More on the Eritrean Peacekeeping Crisis

Reader Marian Houk in Jerusalem takes exception to a point made in yesterday’s post on UNMEE

I would agree with UN Dispatch that “the crisis facing the UN mission there is one of the more disturbing developments facing UN peacekeeping a long while.”

But I am more than surprised — I am perturbed — at the suggestion…that “Flagrant violations of the accepted rules of peacekeeping cannot be allowed to go unpunished.”

How does UN Dispatch suggest that any such violations be “punished”, exactly?

A fair question. “The UN”, as an institution, does not have the authority to punish or sanction member states. The Security Council, however, does have that power–and I am suggesting that it use the threat of sanction or other punitive action to respond to this flagrant harassment of peacekeepers. The actions of Eritrea are so disturbing because it shows the rest of the world that peacekeepers can be bullied out of their job by a member state. The Security Council needs to push back, and demonstrate to the world that that there are consequences to this kind of behavior.

And yes (neccesary caveat) the Security Council should be doing more to press Ethiopia to abide by the ruling of the Hague Court of Arbitration that awarded the disputed town of Badme to Eritrea.

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