By Jamie Arbuckle, for Peacehawks
Have you heard the one about how many Peacekeepers it takes to change a light bulb?
Actually, any number will do – but the light bulb has to want to change.
To know where we are going, we need to know where we are, and to know that, we usually need to know where we have been. To look ahead, then, we often need to look back.
One of the most critical factors in modern peace operations has, since the creation of the United Nations, been the issue of consent to and the continuing support for an operation. The UN is hard-wired for consensual operations; it’s in the DNA, in the Charter:
… the peacemaker must ‘wage’ peace.
– Ben Hoffmann
Peace Guerilla – unarmed and in harm’s way, my obsession with ending violence
By Ben Hoffmann, Ph.D., The Canadian International Institute of Applied Negotiation, Ottawa, 2009 206 pp., $12.96 (Cdn)
A review for Peacehawks by Jamie Arbuckle
This book is the story of Ben Hoffman’s efforts to end a nineteen-year old war between Sudan and Uganda. His chief instrument in this was the Nairobi Agreement, which had been mediated by former President Jimmy Carter in December, 1999. Ben, working on behalf of the Carter Center (http://www.cartercenter.org/homepage.html), was to oversee the implementation of the Agreement. To do so, he would have to end the guerilla war being waged by Joseph Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army against the Government of Uganda, from safe areas within and with the support of Sudan. Kony’s LRA was an especially vile band, kidnapping children for “warriors” and “wives”. Kony himself, as Ben makes graphically clear, was mad, bad and dangerous to know. And get to know him Ben did, with all that entailed. If you take nothing else from this reading, you will empathize with the courage and the self-reliance required for this sort of intervention.