By Conflict Study Center
The conflict of Uganda, Angola, Namibia, Sudan, Congo, etc. has been the bloodiest in the history post-World War II where about 5 million people died, resulting in a situation where estimates towards 1000 people a day are still dying due to causes and consequence of those conflict forming a “make or break point” for the continuing humanitarian crisis .
The most violent conflicts of the twentieth century during ‘cold-war’ era were waged between the states, but in post-cold war, almost all the major conflicts around the world were fought within the states. Among these internal conflicts, only one-fifth of these are internationalized outside states. However, the frequency and intensity of the volatile internal conflicts are significantly intensifying in number around the world . Between 1989 and 1996, 95 of the 101 armed conflicts identified around the world were such internal confrontations . Describing the intensity of the violent conflicts around the world, Bishnu Raj Upreti writes: “In 1999 there were 40 armed conflicts being fought within the territories of 36 countries, up from 36 armed conflicts in 31 countries in 1998, and 37 in 32 countries in 1997” . Professor Peter Wallensteen of Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University stated that in 2004, there were 30 active armed conflicts, up by one from 2003. While seven of the conflicts from 2003 are no longer active, seven conflicts broke out – three with action taken by new rebel groups and four by earlier recorded actors. However, most of the government and armed groups often receive support from neighboring states rather than other rebel groups.
The armed conflicts have displaced millions of population. Internally displaced persons (IDPs) are people who are forced to flee their homes unlike refugees, remain within their country. At the end of 2006, the world IDP population estimates 24.5 million in some 52 countries, where Africa has the largest population with almost half (48 %) in 21 countries . According to the Internally Displaced People Report 2006, the significant IDP populations are:
· Afghanistan: 132,000 IDPs occurred after the US and British forces initiated War on Terror in Afghanistan on October 7, 2001 in response to the 9-11 attacks. These forces initially successfully removed the Taliban regime, but without success to capture Osama bin Laden and destroy al-Qaeda.
· Azerbaijan : 579,000-687,000 IDPs occurred due to the intervention of US forces.
· Burma ( Myanmar) : 500,000 IDPs occurred due to decade’s long war between state and ethnic groups.
· Burundi: 100,000 IDPs occurred due to fighting between government, Tutsi minority and Hutu majority rebel groups in which 500,000 Hutu and moderate Tutsi died in well-designed genocide.
· Colombia : 1.8 to 3.8 million IDPs occurred due to the war between the government, FARC, AUC and other armed groups.
· Congo: 1.1 million IDPs occurred due to the armed conflict between government and the Mai-Mai militia, multiple opportunistic militias, sprang up, supplied by the arms traffickers particularly the US, Russia and China. The Mai-Mai was formed as civil defense against the eternal invaders (Rwanda, Uganda, Angola, Zimbabwe and Namibia), but went against the government similar to Bin Laden. Between 1998 and 2002, over 3.8 million people killed along with the majority of animals of that region.
· Cyprus : 210,000 IDPs occurred due to the inter-communal messes of 1964 and Turkish invasion 1974.
· Ethiopia : 100,000 to 280,000 IDPs occurred due to the Somali Civil War.
· Georgia : 222,000 to 241,000 IDPs occurred due to the ethnic Georgian population who fled Abkhazia after the civil war of 1991-93.
· India: 600,000 IDPS occurred due to Indian-administered Kashmir to anti- Hindu and anti-India insurgency as well as migration from Nepal due to People’s War.
· Iraq : 1.7 million occurred due to forced displacement during Saddam Hussein’s rule, and skirmishing between the Multi-National Force and Iraqi insurgent groups.
· Lebanon: 216,000 to 800,000 IDPs occurred due to more than half-century long period of conflict.
· Liberia: 850,000 IDPs occured due to the government and the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) under the leadership of the former president Charles Taylor . The civil war claimed the lives of more than 250,000 civilians.
