Mbaraka Naziad Mkeremy Jacob Lisakafu


Citizens’ protests against UN Peacekeepers in Africa are on the increase. This article draws from MONUSCO's experience in DRC to address one crucial question: Why are local populations launching violent demonstrations against UN Peacekeepers in DRC?   The study utilises human needs theory to reveal that unfulfilled civilian security needs manifest in violent mass protests against peacekeepers. This article argues that while civilian protection remains UN’s priority, violent demonstrations against MONUSCO in the DRC and emerging protests elsewhere in Africa put UN’s peacekeeping role into question. The study anticipates continued citizens’ protests unless there is a change in UN’s strategies to enhance the capability of peacekeeping operations. The article utilises qualitative data from key informant interviews and evidence from documentary sources. The analysis indicates that the Congolese population is frustrated with MONUSCO’s failure to protect them from a series of attacks by armed rebels. Consequently, citizens have launched violent demonstrations against peacekeepers to voice their concerns for meeting their security needs. This calls UN to review the peacekeeping strategy to ensure the relevance of peacekeeping operations for the long-term and effective protection of civilians.