Humanitarian Intervention:

Effectiveness of U.N. Operations in Bosnia

NSIAD-94-156BR: Published: Apr 13, 1994. Publicly Released: Apr 22, 1994.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed: (1) allegations that the United Nations (U.N.) withheld humanitarian assistance to pressure the Bosnian Muslims into an unfavorable peace settlement and that U.S. officials had knowledge of this tactic; (2) the effectiveness of U.N. operations in Bosnia; and (3) factors affecting U.N. performance, with a view towards lessons learned.

GAO found that: (1) there is no evidence that U.N. withheld humanitarian assistance to pressure the Bosnian Muslims into settlement, or that U.S. officials had any evidence that U.N. manipulated humanitarian assistance; (2) U.N. operations and international efforts, including the allied airlift and airdrop operations, are credited with preventing starvation in Bosnia for two winters; (3) inadequate numbers of troops and weaknesses in overall U.N. leadership and coordination have hindered consistent assertive action to deliver aid and protect Bosnians; and (4) U.N. has improved coordination and is taking steps with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to deliver humanitarian assistance and provide protection in designated areas.

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