“Peacekeepers” proved their weakness and ignorance of human rights and peace in various cases. Starting by Somalia where millions of Somalis were threatened by civil wars and were starving, UN staff spent billions of dollars on their own phone calls, food, barbered wire and black marketing ignoring their main mission of peacemaking. For instance, Egyptian UN troupes were suspected of large-scale black marketing of minibuses marketing and this left Somalia overwhelmed in its black civil war again. Besides Somalia, Bosnia had a severe emergency when the Serbs initiated a movement of “Ethnic Cleansing” against the Muslims and Croats. In many cases, young girls were raped in front of their parents. Meanwhile, UN troops did not take actions against Serbs and again, they were busy with overpaid fuel contracts which finally led the UN to investigate. Arguably, the UN confirmed that only some limited offences occurred although legal documents proved the extreme opposite; UN peacekeepers in Bosnia regularly visited Sarajevo, where some of them took sexual advantage of Muslim and Croatian women forced into prostitution. Ultimately, the Rwanda disastrous mission highlighted the limitation of this establishment. Erupting in violence since 1962, Rwanda was sunk in a bloodbath due to the tribal war: the Rwandan regime was weak and its army was not in a better shape; it was therefore close to collapse after few days of fighting against the tribes.
The troops failed to provide stability and security and many agencies ran away from the massacres. Surprisingly, the UN allowed the murders to occupy their camps that in sequence traded with the staff’s food and drugs in black markets. Thus, the UN hesitated to implement or invest on new peacekeeping operations and that decision led to the drowning of the number of both peacekeepers and peacekeeping missions.
During the pre-1988 cold war peacekeeping missions, the United Nations operations were successful when the concerned parties showed their intentions for mutual cooperation. However, in recent issues, many challenges obstructed the UN’s work and created an insupportable atmosphere for peacekeepers. For example: in ethnic based disputes where parties refused to collaborate, in countries which had political struggles. Above and beyond, peacekeepers found themselves locked in a tough environment of successive armed conflict where there is no appreciation for their rights. Participation in peacekeeping is not without danger even if peacekeepers are to be respected for their neutral statues (i.e. in 2006, to AU soldiers were killed in Darfur by rebel groups). In addition, peacekeeping transformed in many occasions into peace enforcement which raised the question of whether the United Nations is seeking to enforce mandates and develop its structure of enforcement such as in Angola and Sierra Leone.
Surprisingly, many of these peace enforcement operations have been widely criticised as being disappointing partially because the United Nations failed to preserve human rights. Peace enforcement operations are seen close to war when the parties of a conflict are intent on prosecuting a war with many victimized civilians. However, in many cases, the general public supported peace enforcement operations against extremist groups; for instance: Taliban in Afghanistan and Al-Qaeda which exists in different parts of the world. According to the United Nations, the Security Council has adopted a resolution to expand the use of arms against al-Qaeda and the Taliban who are considered as terrorist groups. While the UN served as the administrator of the territories of Kosovo in the former Yugoslavia, its role was very tiny since it was dependent on member states in armed forces and funds. Yet, the organization suffered from the U.S extreme power and refusal to pay its dues. The UN is nearly powerless as it can only act if it was given authorization by the great powers, which means primarily the United States.
In fact, many observers blame the United States for the current situation of the United Nations and stress on the fact that the USA has added a burden on the organization. The UN is nearly powerless as an abstract entity or even as a representative of the world’s nations. It can act, instead, only insofar as it is given authorization by the great powers, which means primarily the United States. Since 2004, the UN had some successes such as in bringing stability to Haiti as well as other new missions in Darfur, Chad and the Central African Republic.
The context of the UN peacekeeping has dramatically changed after the Cold War from traditional missions to highly complex global ones. The term peacekeeping which spread among nations during the Cold War has recently transformed to peace enforcement. Although the United Nations had successes in some countries such as: Haiti and Namibia, it failed totally in promoting human rights and security in others; for instance: Somalia, Rwanda and Bosnia. Arguably, many political movements agree that UN can only be described as a success or failure, depending on what organisation it is compared to. In terms of the LoN, the UN could be claimed to be a success, as it has arguably been functioning for more than half a century and it succeeded in preventing future global wars from occurring. Compared to NATO, it could be claimed to be a failure, as NATO has had to resolve situations that the UN has been unable to such as: Kosovo. Undoubtedly, the UN has worked hard to preserve what is meant to be “Global Peace and Security”. Even though it failed in many cases because of its betraying members, it still exists for such a noble reason.