Monday, August 4, 2008

Darfur Offer Provides More Accountability than UN Peacekeepers

Blackwater CEO Erik Prince's offer to train an African force to save Darfur has a built-in accountability measure that far exceeds United Nations peacekeeping standards.

As he said in the July 29 Wall Street Journal, he envisions a team of US military personnel to monitor a Blackwater training and logistical support operation to help a duly constituted African military force to stop the Darfur atrocities.

This reminds us of an article that Mountainrunner blogger Matt Armstrong wrote recently in Serviam magazine about UN peacekeepers. In that thought-provoking piece, Armstrong reveals that United Nations peacekeeping troops are exempt from international humanitarian law.

"The U.N. cannot impose a common military code of justice or judicial process on its forces without provoking a drop in troop contributions from member states," he says.

"If accountability is the core problem critics have with private military and security contractors, then the demonstrated lack of Blue Helmet accountability, whose troops are sent to some of the most challenging environments on the planet, should raise equally powerful concerns. "

(Addendum: London's Daily Mail runs a new story of how Dutch UN peacekeepers stood aside while Serbian troops rounded up thousands of men, women and children under UN "protection" and slaughtered them.)

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