The accountability of and for United Nations peacekeepers : a study of the theory, norms and practice
Lefenya, Kesolofetse Olivia
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The UN is an international organisation which has its roots dating as far back as 1917, when its predecessor was called the League of Nations. Concerned states met in Geneva around 1940 to craft a way-forward for the weakened League, thereby agreeing to form a new international organisation, the UN at the end of the Second World War (WWII). The UN adopted its founding document, referred to as the UN Charter of 1945. The main purpose of the UN is the maintenance of international peace and security. Peacekeeping is an adaptation of the provisions of Chapter 1, article 2 of the UN Charter, which vests the organisation with the mandate to work towards a world free from wars and other violent conflicts. In recent years, UN peacekeeping missions have been associated with gross human rights violations, resulting from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse by UN peacekeepers themselves. This dissertation examines selected cases in Africa, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Sudan, Eritrea-Ethiopia, Somalia, Sierra-Leone and Ivory Coast, as much as they may be relevant to the thrust of the study. Although there is broad consensus in the international community that erring members of the peacekeeping forces be held accountable, what remains particularly problematic is that innocent civilian lives are being destroyed through self-interest, lust, dysfunctional local legal systems, lack of uniform rules of conduct and misconduct, lack of effective investigative systems in host countries, and lack of effective planning systems by victims, among other factors. The study makes a modest attempt at addressing these critical challenges on the accountability of UN peacekeeping forces in the 21st century context.
- Law