The UN's heavy reliance on security contractors in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) results in more money for institutions and groups that are perceived as corrupt and/or sources of insecurity for many Congolese people.
In the context of civil war in Côte d’Ivoire and Sierra Leone, the line between “armed actors” and “communities” was porous, creating a situation where peacebuilders spanning these categories in some cases had special access to armed actors for the purposes of negotiation.
Unarmed civilian peacekeeping (UCP) has successfully engaged in the tasks traditionally associated with peacekeeping, demonstrating that peacekeeping does not require military personnel or the presence of weapons to carry out its violence prevention and civilian protection functions; furthermore, UCP can fulfill these functions in a way that also addresses some of the shortcomings of armed military peacekeeping.
Signing a commitment banning landmines appears to influence armed nonstate actors (ANSAs) away from the use of landmines, suggesting that deeds of commitment can influence ANSAs’ behavior.
Research has shown that, in most cases, armed UN peacekeepers help protect civilian lives. However, militarizing any part of a peace process is dangerous and is often met with unintended consequences.
An upcoming policy forum by the International Peace Institute will explore tensions between the pursuit of political solutions and the protection of civilians in the context of UN peacekeeping missions. Peace Science shows how the "robust" turn in UN peacekeeping has resulted in unintended consequences to civilians and the peacebuilding process.
Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) combines accompaniment work to protect vulnerable Palestinians with solidarity activities to support Palestinian nonviolent resistance movements.
Civilians use a range of strategies to protect themselves during armed conflict and should be treated as agents, rather than as passive recipients, of their own protection.
Robust peacekeeping may succeed in protecting civilians in the short-term but has unintended effects that may jeopardize the broader work of UN missions.