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Canadian Involvement in International Conflicts - Peacekeeping & Beyond -. New World Order. End of Cold War did not bring peace to the world - numerous regional conflicts and ethnic rivalries, such as: Gulf War – Iraqi invasion of Kuwait (1991) Former Yugoslavia (1991-1999) Somalia (1992)

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New world order
New World Order

  • End of Cold War did not bring peace to the world - numerous regional conflicts and ethnic rivalries, such as:

    • Gulf War – Iraqi invasion of Kuwait (1991) Former Yugoslavia (1991-1999)

    • Somalia (1992)

    • Rwanda (1994)

    • Afghanistan (2001-present)

    • US invasion of Iraq (2003-present)

Un peacekeeping
UN Peacekeeping

  • The UN has helped millions of people worldwide through peacekeeping operations, and its social and economic agencies.

  • Canada has been a strong supporter of the UN; by 1999 Canadian peacekeepers had been involved in every UN operation since the start of these missions in 1956.

Peacekeeping cont
Peacekeeping – cont’

  • 1st time “peacekeeping” used – in Suez Crisis of 1956

    • Lester B. Pearson’s suggestion – won Nobel Peace Prize for this in 1957

  • Initially developed as a means to resolve conflict between states

Peacekeeping cont1
Peacekeeping – cont’

  • Achieved by deploying unarmed or lightly armed military personnel from a number of countries between the armed forces of the states that were formerly at war

  • In these circumstances – ceasefire in place and parties involved agreed to allow UN forces to be present

  • Peacekeepers NOT part of the conflict – they observed the ceasefire

Peacekeeping cont2
Peacekeeping – cont’

With end of Cold war -dramatic shift in role of UN peacekeepers

a) More Missions

b) Peacekeeping WITHIN states

  • Often in civil war situations

  • Without borders - often no clear area of conflict – fighting spread out throughout country’s territory

Cyprus – UN buffer Zone in Blue

Peacekeeping cont3
Peacekeeping cont’

c) More Actors

  • Now other organizations such as NATO have become involved

    d) Peace “Making”

  • Peacekeeping no longer simply standing between 2 armies to keep the peace

  • Increasingly a matter of creating a peace where none exists

Un africa missions
UN - Africa Missions

Adobe Acrobat Required !

Peacekeeping cont4
Peacekeeping cont’

e) Changing Role of Peacekeepers

Modern peacekeeping involves:

  • Training and restructuring local police forces

  • De-mining

  • Conducting elections

  • Facilitating the return of refugees

  • Monitoring human rights

  • demobilizing and reintegrating former soldiers

  • Promoting sustainable democracy and economic development

Peacekeeping cont5
Peacekeeping cont’

f) More Diverse Skills

  • In order to respond to more complex situation, peacekeepers require a more diverse set of skills – experts include:

    • Regional & municipal administrators

    • Judges and prosecutors to develop judiciaries or run courts

    • Media, health, tax, and social policy advisors

    • Child protection experts

    • Security experts

    • Facilitators and mediators

    • Experts to help with sewage treatment plants or railways

Peacekeeping cont6
Peacekeeping cont’

g) Humanitarian Interventions

  • Armed intervention with the intention of protecting human rights within the confines of another sovereign state

  • Much debate re: the legality of intervening without consent in the affairs of sovereign states (sovereign – free from external control)

  • If state sovereignty not protected – could be seen as imperialism

  • However: important not to have human rights violations and crimes against humanity

Canadian peacekeeping missions
Canadian Peacekeeping Missions

  • Egypt: 1956-67; 1973-78; 1987-present

  • Cyprus: 1963-92

  • Cambodia: 1972

  • Syria: 1978-present

  • Persian Gulf: 1990-91

  • Bosnia: 1991-97

  • Somalia: 1993-96

  • Rwanda: 1994-95

  • Haiti: 1995-98; 2004

  • East Timor: 1999-2001

  • Ethiopia and Eritrea: 2000-03

  • Afghanistan: 2001-present

1991 gulf war
1991 Gulf War

  • August, 1990 – Iraqi army invaded Kuwait

  • with US/ UN involvement became “Operation Desert Storm” – Gulf War

  • Canada cooperated with the US in the first Gulf War because it was a UN-sanctioned mission