· Rwanda: Undetermined IDPs occurred after the two Hutu presidents of Rwanda and the Hutu president of Burundi were killed  in April 6, 1994 plane incident. Over the three months between April – July 1994, the Hutu-led military and Interahamwe militia groups killed 800,000 Tutsis and Hutu moderates in the genocide.
· Somalia: 400,000 IDPs and 1.5 million refugees in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Yemen and beyond, due to civil war between the Islamic Courts Union – supported by Ethiopian and Eritrea rivals and Alliance for the Restoration of Peace and counter-Terrorism (ARPCT) – backed by Ethiopia.
· Sudan: 5.3 million IDPs occurred due to civil/ethnic war in the South and Darfur in the west and in eastern Chad .
· Sri Lanka: 500,000 IDPs occurred due to the ethnic conflict between Sinhalese-led government (community forms the majority of the population) and separatist Tamil (ethnic majority in north and east of the island) or Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which is, know as Ceylon before 1972.
· Uganda : 1.2 to 1.7 million IDPs occurred due to the insurgency of the Lord’s Army and Hutu vs. Tutsi.
· West Bank and Gaza : 200,000 to 500,000 IDPs occurred due to house destruction and land confiscation by the Israeli government. And so forth.
UN Missions in the world
Debates and discussions have taken up regarding the UN political and peacekeeping missions after UNMIN stepped into Nepal. There are comments and questions whether UNMIN will be able to harvest success. Will UNMIN be guiding the fate of the country for peace, security and development? What is the history of UN Missions? What are their successes or failures up to this point? Is the UN, with 192 member countries, a common platform for all? If yes and/or no, why? This paper is devoted to addressing these issues based on the information we were able to gather and analyze.
Did armed conflict decline in during-/post-cold war era?
The Human Security Report 2005 stated that the trends of numbers of wars, genocides and human rights violations/abuses have dramatically declined. In post-cold war era, the statistics says:
o a 40% drop in violent conflict (early 1990s)
o an 80% drop in the most deadly conflicts (1998 to 2001)
o a 70% drop in international crises (1981 to 2001)
o a 98% drop the extrajudicial killings (38,000 people were killed in 1950s, but the figure is at 600 in 2002)
o a net decrease in core human rights abuses (1994 to 2003)
If we minutely analyze the United Nations peacekeeping and political missions and their mobilization, the above-mentioned facts-and-figures confront one another. During-cold war era, there had been a lesser number of mobilizations of UN peacekeeping and political completed missions.
o Africa: On the course to prevent the intervention of the foreign troops and preserve the territory of the Congo, the UN Operation in the Congo (UNOC)  was a mobilized peacekeeping mission from 1960 to June 1964. To enforce Truce UNAVEM I (Angola Verification Mission I) , it was operated against the Angolan civil war in between 1989 to end of February 1991. Against Namibian War of Independence, UN Transition Assistance Group (TAC)  was mobilized to supervise elections and transition to independence during 1989-90.
o Americas: To monitor the political situation caused by rival government in Dominican Republic, Mission of the Representative of the Secretary General in the Dominican Republic was mobilized during 1965-66 . Similarly, UN Observer Group in Central America (ONUCA) was mobilized to monitor the truce in Nicaragua 1989–92 .
o Asia: The UN Security Force (SF) was mobilized to monitor truce of transition of West from Dutch rule to Indonesian takeover in West New Guinea  from 1962-63. Similarly, to enforce Afghanistan-Pakistan for mutual non-interference, UNGOMAP was operated during 1988-90 .
o Middle East: During 1956 to 67, to supervise withdrawal of troops in the six-day war (Suez Crisis) between Egypt and Israel , UNEF-1 (UN Emergency Force I)  was deployed. UNOGIL (Observation Group in Lebanon)  was mobilized to prevent entry of troops and weapons in Lebanon during Lebanon Crisis in 1958. UNEF II was instilled to supervise the withdrawal of troops from Sinai after armed conflict (1973-79) between Egypt , Syria and Israel . UNIIMOG (Iran-Iraq Military Observation Group)  was mobilized to supervise the Truce after the war (1989-91) between Iran and Iraq. UNYOM (Yemen Observation Mission)  was rallied to disengage Saudi Arabia and Egypt in the Yemen Civil War (1962-64).
