ANATOMY OF UN MISSIONS: IN NEPAL AND WORLD
RAJ K PANDEY, MBS, MA
General Background of the Paper
Debates and discussions have taken up regarding the UN missions after UNMIN stepped into Nepal. There are
comments and questions whether UNMIN will be able to harvest success. Will UNMIN be guiding the fate of the
country for peace and development? What is the history of UN Missions? What are their successes or failures up to
this point? Can the UN maintain any claim to be a true-friend of conflict victims’ around the world? Is the UN, with
192 member countries, a common platform for all? If yes and/or no, why? This paper is devoted to addressing these
issues based on the information.
Did armed conflict decline in during-/post-cold war era?
The Human Security Report 20051 stated that the trends of numbers of wars, genocides and human rights
violations/abuses have dramatically declined. Between 1988 to 2001, the statistics says:
o a 40% drop in violent conflict
o an 80% drop in the most deadly conflict
o an 80% drop in genocide/politicized
Conflict Management in Nepalese Context
The Maoists had proposed the UN mission’s term only for the period of six months, whereas the government
proposed a period of one year previously. Extension of role and term of UNMIN has become talk of the town as the
mandate has not been accomplishedin in a year of its establishment. Socio-cultural violence has had erupted in
Tarai (southern plains or Madhes) after UNMIN almost confined the Maoists arms and armies in the containers.
There are three types of groups: violent, non-violent and criminal (almost thirty in total) active in Madhes. The
focus of these groups range in their aims toward political; socio-cultural/regional and criminal action. These groups
also do not recognize or accept each-other’s existance/identity and violent incidents have occurred between them.
Different factions have occurred in more than two-thirds of the Madhes areas in continuining strikes. People are
living with more insecurity, injustice and indignified situations and restrictions. Particularly hill and mountain-
originated peoples (Pahade), civil servants and citizens have been victimized in Madhes.
Conflict Resolution after Cold War Era in Global Context
With concise analysis of United Nations peacekeeping and political missions and their mobilization, the flowing
figures are useful for us. During the Cold War era, there were a lesser number of mobilizations of UN
peacekeeping and political completed missions.
o Africa: On the course to prevent the intervention of the foreign troops and preserve the territory of the Congo,
the UN Operation in the Congo (UNOC) was a mobilized peacekeeping mission from 1960 to June 1964, to
UNAVEM I (Angola Verification Mission) was operated against the Angolan civil war I in between 1989 to end of
February 1991. UN Transition Assistance Group (UNTAC) was mobilized during Namibian War of Independence,
1989 to 1990 to supervise elections and transition to independence.
o Americas: To monitor the political situation, caused by rival governing body in Dominican Republic, Mission
of the Representative of the Secretary General in the Dominican Republic was mobilized during 1965 to end of
October 1966. Similarly, UN Observer Group in Central America (ONUCA) was deployed to minotor the truce
in Nicaragua 1989–1992.
o Asia: The UN Security Force (UNSF) was mobilized to minotor the truce of transition from western Dutch rule
to the Indonesian takeover in West New Guinea from 1962 to April 1963. Similarly, to enforce Afghanistan-
Pakistan for mutual non-interference, UNGOMAP was operated during 1988 to March 1990.
o Middle East: During 1956-1967, supervised withdrawal of troops in the six-day war (Suez Crisis) between
Egypt and Israel, the UNEF-1 (UN Emergency Force) was deployed. UNOGIL (Observation Group in
Lebanon) was mobilized to to monitor entry of troops and weapons in Lebanon during Lebanon Crisis in 1958.
UNEF II was instilled to supervise the withdrawal of troops from Sinai after armed conflict (1973 to 1979)
between Egypt, Syria and Israel. UNIIMOG (Iran-Iraq Military Observation Group) was mobilized to supervise
Truce after the war (1989-1991) between Iran and Iraq. UNYOM (Yamen Observation Mission) was rallied to
disengage Saudi Arabia and Egypt in the Yamen Civil War (1962-1964).
In the post-cold war era, the following points are evident of the increasing trend of the UN involvement in the
violence, armed/deadly conflicts and genocide/politicide throughout the globe:
o Africa: UNAVEM II was mobilized during 1991-1995 to enforce/monitor truce during Angolan Civil War.
