Blog Post

Can U.N. peacekeepers fight terrorists?

June 30, 2015, Richard Gowan

Last Friday, Islamist militants killed thirty Burundian soldiers serving with the African Union’s mission in Somalia (AMISOM). The incident was overshadowed by the news of further terrorist attacks in Tunisia, Kuwait, and France. But it is an ugly reminder that multilateral peace operations, often relying on poorly equipped troops from developing countries, are in the front line of the battle against Islamist extremism across North Africa and the Middle East. Last Friday, Islamist militants killed thirty Burundian soldiers serving with the African Union’s mission in Somalia (AMISOM). An expert panel convened by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon reported earlier this month that blue helmet missions “lack the specific equipment, intelligence, logistics, capabilities and specialized military preparation required” to handle violent extremists.

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