Unique data from UN peace operations in Africa

The United Nations Protection of Civilians Operations dataset (UNPOCO) captures 200 United Nations military protection operations.

Stian KjeksrudThe data is collected from ten UN missions across Africa between 2000 and 2017. Stian Kjeksrud at the Norwegian Defence University College created UNPOCO to support his PhD thesis. The data collection and coding were completed while he was a senior researcher at the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI) and a PhD candidate at the University of Oslo (UiO). UNPOCO is freely available for download via DataverseNO, where you also find a detailed codebook.

What kind of information can you find in UNPOCO?

While UN peace operations often are criticised for failing to intervene militarily when civilians are under threat, UNPOCO captures 200 events where UN troops actually used force to protect civilians from imminent threats of violence. Each event has been coded on a range of variables, including, but not limited to, time and location, perpetrator characteristics, type of violence, type of UN response, casualty figures, and outcome of operations. It also includes all corresponding sources. 

What types of cases are included?

The dataset includes events fulfilling all of the following four criteria:

  1. Perpetrators physically threatened or harmed civilians
  2. UN military troops — with a mandate to protect civilians — deployed to the location where civilians were threatened or harmed
  3. UN troops used military force to protect civilians by applying one or more of the four functions of force: amelioration, containment, deterrence/coercion, and destruction
  4. The UN Secretary-General's reporting to the UN Security Council captured the event

UNPOCO captures events from the following ten UN missions:

  1. United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central  African Republic (MINUSCA)
  2. United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA),
  3. United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS)
  4. United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA)
  5. United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC)/ United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) (together counted as one mission)
  6. African Union/United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID)
  7. United Nations Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS)
  8. United Nations Operation in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI)
  9. United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL)
  10. United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL)

Which sources have been used?

The data collection largely rests on the openly available UN Secretary-General's reporting to the UN Security Council, supported by practitioners' autobiographies, other types of UN reports, and some online sources.

Does UNPOCO cover all relevant cases?

Due to inconsistent UN reporting on military protection operations, several cases are probably not captured by UNPOCO. Still, the UN Secretary-General's reporting to the Security Council is considered to be the most consistent and reliable on UN mission activities. UNPOCO should therefore provide a reasonable reflection of this particular phenomenon. It can therefore be used to assess general patterns across time and space.

Will UNPOCO be updated?

The ambition is to update the dataset every three years.  

How to cite the dataset?

Kjeksrud, Stian (2019). Replication Data for: Using force to protect civilians. https://doi.org/10.18710/FZAVCN. DataverseNO, V1

Related publication: Kjeksrud, Stian (2019). Using force to protect civilians - A comparative analysis of United Nations military protection operations. Doctor of Philosophy thesis (PhD), Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science, University of Oslo, January 25, 2019. http://urn.nb.no/URN:NBN:no-71600


The data is provided as is. All errors and omissions are the responsibility of the dataset creator. The dataset creator bears no responsibility for others' use, analysis, or interpretation of the data. Copyright: Stian Kjeksrud.

Published 12 November 2019 15:03.. Last updated 02 December 2019 13:16.