In the post-cold war era, the following points are evident of the increasing trend of the UN involvement in the violence, armed/deadly conflicts and genocide/politicide throughout the globe:
o Africa: UNAVEM II  was mobilized during 1991-95 to enforce/monitor Truce during Angolan Civil War. UNAVEM III was operated 1995-97 to disarm the rebel forces and monitor Truce. During Mozambican Civil War in 1992-94, ONUMOZ (Operation in Mozambique)  was operated to monitor Truce. In 1992-93 UN Operation in Somalia I (UNOSOM I)  was initiated to enforce Truce as a UNITAF (Unified Task Force), which was replaced by UNOSOM II  in 1993 March till the end of 1995 during Civil War II with the purpose to establish peace and humanitarian aid. UNOMIL (Observer Mission in Liberia)  was instilled during Liberian Civil War I in 1993-97 to monitor Truce and election. Since 2003, UNMIL (Mission in Liberia) sent a force consisting of 3,000 civil, military and police to oversee and maintain Truce, train the security force and repatriate 850 thousand refugees. UNOMUR (Observation Mission Uganda-Rwanda)  was operated during Rwanda-Uganda genocide, 1993-94, to enforce and monitor Truce in Rwanda and rebel groups in Uganda. UNAMIR (Assistance Mission for Rwanda)  was deployed during Rwanda genocide, 1993-96 to monitor Truce and promote relief efforts. UNOMSIL (Observation Mission in Sierra Leone)  was mobilized during 1998-99 to monitor Disarmament, Demobilization and Rehabilitation (DDR), which was extended until 2005 to disarm and stabilize peace. In Burundi, Hutu extremists conducted ethnic cleansing of Tutsi during 1972, 1988 and 1993. Tutsi officials murdered the first elected Hutu PM and conflict issues until 1996 then intensified. Genocidal incidences continued until 2006, known as Burundi Civil War. UNOB (Operation in Burundi)  mobilized only after a long period of genocide during 2004–06.
o Americas: ONUSAL (Observer Mission in El Salvador)  was mobilized during 1991–95 in the Civil War to enforce and monitor Truce. UNSMIH (Support Mission in Haiti )  operated after the Coup and Military Rule in Haiti since 1993 until 1996 to overturn the Coup and stabilize peace. Again UNSMIH (Support Mission in Haiti) was mobilized to stabilize Haiti’s new democracy (modernize army and police) during 1996–97. UN Transition Mission in Haiti was deployed in 1997 to help stabilize peace. Again, from 1997 to 2000, UN Civilian Police Mission in Haiti operated to modernize the police. UN Verification Mission (MINUGUA)  was deployed in Guatemala during the Civil War in 1997 to monitor Truce.
o Asia: UNAMIC (Advance Mission in Cambodia)  operated during Vietnamese invasion and occupation of Cambodia (1991-1992) as a gateway for UNTAC Transitional Authority in Cambodia. UNTAC was deployed in 1992–93 to assist reorganization for monitoring Truce and Constituent Assembly Election. UN Observer Mission in Tajikistan  was instilled in 1994-2002 during Tajikistan Civil War to monitor Truce. UNAMET ( Mission in East Timor)  was deployed after Indonesian invasion and occupation to oversee referendum on political relation to Indonesia in 1999. The follow up mission, UN Transitional Administration in East Timor, was operated from 1999-2002 to transit to independence. Again, UNMISET (Mission of Support in East Timor) was deployed from 2002-05 for ensuring security and stabilize the new independent State.