  • Began when Iraq invaded Kuwait (a sovereign nation)

  • Canadian ships and fighter planes were deployed to the area

Somalia 1992
Somalia - 1992

  • A drought-ridden land, Somalia engaged in civil war, with no internationally recognized government, from 1991 until 2005

  • thousands died from starvation and war

Somalia cont
Somalia – cont’

  • In 1992, the United States organized an international military force to try to end the chaos - Known as“Operation Restore Hope”

  • Canada contributed 900 soldiers from its elite Airborne Regiment. The mission was a disaster.

  • The troops were unable to establish control and found themselves fighting the very people they had been sent to help.

Somalia cont1
Somalia – cont’

  • Some desperate Somalis started stealing from the soldiers' supplies.

  • On March 4, 1993, Canadian soldiers found two Somalis on the grounds of their Belet Huen camp.

  • They shot at the pair, killing one and wounding the other.

Somalia 19921
Somalia – 1992

  • A few days later, a teenager was caught breaking into the camp

  • Soldiers beat him to death.

  • One of these Canadian soldiers subsequently attempted suicide

  • A huge cover-up occurred, stretching all the way to the top ranks of the military

Clayton Matchee with Somali teen Shidane Arone

Kyle Brown,

Somalia affair
Somalia Affair”

  • The military scandal that ensued, magnified by a highly politicized and publicized enquiry, that greatly damaged the reputation amongst Canadians of their military

  • resulted in the disbandment of the military unit involved (Airborne Regiment), as well significant changes to the Canadian Forces

Ethnic cleansing
Ethnic Cleansing

  • Ethnic Cleansing is a process in which the advancing army of one ethnic group expels civilians of other ethnic groups from towns and villages it conquers in order to create ethnically pure enclaves for members of their ethnic group.

    “In Germany they first came for the communists; and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a communist. Then they came for the Jews; and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists; and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics; and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Catholic. Then they came for me – and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.” – Martin Niemoller


  • Genocide, as defined by the United Nations in 1948, means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, including:

    (a) Killing members of the group

    (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group

    (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part

    (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group

    (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

Genocide con t
Genocide – con’t

  • What remains unclear is the question of when institutionalized killing rises to the level of ethnic cleansing, or genocide.

  • The answer depends on whether events are seen through the eyes of victims or perpetrators.

  • More important is whether the international community recognizes genocide and whether it is prepared to act to stop it.

The eight stages of genocide by gregory h stanton
The Eight Stages of Genocide By Gregory H. Stanton

1. Classification

2. Symbolization

3. Dehumanization

4. Organization

8 stages of genocide
8 Stages of Genocide

5. Polarization

6. Preparation

7. Extermination

8. Denial

Ethnic cleansing1
Ethnic Cleansing

  • Occurred in both Rwanda and former Yugoslavia in 1990s

  • Former Yugoslavia: ethnic Cleansing created more than two million refugees and displaced persons during the war in Bosnia

    • This number increased with the expulsion of Serbs from Croatia and with the ferocious atrocities committed by Serbs against the Albanian majority in Kosovo, prior and during (in spite of) NATO air strikes.

Yugoslavia 1991 1999
Yugoslavia – 1991 – 1999

  • The United Nations got involved in September 1991

  • Canadian peacekeepers sent in 1991 until 1997

    • Fought mostly in Bosnia

    • Secured Sarejevo airport

  • Also participated as part of NATO forces in bombing raids and as peacekeepers in Kosovo

CBC archives - Providing 'safe havens' in Bosnia

Bosnia herzogovina 1992 1995
Bosnia-Herzogovina 1992-1995

  • Yugoslavia has a long history of conflict between a very diverse mix of ethnic and religious groups

  • When Soviet Union collapsed in 1989, fighting erupted between various ethnic groups, leading to independence for Slovenia and Croatia

  • When Bosnian Muslims declared independence, Yugoslav president Slobadan Milosevic attacked to support the Serbian minority

UN peacekeepers – 1992 Stripped area – Canadian sector

Former yugoslavia1
Former Yugoslavia

  • As the Serbs forces advanced, they began to systematically eliminate Muslims (Mostly Albanians) and Muslim villages, in what became known as “ethnic cleansing.”