UNAVEM III was operated 1995-1997 to diasarm rebel forces and monitor truce. During Mozambican Civil
War in 1992-1994, ONUMOZ (Operation in Mozambique) was operated to monitor the truce. In 1992-1993
UN Operation in Somalia I (UNOSOM) was initated to enforce truce as a UNITAF (Unified Task Force),
which was replaced by UNISOM II in 1993 March till end of 1995 during Civil War II with the purpose to
establish peace and humanitarian aid. UNOMIL (Observer Mission in Liberia) was instilled during Liberian
Civil War I in 1993-1997 to monitor Truce and election. Since 2003, UNMIL (Mission in Liberia) sent a force
consisting of 3,000 civil, mililtary and police to oversee and maintain truce, train the security force and
repatriate 850 thousand refugees. UNOMUR (Observation Mission Uganda-Rwanda) was operated during
Rwanda-Uganda genocide during 1993-1994 to enforce and monitor Truce in Rwanda and rebel groups in
UNAMIR (Assistance Mission for Rwanda) was deployed during Rwanda genocide during 1993-1996 to monitor
Truce and promote relief efforts. UNOMSIL (Observation Mission in Sierra Leone) was mobilized during
1998-1999 to monitor Disarmament, Demobilization and Rehabilitation (DDR), which was extended untill 2005 to
disarm and stabilize peace. In Burungi, Hutu extremists conducted ethnic cleansing of Tutsi during 1972, 1988 and
1993. Tutsi officials murdered the first elected Hutu PM and the genocide unrelented until 1996. Genocidal
incidences continued untill 2006, known as Burundi Civil War. UNOV (Operation in Burundi) was mobilized only
after a long period of genocide during 2004–2006.
o Americas: ONUSAL (Observer Mission in El Salavador) was mobilized during 1991–1995 in the Civil War to
enforce and monitor Truce. UNMIH (Mission in Haiti) was operated after the Coup and Military Rule in Haiti
since 1993 until 1996 to overturn Coup and stabilize peace. Again UNSMIH (Support Mission in Haiti) was
mobilized to stabilize Haiti’s new democracy (modernize army and police) during 1996–1997. UN Transition
Mission in Haiti was deployed in 1997 to help stabilize peace. Again, from 1997 to 2000, UN Civilian Police
Mission in Haiti was operated to modernize the police. UN Verification Mission (MINUGUA) was deployed in
Guatemala during the Civil War in 1997 to monoitor Truce.
o Asia: UNAMIC (Advance Mission in Cambodia) operated during Vietnamese invasion and occupation of
Cambodia (1991-1992) as a gateway for UNTAC Trasitional Authority in Cambodia and the UNTAC was
deployed in 1992–1993 to assist reorganization for moitoring Truce and Constituent Assembly Election. UN
Observer Mission in Tazikistan was instilled in 1994-2002 during Tazikistan Civil War to monitor the truce.
UNAMET (Mission in East Timor) was deployed after the Indonesian invasion and occupation to oversee
referendum on political relation to Indonesia in 1999. The follow up mission; UN Transitional Administration
in East Timor, was operated from 1999-2002 to enable transition to independence. Again, UNMISET (Mission
of Support in East Timor) deployed from 2002 to 2005 aiming to ensure security and stability for the new
o Middle East: UNIKOM (Iraq-Kuwait Observation Mission) was deployed in the Gulf War, 1991-2003, to
enforce and monitor Iraq and Kuwait border.
o Europe: UNPROFOR (Protection Force) mobalised to operate during Yugoslav Wars (1992-1995) to protect
Croatia, Bosnia, Herze Govina and Macedonia. Again, UNCRO (Confidence Operation Mission) was deployed
during Croation War in 1994-1996, to monitor agreed truce. During 1995-1996 UNTAES (Transitional
Authority in Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Sirmium) in the Croation conflict was instilled to supervise
integration of regions into Croatia. In 1998, UNPSG (Civilian Police Suppot Group) was deployed to monitor
and train Croatian police. Furthermore from 1995 to 1999 UNDURINGDEP (Duringventive Deployment
Force), as an aftermath of Yugoslav War, monitored the border between Albania and Macedonia. UNMIBH
(Mission in Bosnia and Herze Govina) deployed during Bosnian War (1995-2002) to monitor human rights,
also to supply humanitarian aid.
