Firsthand Perspective: Witnessing the Work of UN Peacekeepers

The author (centre) speaking with UN peacekeepers from the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA).

When you work in a war zone, the first thing you learn is where the nearest United Nations peacekeeping base is located.

That’s what I found out when I lived in Sudan ten years ago working for a humanitarian NGO. If violence erupted, those bases could save your life.

Chandrima Das (left) of the Better World Campaign poses with a farmer in Mali during a visit to the town of Gao; UN peacekeepers helped returning residents like this farmer establish a community garden.
Secretary-General António Guterres (right) stands by a wreath in honor of fallen peacekeepers in observance of the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe
Peacekeepers serving with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) conduct a patrol for women to safely collect firewood in the areas around the Protection of Civilians’ site in Bentiu. UN Photo/Isaac Billy

UN Peacekeepers help bring stability, facilitate humanitarian assistance, support democratic institutions, and help bring a sense of normalcy in fragile areas where conflict has sowed sometimes for generations.

In January, militants attacked a UN peacekeeping base in Mali, killing 10 peacekeepers from Chad and injuring 26 people. Al Qaeda later claimed responsibility for the deadly attack. Lieutenant General Dennis Gyllensporre, Force Commander for the peacekeeping mission in Mali, pays his respects to one of the fallen. UN Photo/Marco Dormino

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UN Peacekeeping

UN Peacekeeping

We help countries navigate the difficult path from conflict to peace.