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Vol 49 No 23

Published 14th November 2008

Changes ahead for UN forces

Africa's crises may prompt radical reform of the mandates and structures of peacekeeping operations

United Nations' peacekeeping faces its biggest crisis since it started some 60 years ago in Palestine. This month, over a million lives are at risk in Congo-Kinshasa as rival factions fight it out: UN peacekeepers are squeezed between murderous militias and an incompetent government army. A bigger failure looms in Sudan: the Khartoum regime obstructs effective deployment of the UN-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), where fewer than 10,000 of 26,000 troops have been mobilised. Another UN force, of some 12,500, including civilians, is meant to police the North-South peace accord.

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