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"UN-Backed Peacekeepers In Sub-Saharan Africa ..." Topic


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375 hits since 13 Nov 2017
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP13 Nov 2017 8:20 p.m. PST

….Have Lost Enough Arms Over The Past Two Decades To Arm An Army

"UN-backed peacekeepers have lost enough guns and ammunition in sub-Saharan Africa over the past two decades to arm an army, according to a study by the Small Arms Survey.

The research group's director, Eric Berman, said peacekeepers have lost "at least thousands of weapons and millions of rounds of ammunition" this century, often handing them over to local fighters without putting up a fight.

Losses range from pistols and bullets to heavy machine guns, mortars, recoilless guns and grenade launchers, which can be military game-changers on the battlefields of Somalia, Democratic republic of Congo, and Sudan, Berman told Al Jazeera…."
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Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP13 Nov 2017 8:59 p.m. PST

"often handing them over to local fighters without putting up a fight"

Seriously? If true, that's pretty pathetic peacekeeping practice, if you ask me. What a waste. Fraud in fact. Unless that was the intention of that nation's force all along, to arm like-minded fighters on another country, and the UN mission was just an expensive cover.

Hmm, where shall we store them? I've got it, near the area controlled by our "brothers". And we should let them know we're coming to their part of the country. Just a courtesy call, of course. It's the polite thing to do. And if they reach for your weapon, just look the other way. Yeah right, excellent peacekeeping.

So when the peacekeepers leave, the warring parties can resume the fight with better weapons than they had before.

Ok so, which armies sporting blue helmets are the biggest culprits in the wasteful UN Sub-Saharan weapons handoff these days (in "this century", as he says)?

Dan
PS. I wonder if peacekeeping newcomer China (since 2012) will also get into the habit of giving away weapons without putting up a fight, or just looking the other way. I VERY seriously doubt it though. Well, not yet at least. They are still in reputation-building mode.
How do you say "you'll have to pry it from my cold dead hands" in Mandarin?

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Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP13 Nov 2017 10:56 p.m. PST

The Chinese speaker on the platform says …

"We are different from all UN Peacekeepers that have come before us. They were corrupt. Decadent. Weak. Unprincipled. But WE are the new UN. So, when someone tells you to hand over your weapons you will say ‘Why don't you try and take it?'. Now, repeat after me, all together … ‘Why don't you try and take it?' Again. ‘Why don't you try and take it?' Again …"

Dan
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PMC31714 Nov 2017 5:40 a.m. PST

I can't imagine the People's Liberation Army being anything other than extremely professional and dedicated to their tasks. I personally rate the PLA on par with most first world nations in terms of military excellence.

ROUWetPatchBehindTheSofa14 Nov 2017 10:09 a.m. PST

The PLA is there for the kudos, with a side order of protecting Chinese geopolitical interests… while appearing to keep with their policy of non-interference!

Personally I'd suggest there is a correlation between the drop in UN 'professionalism' and the trend of the 'west' to front the cash and essentially sub-contracting the actual peacekeeping to countries whose militaries aren't as reliable as they could be! So reducing the UN peacekeeping budget is hardly helpful, unless you're offering up better troops to do the job…

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP14 Nov 2017 10:23 a.m. PST

ROU: "The PLA is there for the kudos, with a side order of protecting Chinese geopolitical interests… while appearing to keep with their policy of non-interference!"

I fully agree with you there.

Dan

Vigilant14 Nov 2017 12:15 p.m. PST

The history of the UN's peacekeeping efforts is full of stories of inadequate support, poor liaison and lack of direction over the mission. Not surprised to see that many have handed over their weapons rather than be wiped out. For an example take a look at the way the Irish were treated in the Congo in the 60s.

Lion in the Stars14 Nov 2017 2:29 p.m. PST

Not to mention the fact that often UN missions were not permitted to shoot in their own self-defense!

mckrok14 Nov 2017 3:00 p.m. PST

Selling the arms and ammunition a generous donor gave you is a way of making money – especially when your leadership is keeping your pay. Not saying it's right, I'm simply explaining the why in most cases.

pjm

soledad15 Nov 2017 5:49 a.m. PST

@Cacique Caribe

Not all peace keepers are corrupt. The Swedish and Danish forces have never been corrupt. And they did not surrender anything during the Bosnian conflict. The only thing we gave away were bullets and shells, delivered in high speed. Actually the Nordbat battalion was considered way to aggressive and trigger happy by the UN. Funnily enough it worked being aggressive and returning fire.

But I agree that quite a lot of the "peace keepers" are not that impressive. The Pakistanis were… different so to speak.

One problem with Chinese is that they are not very good at seizing initiative and taking quick decision without the ok from higher ups… They do exactly what they are told, there are no initiative or doing things without being told how and when to do it.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP15 Nov 2017 7:35 a.m. PST

Soledad: "The Swedish and Danish forces have never been corrupt. And they did not surrender anything during the Bosnian conflict. The only thing we gave away were bullets and shells, delivered in high speed"

They sound like they know what is at stake, for themselves and for the people they're supposed to be helping. I wish all the others acted the same way. Things would be very different in so many countries.

What I know is that if cops in our cities handed over their weapons when confronted by bad guys, as often as these other UN "peacekeeping" guys seem to have done with theirs these last couple of decades, well, let's just say we'd be screwed.

They would disband that police department for sure. Why waste good money with that leaking bucket, when they are adding to instead of taking away from the threat, right?

