Forty four countries have endorsed the Kigali Principles, that advocates for civilian protection during war periods. All UN member states are being rallied to support the efforts to improve protection of civilians in peacekeeping.
President Paul Kagame has continued to question the United Nations Peacekeeping approach towards civilian protection in conflict zones.
“Deployment is too slow. Vague mandates and unclear rules of engagement inhibit indecisive action to protect civilians,” Kagame said
at Serena Hotel in Rwanda’s capital Kigali on May 28, 2015 while opening an International Conference on Protection of Civilians.
The conference had attracted delegates from 30 countries involved in different peacekeeping operations around the World and UN’s top financiers of peacekeeping operations.
Apparently, the UN spends nearly $8.5 billion on peacekeeping operations, to maintain 91,962 troops including 13, 122 Police Officers, 1781 Military Observers and 17, 092 Civilians deployed in 120 fragile countries around the World.
Kagame, who led the liberation struggle to stop the genocide against Tutsi in 1994, is still unconvinced on UN’s effective utilization of resources.
Rwanda is still nursing a betrayal scar by United Nations, after failing to protect over a million Rwandan civilians who were slaughtered during the genocide.
Kagame told hundreds of delegates then that, “The international community’s decision to walk away from the genocide in 1994 was a disgrace that had to be reckoned with.”
In 1994, the Un had deployed close to 2000 troops in Rwanda. The number was later reduced to 250 at a time killings escalated.
Gen. Romeo Dallaire, then commander of the force, who was in Rwanda in April for a visit said, “I informed my bosses on a possible deployment of more troops, addressed on how genocide was happening in Rwanda but nothing was done. Media was the only weapon I remained with. All UN troops had been called back.”
With such practices within the UN, Kagame, whose country is globally ranked as the 15th biggest contributor of peacekeepers, with close to 5000 troops, said that the “central purpose of peace operations is protection of civilians not of peace agreements, UN mandates or politicians.”
Click below to read the President’s speech