Peacekeeping and Enforcement Operations
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Issues faced by Peacekeeping and Enforcement Operations

Peacekeeping and Enforcement Operations

Issues faced by Peacekeeping and Enforcement Operations:

Peacekeeping or chapter VI operations more often than not deals with a situation in which the approval of the host state or states where the force is to be positioned has been secured.  Usually these consent type forces were authorised under chapter VI which deals with peacemaking, within the framework of third-party arbitration of a conflict, and not chapter VII. Chapter VII dealt with enforcement action which generally does not need the approval of the parties to a conflict. There has been a major increase of enforcement operations since the conclusion of the Cold War. Chapter VII authorises an enforcement operation to go into an area without the permission of the government or parties involved in the conflict before a cease-fire or settlement has been reached.

The enforcement mode of operation therefore is much more risky than the conventional consent type operation which was the common practice of peacekeeping during the Cold War. The conventional consent type operation generally went into an area after a cease-fire or settlement agreement has already been discussed and negotiated, to function as a kind of cushion force to keep the confrontational forces apart.  On the contrary in the post Cold War times of increased “ethno-political conflict”. In these conflicts there were divisions based on race, culture and religious or political beliefs. These peace keeping forces wore light armed blue helmets and were in the middle of an inhuman civil war. The instructions for these armed forces of engagement were that they were only allowed to use their weapons for self-protection. This is exactly what happened in Yugoslavia. In spite of the presence of NATO, the ethnic violence continued and the NATO forces also suffered. These in most cases of peacekeeping, peacekeepers were assaulted mercilessly, massacred or taken prisoner and confiscated their weapons. Industrialized democratic states have become more and more hesitant to expose their troops to this kind of behaviour as “donor fatigue” has set in. In this case the countries were donating their armies and they were tired as they were on the losing side.

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