Briefly describe Canada's history of contributing military forces for peacekeeping missions around the world.

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kipling2448 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Canadian contributions to United Nations peacekeeping missions go back to the very begining of the U.N.'s history, beginning with its participation in the United Nations Temporary Commission on Korea in 1947.  Since then, Canadian troops have been involved in a multitude of peacekeeping missions, many in the Middle East and Africa, in addition to its long association with the Korean peninsula.

Most of the peacekeeping missions to which Canada contributed troops and police officers involved the monitoring of ceasefires in places like the Western Sahara, Cambodia, the India-Pakistan border, and Angola, as well as serving as election monitors in the strife-torn nations of Haiti and Mozambique.

But Canada's history of participating in U.N.-sponsored peacekeeping missions was badly scarred by the organization's disasterous efforts at preventing genocide in Rwanda in the mid-1990s.  As detailed in his book on the tragedy, Canadian Army officer Lieutenant Colonel Romeo Dallaire described his frustrations at trying desperately to convince his superiors in the United Nations to authorize forces under his command to intervene to stop the slaughter of members of the Tutsi tribe by the rampaging Hutu.  

Despite the negative experience of Rwanda, Canada continues to participate in peacekeeping missions.

For more on the Rwanda debacle, read:

Romeo Dallaire, "Shake Hands with the Devil," 2003.