Ongoing UN Missions in the world
o 1948: The first UN Peacekeeping Mission, UNTSO (Truce Supervision Organization), was founded to monitor
o 1949: UNMOGIP (Military Obsrver Group in India and Pakistan) during Indo-Pakistan War to monitor Cease
Fire in Kashmir
o 1964: UNFICYP (Peacekeeping Mission in Cyprus) on Cyprus dispute to duringvent conflict between Greek,
Turkish and Cypriots
o 1974: UNDOF (Disengagement Observer Force) to maintain truce between Syria and Israel at Golan Heights
and agreed withdrawal of troops folowing the Yong Kippur War
o 1978: UNIFIL (Interim Force in Leban) to supervise Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon and help Lebanon
gvernment to maintain peace and security
o 1991: MINURSO (Mission for Referendum in Western Sahara during Moroccan occupation in Western Sahara
to implement Truce and help promote referendum
o 1993: UNOMIG (Observer Mission in Georgia) during Abkhazian war to enforce Truce between Georgia and
o 1999: UNMIK (Interim Administrative Mission in Kosovo) to exercise administrative and judicial justice.
o 1999: MONUC (Orgaization Mission in Congo) to monitor Truce during Congo War II
o 2000: UNME (Mission in Ethopia and Eritria) to enforce and monitor Truce in Ethopian/Eritrian War
o 2003: UNMIL (Mission in Liberia) in Liberian Civil War II to oversee Cease Fire
o 2004: UN Mission to monitor Truce in Civil War in Cote Ivoire
o 2004: UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti to monitor rebellion
o 2005: UNMIS (Mission in Sudan) to implement/monitor Comprehensive Peace Agreement, assist humanitarian
aid and protect and promote human rights during (North/South) Civil War II
o 2006: UNMIT (Mission in Timor Lest) during East Timor Crisis to support government initiation to peace and
stability, facilitate political dialogue, enhance culture of democratic governance and foster social cohesion
o 2007: UNAMID (African Union Mission in Darfur) during Darfur conflict to monitor Arms Trade and maintain
There have been more than 70 peacekeeping missions after the founding of the UN, of which 19% were during the
Cold War era and the rest during the post Cold War period, and 28% of the latter is continuing as ongoing missions.
The longest mission is 59 years ongoing, monitoring the Arabic-Israeli truce agreements. During the Cold War era,
there were only three missions in Africa whereas in the post Cold War period there has been 23 missions.
The highest number of UN peacekeeping missions in operation are in the former Yugoslavia (8 missions
completed, one ongoing in Kosovo) with aim to resolve the Yugoslav conflict. Other key countries with UN
peacekeeping operations include; Haiti (4 missions completed, 1 ongoing); Angola (4 missions completed); East
Timor (3 missions completed, 1 ongoing); Sudan including Darfur (2 missions completed, 1 ongoing) Chad (1
mission completed, 1 ongoing); Congo (2 mission completed, 1 ongoing); Liberia (1 mission completed, 1
ongoing); Somalia (2 missions completed); Rwanda (2 missions completed); Sierra Leone (2 missions completed);
and Cambodia (2 missions completed).
The former Yugoslavia is the only country where UN mission has been deployed in Europe. The most war affected
continent is Africa. In most of the developed countries, the mind (knowledge and eduction) is prioritised, whereas
money, muscle and mafia reign in conflicted regions, controlling the resources of developing countries. Most of the
conflicts during cold war period contributed to political/ideological aspects, while those in the post-cold war belong
to economic, socio-cultural and ethnic aspects. The unipolarity of the global politics and power is a major factor
contributing to more violence, armed/deadly conflicts and genocide/politicized. This is evident through the eruption
of violent conflicts and wars as well as the ever-increasing deployment of UN Missions.
In the 21st century, there bas been a debate on the success and failures of UN missions, where deployed, in 57
countries until now. The one-fourth of the missions have succeeded. However, some of the notable failures are
o In 1994, the Security Council refused to approve military action in Rwanda genocide, it resulted killings of
nearly one million people.
o As the MONUC partially succeeded to intervene in Congo War II, disarm ex-combatants and carried out
distribution of humanitarian aid, claimed nearly 5 million of people died during 1998-2002.
o While UN peacekeeping troops failed to hold election in Burundi, but the African Union (AU) succeeded to
maintain peace there. The Au received fruits of restore peace in Eritrea and Ethiopia in Eritrean-Ethiopean War
in compared to UN peacekeeping force. The UN peacekeeping troops succeeded to neither hold presidential
election on time nor disarm the combatants in Cote Ivoire.
o The UN political Mission again failed as the US troops entered into Somalia, which were deployed as the
peacekeeping mission returned in 1995 without success. Here the UN also failed to deliver aid when local
warloards seized the food from impoverished Somali.
