UN watchdog: Peacekeepers almost never used force

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Associated Press

Posted on May 16, 2014 at 4:32 PM

Updated Friday, May 16 at 4:34 PM

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United Nations' internal watchdog says U.N. peacekeeping forces responded immediately to only a minority of attacks on civilians and almost never used force to protect them when they did.

The Office of Internal Oversight Services said only 20 percent of 507 attacks reported by the secretary-general between 2010 and 2013 led to an immediate response by eight U.N. peacekeeping missions it evaluated.

"In most cases, mission personnel were not on site at the time of the attack and did not reach the site during the attack," the office said in a report to the General Assembly this week.

U.N. peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous expressed regret Friday that the report focused "solely on the last resort — the use of force" and not comprehensive political solutions which "must always be paramount."

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