Effectiveness of the Use of Force to Protect Civilians in the Central African Republic (CAR)

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Elijah Mwasi Mwanyika

Keywords

Use of Force, Protection of Civilians, Central Africa Republic (CAR), MINUSCA, UN Peace Keeping Operations

Abstract

Though the United Nations (UN) has mandated the use of force, in most missions, innocent civilians continue to be attacked and killed. Focused on the “UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic”, (MINUSCA), the study investigated the effectiveness of the use of force (UoF) in the Protection of Civilians (PoC). The study was anchored on Liberalism theory. This was a library-based research that relied on secondary data. Data was obtained from books, e-books, journals, UN publications and websites. The collected data was analysed thematically. The findings show that the UoF in the PoC has positive impact on the execution of the MINUSCA mandate since early 2017 and has helped to reduce levels of armed violence. Although UoF was perceived as being effective in CAR, it was faced with some challenges. This was due to the fact that it was seen as directly targeting one party to the conflict; an act which is perceived to be against the principles of PKOs. The UoF must be supported by proper conflict analysis prior to the signing of a peace agreement, troops with a capability and training matching the task, and committed to the use of force. Missions with PoC mandate must be matched by an appropriate military capability beyond the normal infantry battalion capability. Troops deployed to PKOs should not be deployed on the basis of just the will of the member state, but the troops must have the capacity and capability to undertake the UN mandate.

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