Chicago Commissioner asks UN to deploy peacekeepers to the violence ridden city.
The city of Chicago in Illinois has established a reputation in recent years for shocking violence on the streets. As this year comes to a close, the official figures show that the city has seen an astonishing 3400 shootings and more than 650 murders in the course of the past year. To address these horrifying statistics, Cook Country Commissioner Richard Boykin has come up with a novel and highly controversial new plan.
On Thursday, Boykin announced that he planned to make overtures to the United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Support, Oscar Fernandez-Taranco to deal with Chicago’s problem with violence. If Boykin is successful in attracting the support of the UN peacekeepers it would be the first time in history that a UN peacekeeping mission was implemented in the United States.
Commissioner Suggests U.N. Send Troops
“I’m hoping to appeal to the U.N. to actually come to Chicago and meet with victims of violence, and maybe even possibly help out in terms of peacekeeping efforts, because I think it’s so critical for us to make sure that these neighborhoods are safe,”
Boykin told reporters. He would later claim that all other attempts to make the streets of Chicago peaceful had been utterly exhausted. He also claimed that the UN should see Chicago as a suitable location for their peacekeeping forces saying that the situation amounts to ‘genocide’. “There is a quiet genocide taking place in too many of our communities,” said Boykin,
“Eighty percent of those who are being killed by gun violence are African American, and often killed at the hands of another African American. So we must protect these population groups, and that’s what the United Nations does. They’re a peacekeeping force. They know all about keeping the peace, and so we’re hopeful that they’ll hear our appeal.”
Boykin said that he hoped that the United Nations might move in to help to protect vulnerable populations in the city as they have done in certain regions of Africa.
It is considered to be unlikely that the UN would deploy peacekeeping forces to the American city as they tend to only be sent to war zones or to regions which have been devastated by conflict in the recent past and Chicago does not really fit the bill.
This is not the first time that it has been suggested that the violence in Chicago should be tackled with extraordinary measures. In January of this year, the President, Donald Trump threatened to ‘send in the Feds’ to deal with the gun violence, sparking discussions of whether the National Guard should be deployed to deal with the issue. However, these suggestions were quickly shot down by the Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner who said that such extreme measures ‘would be a mistake’.
However, it has been said that the city’s response is inadequate and has simply served to increase the powers bestowed on the police. This is seen as particularly controversial given that the police force in Chicago have established a reputation for violating the rights of people in the city, especially African Americans. Therefore, a novel suggestion may be exactly what the city needs.