Defense sector reform and civilian protection in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Mintz, Leslie A.
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The United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) was deployed as a multidimensional peacekeeping force in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) from 1999 until 2010. During this time, violence continued to plague the eastern part of the country. In response to continued civilian casualties, MONUC made civilian protection a core component of its mission. While MONUC never succeeded in adequately protecting civilians, a close examination of its mandate and operations reveals a continual process of adjustment, ultimately leading to an attempt by MONUC to assist in defense sector reform. The evidence reveals that MONUC's adjustments had a slight effect on reducing ethnic violence from 2003-2007, but violence against civilians by the FARDC and rebels did not decrease from 2007-2010. This thesis attempts to explain why MONUC did not succeed in the end at increasing civilian protection. MONUC's actions to reform the FARDC were not efficacious because MONUC lacked capacity to fully carry through with its strategy combined with a lack of wholehearted Congolese government support. The answers are important because they may help future civilian protection missions succeed.
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