14 Aug Robust Peacekeeping Missions
Peacekeeping missions such as the UN’s intervention brigade in the DRC (established within MONUSCO by Security Council resolution 2098) have important legal implications. In particular, if the Brigade is considered a party to the conflict in the Congo, do peacekeepers become combattants? Can they be captured and detained? For an overview of the main issues see the ASIL analysis by Bruce Oswald here & the new ICRC review.
New peacekeeping missions also raise questions of attribution. Is the standard of attribution set out in Art. 7 of the Draft Articles on Responsibility of IOs sufficient? How should brigades be considered in relation to the peacekeeping mission as a whole? If wrongdoing occurs, how should responsibility be divided between multiple troop contributing countries and regional forces including NATO and the AU, who may contest any assertion they have international legal personality?
For those interested in this topic, an excellent panel discussion was held at the Irish Mission to the UN this summer. The panelists, including UN Ambassadors and a retired Force Commander, discuss the “C2” (command and control) structures of peacekeeping missions and their views of future challenges. The discussion can be viewed here.
In addition, at the upcoming ESIL meeting in Vienna in September, the Amsterdam SHARES project, in conjunction with the ESIL peace and security interest group, has organized a special symposium to tackle some of these issues. I will be speaking there, and am looking forward to the discussion.