UN report on Congo rapes released. Are peacekeepers bad at protecting civilians?
MONUSCO was somewhat unfairly singled out in this case. It does not appear that its troops were aware of what was going on – they were guilty of not patrolling enough and not keeping their ears close enough to the ground. But this does not appear to be like Kiwanja in 2008, when more than 100 people were massacred within earshot of a UN Organization Mission in the DRC, or MONUC, camp.
But this report does beg the question: Why were all of these sensible suggestions not implemented previously? For example, we know some of those who were responsible for the Kiwanja massacre – they include Bosco Ntaganda, Innocent Zimurina, and Captain Seko, all of whom have been integrated into the Congolese army. Why not bring them to justice?
We have known for a long time that UN officers have scant guidance in how to deal with these kinds of situations. Why not provide clear instructions for all contingencies a long time ago?
MONUSCO has a long history of failing to protect civilians in imminent danger. If protection of civilians is the No.1 priority of the mission, why has it failed to address these failings?