Peackeeping

UN head wants troops in Haiti

UN Secretary General António Guterres wants an international specialized armed force deployed to Haiti as gang violence and human rights violations have reached a critical level. His call is part of a report January 23 by the UN Integrated Office in Haiti, which says killings surged by 35 per cent last year while kidnappings more than doubled. “There are also allegations that a significant number of national police . . . may be associated with gangs,” Guterres said. [node:read-more:link]

Serbian move on Kosovo blocked

NATO’s mission in Kosovo has refused a request by the Serbian government to send police and army personnel into Kosovo after a spate of clashes. “They consider that there is no need for the return of the Serbian army to Kosovo . . . citing the United Nations resolution approving their mandate in Kosovo,” Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said January 8. Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008. [node:read-more:link]

Peacekeeper killed in Lebanon

An Irish Army private, Seán Rooney, one of some 10,000 UN peacekeepers deployed to southern Lebanon by 47 countries, died earlier this month when his armoured vehicle was attacked en route to Beirut. A suspect was reportedly turned over to authorities by Hezbollah militants who denied any involvement in the attack. [node:read-more:link]

26-hour-long moment of silence

On December 6th, a 26-hour long moment of silence will begin. Beginning on Finland's Independence Day, the conflict resolution organization CMI - Martti Ahtisaari Peace Foundation will hold a 26-hour long moment of silence in Helsinki, Finland to honour people who have lost their homes due to a conflict. [node:read-more:link]

Azeri-Armenian peace talks stalled

Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev has called off a December 7 meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron and Charles Michel, saying that he does not want Macron involved in peace talks with Armenia. Aliyev accused the French leader today of having “attacked” and “insulted” his country and said Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan was trying to sabotage talks by insisting on France helping to broker an accord to resolve a long-running territorial dispute. [node:read-more:link]

France formally ends Mali operation

French President Emmanuel Macron confirmed today that his country is formally ending its eight-year military operation in the Sahel, nearly nine months after withdrawing its troops from Mali. Faced with the continuing spread of jihadis linked to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State, and a growing number of French casualties, there has been increasing down about the fundamental viability of an ongoing intervention. While some 3,000 French troops will remain in Niger, Chad and Burkina Faso, they will act only in concert with those countries’ forces. [node:read-more:link]

UN facing ultimatum in Cyprus

The United Nations is being told that it needs a new “mutually agreeable” with Turkey if UN peacekeepers are to remain in their bases in Cyprus. The force was created in 1964 to maintain a 180-kilomertre buffer zone between the island’s Greek and Turkish populations. More than 25,000 Canadian Armed Forces personnel have been stationed there over the decades but only a small presence is maintained today. [node:read-more:link]

UN peackeepers killed in Africa

Three UN peacekeepers from Bangladesh were killed and several others were injured earlier this week by a roadside bomb in the Central African Republic. The attack on their patrol vehicle took place near the border with Cameroon in a region rife with Christian and Muslim militia activity. [node:read-more:link]

U.S. lifts Cyprus arms embargo

A U.S. decision to lift its 1987 embargo on arms exports to divided Cyprus in the hope of resolving the long-running territorial dispute between Turkey and Greece has prompted the Turkish foreign minister to warn of an “arms race” as it would “further strengthen the Greek Cypriot side’s intransigence and negatively affect efforts to resettle the Cyprus issue.” The country has been monitored since 1964 by a UN peacekeeping mission, which saw one of its vehicles attacked last May. [node:read-more:link]

New tension between Serbia and Kosovo

NATO is prepared to increase its nearly 4,000-strong peacekeeping force in Kosovo if there is an escalation of tensions with neighbouring Serbia. “If needed, we will move forces, deploy them where needed and increase our presence,” Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, flanked by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, told reporters in Brussels August 17. “We have already increased the presence in the north; we are ready to do more.” [node:read-more:link]

UN Mali peacekeeping resumes

The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali was expected to resume today, a month after local authorities suspended rotations after accusing 49 troops from Ivory Coast of entering their country without permission. Ivory Coast says those troops were deployed as part of a MINUSMA support contract but they remain in detention. [node:read-more:link]

Germany suspends most Mali operations

The government of Mali, which has experienced three military coups since 2012 and is considered extremely unstable, has refused permission for routine flyovers by a UN peacekeeping mission. As a result, Germany announced today that it has suspended most operations there until further notice. [node:read-more:link]

Quick Reaction Force slow out of the gate

Nearly five years after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised the UN that Canada would provide a rapidly-deployable peacekeeping force, it evidently remains a work in progress. Global Affairs documents show the commitment was to expire last March but the cabinet has pushed that back to next year despite pressure from the UN and the U.S. [node:read-more:link]

Peacekeepers attacked online

The UN Security Council says more needs to be done to counter disinformation and misinformation about its 90,000 peacekeepers, whose operations have faced growing attacks, especially on social media. All 15 council members approved a Brazilian call July 13 for the UN to “improve the culture of strategic communications across civilian, military and police components” of its 12 peacekeeping missions. [node:read-more:link]

Russia evokes Crimea with Eastern Ukraine tactics

Two breakaway regions of eastern Ukraine, home to many ethnic Russians and the focus of repeated military confrontations, prompted Russian President Vladimir Putin to recognize them as “independent” and to deploy “peacekeeping” troops. The U.S. has derided the deployment as “nonsense” while Ukraine’s president says his country is “not afraid of anything or anyone.” [node:read-more:link]

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