o Despite Security Council resolutions 1559 and 1701, UN peacekeeping mission failed to disarm the
paramilitary groups – Fatah and Hezbollah in Lebanon.
o Israel delayed implementing Security Council resolutions calling for the dismantling of Jewish communities in
the occupied territories.
o Iraq broke several Security Council resolutions and tried to ignore the UN economic sanctions before June 28,
o UN could not control its peacekeeping missions in Congo, Haiti, Liberia, Sudan, etc. not successfully
combating the cycle of sexual abuse.
o The people across the world has accused the UN on inaction to Sudanese government in Darfur, ethnic
cleansing in Tibet and Israel-Palestin socio-cultural violence.
o Due to UN’s intergovernmental structure of member states and 15-member Security Council, the secretariat
often lacks required resources to fully implement the mandate.
o UN failed to intervene with the US, UK and other European troop occupation of Iraq. More interesting when
analyzed, is that without permission of UN Security Council - even though much pressure was exherted from
these powers - intervention in Iraq still went ahead. After they occupied and destroyed Iraqi infrastructure and
claimed the winning of the war, the UN Secuirty Council was then pressured towards mobilisation of a
peacekeeping force in a civil conflict that is still unresolved.
o Despite the mobilization of the UN Assistance Mission in Afganistan and International Security Force, the
peacekeeping troops was unable to disarm the ex-combatants except some thousands child-soldiers.
Notewithstanding, UN peacekeeping is eight-time chaper than funding the US force.
o As the UN peacekeeping force failed to comply the peace agreeemnts, the British troops along with huge
numbers of Gorkhali (Nepali personnel rectuited into Britain) intervened in Sierra Leon and partially
Except full or partial success in Cambodia, East Timor, Mozambique, Liberia, Macedonia, etc. in 75 percent of
cases the UN has failed to manage the conflict or restore peace, security and development in both politico-ideology
and/or socio-cultural (civil) wars including genocide. Why does the UN fail to manage conflict around the world?
Some of the principal reasons are:
o Belated deployment: UN peacekeeping and/or political missions mobilize(d) only when the situation becomes
terrible or out of control. For example, there is no interest on Turkish-Kurdish conflict at the moment. The UN
only intervenes after extensive media coverage, rather than clear human costs (people’s sufferings, pains and
girvances) and massive destruction of infrastructures.
o Low-tone earshot: Conflict often occurs in less developed or developing countries, but there is less influence
to hearings of them in UN macheneries. The UN appears to prioritise attention on the right of life, liberty,
security, dignity and freedom of western people as they are the ones with the controlling influence.
o Visible action: The UN focuses on visible action such as peacekeeping operations rather than political, human
rights causes, humanitarian assistance, deplomatic relations and so forth.
o Empircal/ Monastic model: In event of civil war and genocide in African countries, the AU is more successful
than UN peacekeeping missions. The UN often hesitates to mobilize local and cheaper human capitals available
and physical resources and amienities, but instead follow an expensive imperor model.
o Identity crisis: In this century, armed conflict leads to focuses on classes, castes/ethnicities, lanugages,
religions and regions, but the UN policy-makers, planners, strategists and peacemakers/builders are from
western (developed) countries. They sometimes appear to have either less, or in many cases it seems, no respect
of socio-cultural relativisms or display little in-depth knowledge of the root-causes and issues surrounding
o Protracted administration: The UN Security Council secretariat has complex and lenthy administration
procedures/systems that often cause extensive delay towards any direct action in instances of serious human
As the UN Security Council became ineffective to manage genocide/socio-cultural conflicts, the UN has initiated
deployment of the Special Representative of the Secretary General in conflict-prone areas since 2004, established
Peace Building Commission in 2005 and Human Rights Council in 2006. However, the then UN Secretary General
Kofi Annan also received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001 for work for a better organized and more peaceful world.
The UN Peacekeeping Force (blue helmets) was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1988. What is the truth? It is
clear that the trend of violence, armed/deadly conflicts and genocide/politicide throughout the globe was the highest
in this post-cold war period.
The UN Political Mission was deployed in Nepal after the Comprehensive Peace Accord in 2006 with a mandate
o Monitor the management of Arms/armies of CPN (Maoist) and government;
o Assist in monitoring the Truce;
o Provide technical support to conduct the Constituent Assembly in a free and fair manner; and
o Provide a team of electoral monitors.
Raj K Pandey, MBS, MA
Jawalakhel, Lalitpur, GPO BOX: 19862
Mobile: 977-01-98510 86884