n African Security Review - The use of force in UN peacekeeping : the experience of MONUC

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UN peacekeeping missions are often criticised for their failure to protect civilians and use force against militias and other armed groups operating complex conflict environments such as the Democratic Republic of Congo. Faced with these challenges UN peacekeeping missions such as MONUC are often reluctant to apply military force. The reasons for this can be found in a range of political, institutional and operational constraints that limit the effective use of force by UN missions and bring into question the efficacy of UN peacekeeping missions in complex conflicts. Despite these constraints, in the period 2005 - 2007 MONUC was able to apply force effectively to change the security dynamics in the eastern Congo, particular in the Ituri district. However, challenges elsewhere, especially in the Kivus region, again showed the limits of UN peacekeeping.


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