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Taking Sides in PeacekeepingImpartiality and the Future of the United Nations$
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Emily Paddon Rhoads

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198747246

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198747246.001.0001

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The Effects of Assertive Impartiality in the Congo

The Effects of Assertive Impartiality in the Congo

(p.172) 5 The Effects of Assertive Impartiality in the Congo
Taking Sides in Peacekeeping

Emily Paddon Rhoads

Oxford University Press

The penultimate chapter examines the effects of assertive impartiality on four specific sets of actors: civilians, armed groups, the state, and the UN mission itself. It reveals how the robust role prescribed for peacekeepers raised expectations and created incentives for local actors, engendering behaviour that would not have occurred otherwise. These effects, in turn, negatively impacted the mission and deepened perceptions that the UN was partial. Despite these consequences, the Security Council’s response to policy failure in the Congo, time and time again, was to scale up the mission’s mandated ‘robustness’, which in turn only further tarnished its credibility and leverage to act as a broker of peace. The chapter argues that in the absence of consensus over strategy to resolve Congo’s conflict, without a willingness by member states to commit the necessary political capital and resources, assertive impartiality offered merely the illusion of constructive and active engagement.

Keywords:   peacekeeping, protection, Democratic Republic of the Congo, unintended consequences, legitimization, de-legitimization

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