Yasushi Akashi


The United Nations Protection Force for the former Yugoslavia ("UNPROFOR" or "Force") was established to deter attacks on the safe areas with the use of force, to promote the withdrawal of non-Government forces from the area, and to safeguard the delivery of humanitarian aid. UNPROFOR's experience in Bosnia, particularly in the safe areas, provides a cautionary lesson on the limits of the use of force when sustained political will to back such force, and a willingness to accept the responsibilities and consequences arising from such action, do not exist. Since its inception, UNPROFOR has faced an extraordinary amount of international criticism over its role in Bosnia. Much of the criticism has arisen from unrealistic expectations over what a U.N. peace-keeping mission can and cannot achieve in the context of ongoing hostilities or from an insufficient knowledge of UNPROFOR's mandate and hence what it was legally constituted to achieve. A U.N. peace-keeping mission, through its deployment, can generally provide relative tranquility and stability in a country torn apart by war. This note will examine these issues.