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By Dennis C. Jett

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Authorization under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, which stipulates that all necessary means including military action may be used, would be necessary for peace enforcement and could be required for protective engagement. Because of this need to use force, and in light of recent experience, the international community is not enthusiastic about initiating an operation where there is a high risk that the peacekeepers will become involved in the conflict. ”36 Considering past peacekeeping experiences and contemplating future ones, it is clear that the difficult issue of how much force the peacekeepers should be authorized to use will not be resolved simply by avoiding peace enforcement situations.

The growth of peacekeeping and the decline of war as a conflict between states can both be seen in the statistics: only one of the five PKOs in existence in early 1988 was involved an intrastate conflict. In the 21 missions established between 1988 and 1995, 13 related to intrastate conflict, including nine of the last 11 initiated. Of the 10 established during 1996, 1997 and 1998, all dealt with internal conflicts if one assumes Croatia’s problems with the other remnants of the former Yugoslavia are internal.

While it eventually succeeded in keeping the Congo together and putting down the secession attempt by Katanga Province, ONUC was in several respects the UN’s first major peacekeeping failure. ”7 Armed with this vague mandate, the peacekeepers tried to restore order to the Congo, sometimes by force. In the process, 126 of them were killed, along with Secretary General Hammarskjold and an unknown number of Congolese. As the operation became more costly, both in lives and dollars, discussions in the Security Council as to whether ONUC should proceed reached a deadlock.

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