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Protecting CiviliansThe Obligations of Peacekeepers$
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Siobhán Wills

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199533879

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199533879.001.0001

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Implications for Peacekeepers and Other Multi-National Forces

Implications for Peacekeepers and Other Multi-National Forces

(p.246) 5 Implications for Peacekeepers and Other Multi-National Forces
Protecting Civilians

Siobhán Wills

Oxford University Press

In the wake of Rwanda and Srebrenica, the Brahimi report recommended that ‘peacekeepers — troops or police — who witness violence against civilians should be presumed to be authorized to stop it, within their means, in support of basic United Nations principles’, but acknowledged practical difficulties in implementing this presumption as a principle. Efforts have been made to improve the protection of civilians in armed conflict both at UN level and through developments in national peacekeeping doctrines, but the extent of peacekeepers' protection obligations remains controversial. This chapter draws on the earlier chapters to assess the protection obligations of peacekeepers in the light of the different contexts in which peacekeepers operate; it discusses the implications of the ‘responsibility to protect’; the implications of the laws of occupation; and the distinctions between the obligations not to abuse; to protect persons in the care of the force; and to protect civilians in the local community from attack. The chapter also highlights the particular problem of sexual violence and the measures taken to deal with it.

Keywords:   war crimes, civilians, Brahimi, responsibility to protect, Peace Support Operations' Doctrine, sexual abuse, exploitation, Rwanda, Srebrenica

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