Human Rights,  International

UN failures and regrets

The UN has been accused of standing by and allowing the Lord’s Resistance Army to massacre men, women, and children in north-east Congo by Medecins Sans Frontieres:

MSF claims that on one occasion, on 1 November, UN peacekeepers stayed in their base while the main town of Dungu came under attack.

The organisation alleges the 17,000-strong UN mission to the region failed to intervene even when the attacks increased, and did not go in to evacuate the wounded.

Unlike aid workers, says MSF, Monuc can reach by helicopter those areas which have recently come under attack.

MSF’s Marc Poncin predicted more massacres.

“Monuc must take up its responsibilities and can no longer continue to be so absent for inhabitants when they are being systematically attacked,” he said.

MSF said its teams had been shocked by the extreme violence of the LRA in north-eastern DR Congo.

More than 50 villages and towns across Haut-Uele province have been attacked since Christmas Day, according to MSF.

One survivor of an attack near Doruma on Christmas Day told MSF: “No one was spared: Children, infants, pregnant women, the elderly, all killed. More than 60 people.”

There are obvious problems with recruiting additional military forces to serve in the UN force. The Security Council authorised an additional 3,000 troops two months ago. Bangladesh has offered some troops. Europe will be taking on no additional responsibilities, although the Belgiums will be sending a cargo plane.

Here’s Kofi Annan on the UN failure in Rwanda:

“Of all my aims as secretary-general, there is none to which I feel more deeply committed than that of enabling the United Nations never again to fail in protecting a civilian population from genocide or mass slaughter,”

Let’s Hope Ban Ki-moon does not have similar regrets in future.