I still recall the arrogance of the UN’s peacekeepers when they arrived in Angola as part of UNAVEM. The “peace” they brought with them led to that country’s return to conflict.
They miraculously achieved the same in Sierra Leone. They arrived after EO had virtually destroyed the rebels. They replaced EO’s 250 men with more than 17 000 men and then watched the country slide back into chaos. At a cost of more than US$ 600 million a year (2001), they applauded their “success” as the most successful UN mission ever. Never mind that the rebels were able to re-arm and butcher, eat, rape, torture and destroy whatever was in their path – the UN saw their mission in that country (UNAMSIL) as a great success.
Then of course, there was their brave and heroic stand in Rwanda where they spent approx another US$ 600 million within 6 months – and then fled the genocide with their tails between their legs. That was their idea of peacekeeping.
Some time ago (2008), I said to a UN general that their lies, deception and bluster will one day be exposed for what it is. I also stated that when success is measured by the amount of money spent and the amount of civilian casualties caused, then something is very seriously wrong.
Whereas the DRC must rank alongside the greatest “military” blunders ever undertaken by the UN, someone has finally had the courage to speak out. But, it has taken so long to admit their ineptitude. In the process, hundreds of thousands of people have died and been made homeless. (See http://www.mg.co.za/article/2008-12-18-un-official-casts-doubt-on-drc-peacekeepers)
The great tragedy is that their presence in eastern DRC has only made the problem worse for the civilians in that area. Their departure will now only make it worse. That is a tragedy the UN should be held responsible for. The millions of casualties in that conflict should be on their conscience.
Will they be held accountable? Most unlikely.
Will they be shut down? Never.
Will they contract a reputable PMC to resolve the mess they have caused? Definitely not! They will rather flee and watch the entire region implode and then explode. Perhaps they will also hail this mess as another of their successes.
In the meantime, they may now set their sights on creating an environment where piracy off the East African coast can really flourish.