Intervention or not-intervention? Human rights or peace?
By Fiorenzo Conte (thanks to Judith Kurnert for the article)
A previous post sketched out some of the pro and cons of an external military intervention or lack thereof in Libya and Ivory Coast. What remained unclear to me is what exactly is guiding principle of the international community. An article on the Spiegel makes more clear what is the priority of the international community after its intervention in Libya:
“The world community has shown that it values human rights over peace and that the era of the unaccountable sovereign state is over”
If such shift sends a signal to all dictators in the world that the brutal repression of anti-regime protests will not be tolerated anymore by the international communities, it poses also two important interrogatives and concerns:
1. the defense of human rights in Libya probably also imply the toppling of Gadhafi. What does it happen however if the opposition leaders in Libya will not be able to safeguard the human rights of civilians?
2. the rights of what civilians is the international community concerned about? In my view in fact an intervention for example in Ivory Coast to back up the winner of the elections Ouattara would probably upset those civilians (which are not a small minority) which see in Gbagbo their legitimate leader. And I am not sure that their rights would be safeguarded by the pro-Ouattara militias. My point here is that the identification of those civilians, which we are trying to defend, is too often arbitrarily chosen by external actors.
Any thoughts on this?