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UN peacekeepers urged to use force to 'save lives'

A new initiative from Rwanda and the Netherlands seeks to persuade countries that contribute troops to UN peacekeeping to agree to more robust action and more readily intervene instead of staying behind the high walls of their UN compoundsRwanda and the Netherlands, two countries embroiled in the UN’s worst peacekeeping failures, on Wednesday launched a push at the United Nations for blue helmets to more readily use force to defend civilians in conflicts. The initiative seeks to persuade countries that contribute troops to UN peacekeeping to agree to more robust action and more readily intervene instead of staying behind the high walls of their UN compounds. “The blue flag needs to stand for protection and it doesn’t always,” Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders told the gathering at UN headquarters in New York.

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