Is the UN becoming a warrior?
These days I pick up the paper or switch on the news and find that the UN is fighting one battle here and another there. The UN never used to fight quite like this. It was the peacekeeper.
UN soldiers and helicopters have been fighting in the Congo and now Libya and Ivory Coast. No one seems outraged. When journalists asked Alain Le Roy, the head of UN peacekeeping, why the UN was deployed in this non-traditional peacekeeping role in the Ivory Coast, he replied that the Security Council had adopted unanimously (as they did for Libya) a resolution that sanctioned “all necessary means…. to prevent the use of heavy weapons against the civilian population”. When diplomats at the Security Council quizzed Le Roy, arguing that shelling the presidential palace could not be called protecting innocent civilians, Le Roy argued that the true target was heavy weapons in the area.