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Session 10: Rwanda & Sierra Leone, Case for Robust Peacekeeping


Session 10: Dr. Kofi Nsia-Pepra: Rwanda & Sierra Leone, Case for Robust Peacekeeping
Date: March 16th, 2011
Time: 7:00 PM
Location: Dicke Forum

Summary:  Dr. Kofi Nsia-Pepra began his argument for robust peacekeeping on Wednesday, March 26th, by explaining his personal experiences in Rwanda and Sierra Leone.  Before Nsia-Pepra became a professor, he spent some time serving as a United Nations peacekeeper.  He described his missions in Rwanda and Sierra Leone and the atrocities he witnessed in both places.  He also described his frustration at being unable to help the citizens suffering around him due to UN traditional peacekeeping training and restrictions.

Nsia-Pepra enumerated what traditional UN peacekeepers were allowed to do during their missions.  With all forms of traditional peacekeeping, like multi-dimensional and observer missions, peacekeepers were usually brought in in small forces with either no arms, or small rifles.  Furthermore, they were not allowed to use force for any reason other than self defense.  So as citizens were suffering from major human rights violations, the peacekeepers could take no forceful actions to protect them and aid in trying to achieve peace.

This is why, Nsia-Pepra explained, there is a need for robust peacekeeping in the world.  He defines robust peacekepping as large operations with many UN peacekeepers, participation of the UN's major powers, heavy arms (e.g. tanks), and the ability to protect citizens as well as oneself.  While there are critics of robust peacekeeping, Nsia-Pepra had very strong arguments for its usage and success in the field.


Dr. Kofi Nsia-Pepra

Ph. D, Political Science, Wayne State University 2009
LLM, International Law, Essex University (UK)
BA, Political Sci., University of Cape Coast (Ghana)