Publication by DPDF 2009 “State Violence” Fellow Daniel Blocq.
Mandates for UN peacekeeping operations in Africa have become more robust since the delivery of the Brahimi Report in 2000. Contrary to before, soldiers are now unmistakably expected to use force to protect local civilians in a number of UN peacekeeping missions in Africa. While this expectation of force may be celebrated, the question rises whether peacekeeping soldiers can meet the expectation. Are they ready to kill and risk their lives to protect local civilians? This question is especially pertinent to Western armed forces, which have contributed little to post-millennium UN peace operations in Africa but are explicitly called upon by the UN administration to contribute to the robust peacekeeping missions. This article discusses the question of moral and psychological preparedness in light of the possible tension between the nationalist orientation in Western armed forces and the cosmopolitan demands of UN peacekeeping operations in Africa.