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date: 24 February 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Over the last fifteen years, the Protection of Civilians (POC) has become a central task of peacekeeping operations. Despite this prominent role and the mediatized criticism on protection failures, knowledge about how protection functions in practice is actually quite limited. This chapter, therefore, examines protection practices on the ground in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) and South Sudan (UNMISS) and connects the findings to the existing literature. In this way, the chapter identifies a number of operational issues in the administration, planning, and coordination of protection, and describes how these issues have contributed to the success and/or failure of specific protection efforts across missions. This chapter argues that despite the practical overlap and implications for the physical security of populations in armed conflict, the POC, and Women, Peace, and Security agendas have evolved in rather disconnected ways. At the same time, we observe that the emergence of the WPS agenda has facilitated increased recognition of gendered vulnerabilities in protection.

Keywords: protection of civilians, peacekeeping, UNMISS, MONUSCO, operational issues

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