  • Over 200,000 Muslim civilians were murdered and 2,000,000 fled as refugees before NATO forces intervened to halt the genocide.

  • After agreeing to a cease-fire in Bosnia, the Serbs focused their attention and ethnic cleansing on Kosovo, which led to the NATO air war and the arrest of Milosevic on war crimes charges.

Rwanda 1994
Rwanda – 1994

  • Rwanda is one of the smallest countries in Central Africa, with just 7 million people, and is comprised of two main ethnic groups, the Hutu and the Tutsi.

  • Hutus account for 85-90% of the population

  • Tutsi minority (10-15%) was made the aristocracy of Rwanda during Belgian colonial rule and dominated Hutu peasants for decades

  • Following independence from Belgium in 1962, the Hutu majority seized power and reversed the roles, oppressing the Tutsis through systematic discrimination and acts of violence.

Rwanda cont
Rwanda – cont’

  • As a result, over 200,000 Tutsis fled to neighboring countries and formed a rebel guerrilla army, the Rwandan Patriotic Front

  • In October 1993 the first elected Hutu president of Burundi was assassinated, sparking conflict

  • A 2,500 U.N. peacekeeping force was sent to preserve a cease-fire while Rwandan and Burundi presidents met to work out a peace plan

Rwandan genocide
Rwandan Genocide

  • April, 1994 - Hutus began an unprecedented killing spree, while the international community watched in horror and did nothing.

  • In July 1994, Tutsi rebels defeated the Hutus, stopping the genocide, which had claimed over 800,000 lives, more than 10% of Rwanda’s population.


  • Canadian General Romeo Dallaire was in charge of the mission

  • His hands were continuously tied by UN

  • Genocide may have been stopped if they had allowed him to intervene earlier


Land mines issue
Land Mines Issue

  • Anti-Personnel Land Mines – major problem faced by people in war-torn countries

  • 110 million anti-personnel mines in over 64 countries in the world

  • Internationally, 500 people die each week because of land mines & thousands maimed

  • cannot distinguish between the combat boots of a soldier and the footfall of an innocent child.

Land mines cont
Land Mines – cont’

  • Land mines cost only $5 to buy – cost between $300-$1,000 EACH to remove

  • Estimates say would take 1,000 years to clear the world of land mines if no new mines laid

  • However – for every mine cleared, 20 more are laid

  • Only mine clearance technique known to be 100% effective – manually with metal detectors, prodders, and hand brooms

Land mines con t
Land Mines – con’t

  • most heavily mine-affected countries in the world, according to a UN study, are: Afghanistan, Angola, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cambodia, Croatia, Eritrea, Iraq, Mozambique, Namibia, Somalia, Nicaragua and Sudan.

These 12 countries together account for almost 50 percent of the landmines currently deployed in the world and also suffer the highest number of landmines casualities.

Land mines con t1
Land Mines – con’t

  • Top Land-mine producing countries include China, Russia, and the USA

  • 1996 – Canada’s Foreign Minister, Lloyd Axworthy – hosted an international conference on Land Mines

  • December, 1997 – over 120 countries signed the Anti-Personnel Land Mines Treaty in Ottawa

  • Bans the use, production, transfer, and stockpiling of land mines


Us invasion of iraq 2003
US Invasion of Iraq - 2003

  • Chretien’s government refused to support the US-led invasion because it was NOT sanctioned by the UN

Afghanistan 2001 present
Afghanistan - 2001 - present

  • When USA was attacked on September 11th, 2001, Canada became involved in Afghanistan as part of the NATO Alliance

  • Controversial re: whether we should remain there or not

New era globalization
New Era - Globalization

  • new trend developed – centered around making money (economics) globalization – vast network of business, communications, and cultural links among countries

  • goods and information travel more freely

Globalization pros and cons
Globalization – Pros and Cons

  • Pros mostly for the “have” people and countries

    • developed world & wealthy corporations

  • Cons mostly for “have not” people and countries

    • developing world and poor

  • ad