Policy Papers - July 03, 2013
The UN Intervention Brigade in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
by Maj. Gen. Patrick Cammaert and Fiona Blyth
The fall of Goma to the M23 rebel group in November 2012 pushed the UN’s Department of Peacekeeping Operations to revisit its mission and mandate in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). After nearly fourteen years of peacekeeping in DRC, the UN is now deploying a new kind of “offensive” combat force—the Intervention Brigade—to break the cycles of violence by neutralizing and disarming rebel groups.
While this new initiative could improve the UN’s efforts to protect civilians, particularly by deterring rebel attacks through a show of force, this issue brief shows that the Intervention Brigade also raises a number of risks and challenges:
• The brigade’s deployment makes the UN a party to the conflict, which may taint the UN’s neutrality with consequences for peacekeeping worldwide.
• This also increases the risks for civilian personnel in the existing peacekeeping mission in DRC, who may become targets of rebel reprisals. At the same time, strengthened military operations could further jeopardize the civilian population in the DRC.
• The Congolese armed forces will be critical to supporting and consolidating any gains made by the Intervention Brigade, so building their capacity will be vital for the brigade’s success.
• Military intervention unsupported by a political process could actually discourage parties from negotiating; instead, the brigade will need to create political space for the broader strategy articulated in the Peace, Security, and Cooperation Framework for the DRC and the region.
• The regional nature of the Intervention Brigade is a strength, for the most part, but the brigade will require continued regional support alongside the political process so that it can be part of a sustainable solution.
The Global Observatory
Firing Blanks: The Growing Irrelevance of the UN Small Arms Process
UN momentum toward stopping illicit arms trade seems to have slowed, but national gun control laws hint at the possibility of a successful bottom-up approach.
Key Global Events to Watch in August
A list of key upcoming meetings and events with implications for global affairs.
2014 Top 10 Issues to Watch in Peace & Security: The Global Arena
A list of ten key issues to watch that are likely to impact international peace and security in 2014, compiled by IPI's Francesco Mancini.
The Global Observatory, produced by IPI, provides timely analysis on peace and security issues, interviews with leading policymakers, interactive maps, and more.
August 25, 2014
High-Level Forum Examines Lessons of 1814 and 1914 for Today
2014 marks the centenary of the outbreak of World War One and the bicentenary of the opening of the Congress of Vienna–two dates that profoundly shaped the course of history.
August 22, 2014
Real World Lessons Inform 2014 IPI Course in Negotiation, Conflict Resolution
The 2014 Advanced Course in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, held June 22-25, led an array of international diplomats through three days of in-depth lectures, negotiation and public speaking exercises.
July 17, 2014
EU and UN Seek Ways to Improve Cooperation in Peacekeeping
The European Union is among the strongest supporters of UN peacekeeping missions around the globe, but the growing challenges faced by UN-led operations have raised the need for better EU-UN cooperation, both on the ground and at the planning level.