Its Response to Sex Abuse Cases in Central Africa

A strongly worded independent report released Dec. 17 condemned the United Nations for bungled and deceptive responses to reports of sexual abuse of children by primarily French peacekeepers in the Central African Republic in 2014. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed his “profound regret” and accepted blame for the organization’s systemic failures. The report implicated at least … Read more

French Military Covered Up Sex Abuses by Its Soldiers in Central Africa, a French Journal Says

French soldiers at the checkpoint of their base in Bangui

Alleged rapes by French soldiers of boys in the Central African Republic from December 2013 to June 2014 were actually known by French officers in Bangui, the capital, as the sexual abuses occurred, says a new investigative report published by Mediapart, a well-respected independent French journal in Paris. The article, written in French and published … Read more

France and the UN Pressured to Act on Troops’ Sex Abuse in Central Africa

The uproar over accusations that French soldiers assigned to peacekeeping had sexually abused about a dozen boys in the Central African Republic from late 2013 through mid-2014 has shifted focus from the apparent behavior of the soldiers to the role the United Nations played in dealing with the allegations. The French soldiers were not part … Read more

UN Peacekeeping Upgrades Its Reactions to Conflicts and Adds Surveillance Tools

By the time United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon named a panel in October to review peacekeeping comprehensively for the first time in more than 14 years, innovations in technology and intelligence-gathering to make UN missions more effective had already been introduced by the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations. The strategic and tactical changes, some still … Read more

UN Peacekeepers Heading to the Central African Republic by the Fall

The United Nations Security Council has authorized yet another peacekeeping force for an African country, the Central African Republic, approving up to 12,000 military and police personnel who are not likely to arrive until mid-September. The goal of the force is broad, given the nation’s crippled affairs: restore law and order, protect civilians, provide humanitarian … Read more

 

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