Humanitarian Intervention: Brief Case Studies of Darfur & Kosovo

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Humanitarian Intervention: Brief Case Studies of Darfur & Kosovo

Humanitarian intervention is a key foreign policy for world super powers in the modern day arena of world affairs. In the past three decades the world has been inflicted with suffering, war and massive human rights abuses. There are numerous cases such as that of Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Rwanda, Kosovo and Darfur, where there has been nothing but bloodshed. In the hour of such complex internal conflicts running at every different corner of the planet the issue of humanitarian intervention has been in the midst of controversy. Questions still remain unanswered about when, who and how should it be used. Some critics of humanitarian intervention argue that it is perfectly justifiable and relieves humans of suffering while on the other side certain critics say that this sort of intervention is a violation to a states sovereignty, and is often but not abused by world powers. The concern here is if there are internal wars causing innocent bloodshed, should the international community step in, in order to stop the internal crisis or will the international community be violating that state's sovereignty? This paper will address why humanitarian intervention is a biased policy which is being abused by world powers such as the United States to intervene only in certain states where it seeks to enhance it's influence or gain strategically in the context of the current crisis in Darfur, Sudan and Kosovo.

Let's briefly examine the current crisis in Darfur, Sudan. Nearly two hundred thousand civilians have been killed while nearly two million people have been displaced from their homes. As each month passes by on average 5,000 more are dying from war-related diseases and malnutrition. There is nearly any law and order in the city. Each part of the city is being dictated by a tribal warlord. The lawless situation has led to animalistic human rights abuses such as rape and murder. While such an horrific scenario is taking place, bafflingly the international community is not intervening, why? We will look into the reasons later on in the paper.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) states to be base of international human rights law. This declaration passed in 1948 represents that every human is entitled to basic and fundamental freedom. It says that everyone is born free and in dignity. Any humans ethnicity, race or culture has no relation to their fundamental rights. Bodies such as the UDHR give us hope in times of world conflicts. International community came to a further consensus on human rights laws and the United States has been on of its key champions.

Many may wonder what is the legal definition of humanitarian intervention. The answer to this is, there is no single definition which everyone can agree on. There are different views on humanitarian intervention from experts through out various fields of law, human activists and politics. The difference in the legal definition lays primarily if the host state gives a nod to intervene. If the state does so, then should the UN actions are limited to peace keeping. And in many cases if the host state does not allow any sort of intervention aren't world powers then violating that state's sovereignty.

The United Nations was founded on the main concern relating to states waging endless wars against one another. The United Nations Charter of 1945 decided to outlaw any use of force while the only exception being self defense. While the Security Council was created giving it too much authority to act when there was a threat to world peace. Relating to horrific internal wars and crimes being committed within states the United Nations Charter did clearly state in Article 2(7): “Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state.” Gareth Evan says in...
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