Dan

Personal logo StoneMtnMinis Supporting Member of TMP15 Nov 2017 8:18 a.m. PST

On the lighter side, if nothing else the Chinese can bring peace through synchronized marching.

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Personal logo StoneMtnMinis Supporting Member of TMP15 Nov 2017 8:20 a.m. PST

On the serious side, the UN is over 90% composed of dictatorships or one-party rule countries. And jproviding "peace keepers" is viewed as another scam to get money from the free world for these countries. And the money stays in the elites pockets, so they view it as a "win-win".

28mm Fanatik15 Nov 2017 8:28 a.m. PST

If countries pay their soldiers what they're worth this wouldn't be a problem.

Darrell B D Day15 Nov 2017 8:55 a.m. PST

Interesting You Tube link. I hadn't realised the PLA were all female…!

DBDD

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP15 Nov 2017 1:11 p.m. PST

Dave: "the UN is over 90% composed of dictatorships or one-party rule countries"

Soon China will have them all marching to the same beat and enjoying the benefits of a multiparty system. :)

At least now they'll get all their weapons legitimately, in exchange for some of their resources, and all from the same direct source.

Dan
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Lion in the Stars15 Nov 2017 1:56 p.m. PST

Not all peace keepers are corrupt. The Swedish and Danish forces have never been corrupt. And they did not surrender anything during the Bosnian conflict. The only thing we gave away were bullets and shells, delivered in high speed. Actually the Nordbat battalion was considered way to aggressive and trigger happy by the UN.

Exactly my point.

If the Peacekeepers are actually shooting back, it's not what the UN wants!

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP16 Nov 2017 12:05 a.m. PST

Ha! So THAT'S how the keep the peace?

Sounds just like some people's idea of "future" (neutered) law enforcement. The kind that the cartels love.

Dan

soledad17 Nov 2017 2:30 a.m. PST

Criminals, bad guys and "bad nations" always prey on the weak. It is great fun to kick people around who do not defend themselves. And the UN does a great job of not protecting itself. Thanks to unclear mandates, weak forces and a corrupt bureaucracy and long chain of commands where everyone always must ask its boss before making a decision.

Colonel Henricsson, the first commander of Nordbat 2 in Bosnia was not like that. He made the decision or delegated the mandate to his subordinates to act in his intent. He would always back his subordinates and he knew the way to force your will on to people is to use firepower or the threat of firepower. So after a while the rogue forces in Bosnia did not fire upon Nordbat 2 as they would always shoot back, with everything they had, including APC auto cannons and tank main guns. The fun of shooting at someone who shoots back drops quite a lot. the risk of death is quite a deterring factor.

When Col Henricsson was accused of not firing warning shots first according to the ROE when being fired upon he calmly replied to the world press "we fired the warning shots last Thursday, now we shoot back immediately". He lead by example and was always in the frontline crushing check points and forcing rogue forces to comply by pointing guns at them, and it worked as there was a bigger alpha dog than the rogue forces.

But the UN… that is a corrupt almost useless organization that has no muscle. Certain individuals or countries do a good job but the organization itself, not so good. Too many weak willed do-gooders and money hungry politicians.

USAFpilot17 Nov 2017 5:59 a.m. PST

The World Food Program has a long history of keeping dictators well armed. The way it works is that some nations produce more food then there population will ever need. The food is transported to nations in Africa where there is famine. Local warlords confiscate the food and sell it to the neighboring country which is also starving. The profit generated is used to buy arms from the first world county which provided the food in the first place. Everyone is happy, dictator stays in power and continues to provide its rare natural resources (diamonds, metals, oil, whatever) to mega corporations at greatly reduced rates. Arms industry continues to profit in same first world country. Liberals at home get to feel good about themselves that they are helping starving people. It's a win-win except for the poor starving people of the world.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP17 Nov 2017 3:40 p.m. PST

Soledad: "He made the decision or delegated the mandate to his subordinates to act in his intent. He would always back his subordinates and he knew the way to force your will on to people is to use firepower or the threat of firepower."

Sounds like Henricsson put the lives of his men and that of the innocent locals first. Inspiring.

USAFPilot: "The food is transported to nations in Africa where there is famine. Local warlords confiscate the food and sell it to the neighboring country which is also starving. The profit generated is used to buy arms from the first world county which provided the food in the first place. Everyone is happy … "

My cousin witnessed that first hand in Somalia, both before and during the time we sent troops there. I saw footage of how the UN workers were taking out boxes and sacks of foodstuffs and neatly stacking them on the ground, but the armed thugs kept the hungry civilians at a distance and simply transferred the pile of goods into a couple of their waiting trucks. They were obviously aware where and when the distribution would take place. Despicable thugs, with no empathy whatsoever for their own people.

The problem is that, unless they feel like toppling a regime, international relief agencies cannot enter a country without the blessing of that nation's government. And distribution is also at the discretion of that government.

For the West to withhold aid is a PR nightmare. But to help finance thugs could also become a PR nightmare, provided there's a clear paper trail.

Either way, the ones the media will blame for everything are almost always those nations (the West) who are contributing most of the food and medicines and honestly trying to help. They'll almost always give some lame justification for what the thugs are "compelled" to do to "survive". Didn't you know? If the cycle of violence in those dictatorships is to end, the West must to provide them (the warlords and their thugs) meaningful and financially rewarding jobs. Deep down they're really a great bunch of guys who simply need for someone (you and me) to give them a chance. :)

Dan

28mm Fanatik17 Nov 2017 5:21 p.m. PST

The media? As in '60 Minutes' or 'Frontline'?

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