The case for peacekeepers taking their ‘protective’ role seriously and for respecting human rights more consistently, seems to have been accepted in principle. However, in order to be effective in providing protection peacekeepers must not only have a clear mandate, strong ROE, sufficient armament and be well-trained. Equally important, as Major General Cammaert has pointed out, ‘is the willingness of United Nations commanders to take swift decisions’. Essentially the commitment to protection needs to be internalized and implemented; probably the most effective means of achieving this are through a combination of leadership, training, and persuasion of the relevant political agencies that effective protection of civilians by peacekeepers enhances the likelihood of success of the operation and is also likely to further the missions perceived legitimacy both internationally and locally.
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