Thursday, June 19, 2003

French Ask UN for "License to Kill"

The French commander of the United Nations special emergency forces in Congo says he needs a “license to kill” if the forces are ever to bring peace and counter the guerrocracy now ruling the region.

Currently, the UN troops are deployed under a Chapter 6 mandate that allows them only to fire in self-defense. A Chapter 7 mandate from the Security Council presumably would allow them to kill people more arbitrarily.

So how’s it going?
Fighters, many of them children, from the Hema faction that controls Bunia still swagger through the town or zoom around in pickups, with Kalashnikov assault rifles slung over their shoulders.

UN officials say the security situation in Bunia has deteriorated since June 8, two days after the first French forces arrived, with reports of abductions, killings and rape.

Hmmm, let’s recap here. French troops under the UN flag are helpless to stop armed children from kidnapping, killing and raping the citizens of Bunia. Indeed, their presence seems to have made the “security situation” worse.

Aside from the obvious fact that French troops under the UN flag seems as certain a formula for defeat as, say, Michael Dukakis coaching the Chicago Cubs . . . what's with the UN’s rather legalistic rules of engagement?

I wonder if a Chapter 8 Security Council mandate allows UN troops to actually mount a successful military operation.

A Chapter 9 mandate may be a victorious campaign complete with a humiliating peace treaty signing.

Chapter 10, I believe, refers to “Operation Grand Slam” by which the United Nations becomes an unstoppable military juggernaut crushing all opposition under its iron Gucci loafers and annexing sovereign territory at will.

Of course, a Chapter 6 mandate is deployment in a dangerous situation without any weapons at all and Chapter 5 is an airdrop of UN troops to be used as human shields against other UN troops with a better mandate.

Chapters 1 through 4 are written in French.

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