o Middle East: UNIKOM (Iraq-Kuwait Observation Mission) was deployed in the Gulf War , 1991-2003, to enforce and monitor the Iraq Kuwait border.
o Europe: UNPROFOR (Protection Force) was operationalized during Yugoslav Wars (1992-95) to protect Croatia, Bosnia , Herzegovina and Macedonia . Again, UNCRO (Confidence Operation Mission) was deployed during Croatian War  in 1994-96, to monitor Truce. During 1995-96 UNTAES (Transitional Authority in Eastern Slovenia , Baranja and Western Sirmium) in the Croatian was instilled to supervise integration of regions into Croatia. In 1998, UNPSG (Civilian Police Support Group) was deployed to monitor and train Croatian police. Further from 1995-99 UNDURINGDEP (preventive Deployment Force) as an aftermath of Yugoslav War to monitor the border between Albania and Macedonia . UNMIBH (Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina)  was deployed during Bosnian War (1995-2002) to monitor human rights, and supply humanitarian aids.
Ongoing UN Missions in the world
o 1948: The first UN Peacekeeping Mission, UNTSO (Truce Supervision Organization) , was founded to monitor various Truces
o 1949: UNMOGIP (Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan )  during Indo-Pakistan War to monitor Cease Fire in Kashmir
o 1964: UNFICYP (Peacekeeping Mission in Cyprus) on Cyprus dispute to prevent conflict between Greek, Turkish and Cypriots
o 1974: UNDOF (Disengagement Observer Force) to maintain truce between Syria and Israel at Golan Heights  and agreed withdrawal of troops following the Yom  Kippur War
o 1978: UNIFIL (Interim Force in Lebanon)  to supervise Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon and help Lebanon government to maintain peace and security
o 1991: MINURSO ( Mission for Referendum in Western Sahara during Moroccan occupation in Western Sahara to implement Truce and help promote referendum
o 1993: UNOMIG (Observer Mission in Georgia)  during Abkhazian war to enforce Truce between Georgia and Abkhaz separatists
o 1999: UNMIK (Interim Administrative Mission in Kosovo)  to exercise administrative and judicial justice in Kosovo
o 1999: MONUC (Organization Mission in Congo) to monitor Truce during Congo War II
o 2000: UNME ( Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea)  to enforce and monitor Truce in Ethiopian/Eritrean War
o 2003: UNMIL ( Mission in Liberia) in Liberian Civil War II to oversee Cease Fire
o 2004: UN Mission to monitor Truce in Civil War in Cote d’ Ivoire
o 2004: UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti to monitor rebellion
o 2005: UNMIS (Mission in Sudan)  to implement/monitor Comprehensive Peace Agreement, assist humanitarian aid and protect and promote human rights during (North/South) Civil War II
o 2006: UNMIT (Mission in Timor Lest) during East Timor Crisis to support government initiation to peace and stability, facilitate political dialogue, enhance culture of democratic governance and foster social cohesion
o 2007: UNAMID (African Union Mission in Darfur) during Darfur conflict to monitor Arms Trade and maintain Truce
 Pathak, Bishnu. 2006. Politics of People’s War and Human Rights in Nepal. Kathmandu: Bimipa Publication, page 1.
 Harris, Peter and Reilly Ben. 1998. Democracy and Deep-Rooted Conflict: Options for Negotiators . Stockholm: IDEA, page 1.
 Upreti, Bishnu Raj. 2002. Management of Social and Resource Conflict in Nepal: Realities and Alternatives . Delhi: Adroit Publishers, page ix.
 both assassinated when their jet was shot down by missiles from the Ugandan army.
 http://www.un.org/Depts/Dpko/Missions/unavem1/unavemi.htm .
 http://www.un.org/Depts/Dpko/dpko/co_mission/ undof.htm
[This is the background information for the post: Shall UNMIN Succeed in Nepal?