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'New Wars': the Sierra Leone Case
Unformatted Document Text:  What might prevent states from intervening even if these criteria are met? Basic Information What is humanitarian intervention? Holzgrefe (2003) defines humanitarian intervention as follows: the threat or use of force across state borders by a state (or group of states) aimed at preventing or ending widespread and grave violations of the fundamental human rights of individuals other than its own citizens, without the permission of the state within whose territory force is applied. Holzgrefe (2003) emphasizes that this definition does not include non-forcible interventions such as economic or diplomatic sanctions, nor does it include the use of force for the purpose of protecting or rescuing a state’s own nationals. The term “humanitarian intervention” is heavily laden with moral questions: `Is humanitarian intervention a duty or a choice?`Under what circumstances should it take place?`Who gets to decide when it is ethical or imperative to intervene?`Whose definition of “human rights” should we use?`If states serve to benefit from the intervention, does it negate or detract from the moral necessity of intervention? There is also an entire host of more practical questions: `How do you know which side to take?`How much force should be applied and how do you minimize collateral damage?`Who pays for it and who commands the operations? `Is the ultimate goal to simply address the humanitarian crisis, to reinstate the status quo, to permanently resolve the conflict, or something else? How is humanitarian intervention different from peacekeeping? According to the UN website, peacekeeping is a way to help countries create conditions for peace. UN peacekeepers—soldiers and military officers, police and civilian personnel from many countries—monitor and observe peace processes that emerge in post-conflict situations and assist conflicting parties to implement the peace agreement they have signed. Such assistance comes in many forms, including promoting human security, confidence-building measures, power-sharing arrangements, electoral support, strengthening the rule of law, and economic and social development. 11

Authors: Parker, Sara.
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What might prevent states from intervening even if these criteria are met?
Basic Information
What is humanitarian intervention?
Holzgrefe (2003) defines humanitarian intervention as follows:
the threat or use of force across state borders by a state (or group of states)
aimed at preventing or ending widespread and grave violations of the
fundamental human rights of individuals other than its own citizens,
without the permission of the state within whose territory force is applied.
Holzgrefe (2003) emphasizes that this definition does not include non-forcible
interventions such as economic or diplomatic sanctions, nor does it include the use of
force for the purpose of protecting or rescuing a state’s own nationals.
The term “humanitarian intervention” is heavily laden with moral questions:
`Is humanitarian intervention a duty or a choice?
`Under what circumstances should it take place?
`Who gets to decide when it is ethical or imperative to intervene?
`Whose definition of “human rights” should we use?
`If states serve to benefit from the intervention, does it negate or detract from
the moral necessity of intervention?
There is also an entire host of more practical questions:
`How do you know which side to take?
`How much force should be applied and how do you minimize collateral
damage?
`Who pays for it and who commands the operations?
`Is the ultimate goal to simply address the humanitarian crisis, to reinstate the
status quo, to permanently resolve the conflict, or something else?
How is humanitarian intervention different from peacekeeping?
According to the UN website, peacekeeping is a way to help countries create conditions
for peace.
UN peacekeepers—soldiers and military officers, police and civilian
personnel from many countries—monitor and observe peace processes
that emerge in post-conflict situations and assist conflicting parties to
implement the peace agreement they have signed. Such assistance comes
in many forms, including promoting human security, confidence-building
measures, power-sharing arrangements, electoral support, strengthening
the rule of law, and economic and social development.
11


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