48 Killed in Attack on UN Peacekeeping Base
I don't know; does anybody think about South Sudan?
From the link: "Today's peacekeeping operations are not neutral. On the contrary, they are mandated to work with host-state governments to build state institutions and most recently to support government security forces to eliminate illegal armed actors. This holds true even if the government is a party to a conflict or committing abuses."
"(CNN) -- Heavily armed militants staged an attack on a U.N. peacekeepers' base that was sheltering civilians in South Sudan on Thursday, killing at least 48 people and seriously injuring dozens more, a U.N. spokesman in the country said Friday.
The attack on the U.N. base in Bor, the capital of Jonglei state, began when militants used rocket-propelled grenades to breach the compound, U.N. spokesman Joseph Contreras said.
Contreras said the gunmen then opened fire at the base, where peacekeepers had been hosting and protecting nearly 5,000 civilians.
Details about how the attack ended were not immediately available, but the death toll is expected to rise, Contreras said. A search of the site continued Friday, he said."
Looks like Ms. Giffen, quoted below, was (sadly) prescient.
How the U.N. should handle South Sudan
By Alison Giffen, Special to CNN
"Editor's note: Alison Giffen is co-director of the Future of Peace Operations program at the Stimson Center, a nonprofit and nonpartisan international security think tank. She has worked on the protection of civilians and peacekeeping in South Sudan since 2007 and lived in Sudan from 2007-2009. The views expressed are her own."
snip- "Finally, this crisis should force U.N. stakeholders to re-examine the assumptions underlying UNMISS's mandate, and modern peacekeeping more broadly. Today's peacekeeping operations are not neutral. On the contrary, they are mandated to work with host-state governments to build state institutions and most recently to support government security forces to eliminate illegal armed actors. This holds true even if the government is a party to a conflict or committing abuses.
These mandates dilute scarce resources. Of greater concern, however, is that peacekeeping operations like UNMISS can find it difficult to hold governments to account for abuses while trying to cajole them to move toward democratic institutions. Moreover, when peacekeeping operations are seen as partial to one side, opposition groups are more likely to view the United Nations as a party to the conflict rather than an impartial protector or trusted arbiter.
With this in mind, UNMISS needs to take a position of strict impartiality. High level U.N. officials have indicated that a repositioning is underway, with Undersecretary General for Peacekeeping Operations Herv Ladsous recently saying: "Clearly, in the present situation we are treating all sides equally"
The United States and other U.N. Security Council members must reinforce this redirection by sending strong messages to U.N. headquarters, UNMISS, armed forces on all sides and the people of South Sudan. The message should be that UNMISS has essentially shifted into neutral, but that neutral does not mean passivity in the midst of violence.
Looking ahead, a new Security Council mandate should be negotiated that focuses on the impartial protection of civilians, rather than a reliance on the government of South Sudan. The United States and U.N. members will have to depend less on UNMISS and become much more directly involved in the state and society-building. Such a drastic transformation of UNMISS can help it reduce the violence in South Sudan today and help to avoid similar crises in the future."
Here is a link that might be useful: CNN Story Today