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date: 18 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Authorized in the wake of the Srebrenica massacre and Rwandan genocide, the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was the first of two UN peacekeeping missions to receive an explicit protection of civilians (POC) mandate in 2000. This chapter discusses the challenges the UN mission faced in implementing this POC mandate over 15 years of existence. It analyses how lessons from early protection crises led the mission to develop a series of innovative tools for a better peacekeeping response, up to the establishment of the Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) in 2013. This chapter concludes with some lessons including the need for a shift from a largely UN-centric and troop-intensive approach to physical protection to a greater focus on strengthening national protection capacities as part of a broader political/stabilization strategy, which encourages and empowers the host government to shoulder its primary responsibility to protect its citizens.

Keywords: peacekeeping, civilian protection, Democratic Republic of Congo, stabilization, Force Intervention Brigade

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