University for Peace Global Network for Upeacebuilders
Friday November 24th 2017

Casualties during Peace Keeping Missions

There have been many casualties amongst the UN peacekeepers while performing their duties. Although the rate is not that high, the majority of the deaths occurred in recent years.

The main force of peace keepers comes from countries like Pakistan, Canada and Ireland etc. These countries are well experienced and are familiar with the problems that could cause fatal injuries. These countries have devised safe and effective ways to avoid such situations.

The following is approximate data concerning deaths and injuries to UN peace keepers in last 60 years:
• Over 1000 peacekeepers died
• Over 4000 wounded
• Biggest casualty: 344 dead in 1982 in Beirut

Public Response
Although there have been few casualties; the public has shown a favorable response towards maintenance of peace through UN peace keepers. This is because the results produced by these forces are positive and have helped maintain peace in other parts of the world..
There are some organizations and groups, which are against the peace keepers being placed in conflict areas. These are very few in number . The only substantial evidence they present is of some rare cases where the peace keepers sided with one faction and due to this aligned behavior, the conflict was aggravated and that caused deaths and injuries amongst the peace keepers.
The public response is muted if there are no casualties during an operation. Whenever, there is an incident and that involves deaths or injuries to the peace keepers; especially to women, there is a hue and cry and a debate for or against the peace keeping mission. Generally, people and groups from the country of origin show anger or negative response when fellow countrymen are killed..

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