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The Boston Globe

Opinion

farah stockman

Outsourcing peace

Private firms, unarmed citizens can help UN in protecting world’s hot spots

In 1994, as the Rwandan genocide got underway, Kofi Annan — then head of UN Peacekeeping Operations — searched desperately for a military that was willing to intervene. No one would. He ended up calling Eeben Barlow, the CEO of the South African private security company, Executive Outcomes, to ask if the company could stop the killing.

“Sure,” Barlow said, estimating that a team of 1,500 men could get control of Rwanda within four weeks and hand it over to the United Nations, for an undisclosed fee.

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