Policy discussions about peacekeeping frequently get bogged down in technical details, such as the wording of United Nations resolutions, rather than tackling big strategic questions. This has been true of most commentary on the U.N. Security Council’s decision in late-March to mandate an “intervention brigade” to “neutralize and disarm” armed groups in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The wars in Mali and Syria have followed very different trajectories over the past month. While Syria has become symbolic of international inaction, France’s use of force in Mali has shown that some Western governments are still willing to launch new interventions abroad.
Despite the presence of 1,500 peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). U.N. planners believe that drones would improve the operation's ability to track, and possibly pre-empt, hostile militia movements in future. There are further plans to deploy drones to other U.N. missions in West Africa.
In Africa and the War on Drugs, Neil Carrier and Gernot Klantschnig provide an insightful overview of the history of African drug production, trade, consumption and policy, with a particular focus on khat and cannabis.
Rwanda has warned it will not tolerate attempts to blame it for a rebel insurgency in eastern Congo but vowed to use its two-year U.N. Security Council stint to help put an end to the conflict that has destabilized its much larger neighbor.
The United Nations, looking to modernize its peacekeeping operations, is planning for the first time to deploy a fleet of its own surveillance drones in peacekeeping missions in Central and West Africa.