UN Secretary-General António Guterres sent a letter to the Security Council on Sunday proposing the immediate activation of a rapid action force following Haiti’s request for help as gangs and protesters paralyze the country.
However, the UN faces a crisis over what its troops are willing and able to do. In addition, peacekeepers have repeatedly been accused of human rights violations against the civilians they were supposedly sent to protect, as in the case of sexual abuses in the Central African Republic.
The letter also states that the secretary-general may deploy «additional UN capabilities to support a ceasefire or humanitarian agreements.»
The letter notes that «a return to a more robust UN engagement in the form of peacekeeping remains a last resort if the international community does not urgently take decisive action in line with the options outlined and national law enforcement capacity proves unable to reverse the deteriorating security situation.»
In the face of some of the world’s worst conflicts, the security council has proven ineffective, largely because one or more of its permanent members with veto power have backed one or the other side at war.
The council’s considerable powers include sending «peacekeepers» and, at present, about 100,000 soldiers and police are deployed in some of the worst battlefields in the world.
Read more: UN: Nicaragua condemns terrorism incited by coup attempts
One of the situations the Blue Helmets have also been accused of is introducing cholera to Haiti in 2010, which cost the lives of more than 10,000 people.