ABSTRACT

The series of events shows how difficult it was and is to stay out of the local security arena when physically present with soldiers. This chapter focuses on shedding more light on the balance sheet of outside efforts to bring security to African countries, in particular through the deployment of peace-keeping troops. It argues that a realistic appreciation must include local perspectives on peace-keepers and their relations to other state and non-state actors in the security arena. The ambiguous balance sheet of peace-keepers in the local arena has become evident in reports of rape and child abuse by peace-keepers that have been published, mostly on the UN mission in the DRC since early 2004. International peace-keepers in Cte dIvoire received a particularly negative local assessment. Local people have the opposite experience and as a consequence come to a much more positive assessment of peace-keepers. The Libyan troops and CEN-SAD peace-keepers received more local criticism.