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31 July 2007
Responsibility to Protect Engaging Civil Society
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In this issue: [R2P in the News; R2P and Darfur; Other Reports of Interest; Related Events]


I. R2P in the News
1. THE LIMITS OF STATE SOVEREIGNTY: THE RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT IN THE 21ST CENTURY
2. UGANDA: WHY THE ICC MUST STOP IMPEDING JUBA PROCESS
3. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO: PROTECTION OF CIVILIANS IN NORTH KIVU MUST GO BEYOND MONITORING
II. R2P and Darfur
1. BIDEN/LUGAR INTRODUCE RESOLUTION CALLING FOR IMMEDIATE DEPLOYMENT OF UN PEACEKEEPERS TO DARFUR
III. Other Reports of Interest
1. INTERNATIONAL CRISIS GROUP: STRATEGY FOR COMPREHENSIVE PEACE IN SUDANr 2. ENOUGH PROJECT: HARTOUM BOMBS AND THE WORLD DEBATESr IV. Related Events
1. REFUGEE AND MIGRANT SUNDAY


I. R2P in the News

1. THE LIMITS OF STATE SOVEREIGNTY: THE RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT IN THE 21ST CENTURY
Gareth Evans
Eighth Neelam Tiruchelvam Memorial Lecture
International Centre for Ethnic Studies
29 July 2007

()Today more than ever, on this eighth anniversary of his assassination, Sri Lankans and those in the wider international community need to remember and be re-inspired by Neelan Tiruchelvams life and achievements. While we can no longer benefit directly from his remarkable intelligence and learning, his boundless energy, his political commitment, and his optimism, we do still have his spirit living among us in the ideas and institutions he gave us, and in the example he set for us of an engaged intellectual and a principled politician.

()In my travels since 2005, I have become fairly accustomed to hearing suggestions from the representatives of a number of countries, not least in Asia and not excluding diplomats from Sri Lanka that while they had not been prepared to break consensus and oppose R2P language outright in 2005, they had been less than pleased to see its inclusion in the World Summit Outcome Document. R2P, I have been told more often than I like to recall, is simply another name for humanitarian intervention, providing a means for powerful countries, and in particular the West, to intervene in the internal affairs of smaller countries. But I have to say that, even having been immunized to this extent, I was more than a little taken back when the head of the Crisis Group office in New York reported to me a conversation two weeks ago, in which the head of mission of a major country in the Arab-Islamic world said to him: he concept of the responsibility to protect does not exist except in the minds of Western imperialists.

What has gone wrong here? Why is there so much continuing resistance to a principle which has seemed to so many others to be an important breakthrough, capable of resolving an age old debate in a practical and principled way? Is there anything that we of a cosmopolitan mindset to pick up my earlier reference to Neelan Tiruchelvams extraordinarily decent, civilized and balanced approach to these kinds of issues can possibly do to get this debate back on the rails and generate the kind of response that this haunting issue of preventing genocide and mass atrocity crimes demands?

()This leads me to ask finally as I guess a number of you in this audience will have already been asking yourselves, and are about to ask me what has all this to with Sri Lanka, here and now? Is this horrible, apparently intractable conflict that took Neelan Tiruchelvams life, and has taken the lives of so many scores of thousands of others properly described as an R2P situation? And if so, what follows from that? Whose responsibility is it to do what?

Since the resumption of hostilities last summer, both the government and the LTTE have been careful to keep their military actions, and their terror and counter-insurgency operations, within certain limits. While more than 4,500 have been killed over the last 20 months, and both government and LTTE forces have repeatedly violated international humanitarian law, the recent violence has not crossed the boundary into mass atrocity or obvious genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, or crimes against humanity. The violence has been contained just this side of full-scale disaster and internationally-recognized catastrophe.

()All this makes it hard to argue that Sri Lanka is anything but an R2P situation. It may not be one where large scale atrocity crimes Cambodia-style, Rwanda-style, Srebrenica-style, Kosovo-style are occurring right now, or immediately about to occur, but it is certainly a situation which is capable of deteriorating to that extent. So it is an R2P situation which demands preventive action, by the Sri Lankan government itself, but with the help and support of the wider international community, to ensure that further deterioration does not occur.

()I hope it will be apparent from what I have said about the R2P principle, including how it might be applied to the present traumatic situation here in Sri Lanka, that this is a complex, multi-dimensional concept, which is genuinely aimed at helping countries find their way, with international support, through apparently intractable internal situation and that it is simply grotesque to describe it as a tool of Western imperialists. ()

Full text available at:
http://www.crisisgroup.org/home/index.cfm?id=4967


2. UGANDA: WHY THE ICC MUST STOP IMPEDING JUBA PROCESS
By Patrick Corrigan
The Monitor, Uganda
27 July 2007

Despite offering credible prospects for peace following twenty-one years of conflict in northern Uganda, the Juba peace negotiations are threatened by the possibility that the International Criminal Court (ICC) will not defer to local Ugandan mechanisms which are suitable for addressing issues of accountability.

The ICC was created in part to contribute to the prevention of human rights abuses, but its failure to accommodate the peace talks might ironically contribute to moving Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebels back into open conflict and reigniting the humanitarian catastrophe in northern Uganda.

The LRA has threatened a return to active fighting unless ICC arrest warrants for the top four LRA leaders are revoked. If the ICC will take the unprecedented--but very possible and legal--action of foregoing its warrants in favor of the new local option, it is more likely than ever that mediators will succeed in creating a comprehensive peace agreement.

()The international debate on the ICC in Uganda has focused on this so-called "peace versus justice" dilemma which evaluates the trade-off between attempts to negotiate an end to ongoing conflicts and efforts to hold criminals accountable through international law. The terms "peace" and "justice" are misleading and easily manipulated because "justice" is a broader concept than criminal trials in an international courtroom, and "peace" is more comprehensive than silencing guns.

The tension exposed in Uganda is rather between emerging norms of accountability through international law and civilian protection. With a peace deal nearly in place that is dependent upon the exclusion of the ICC from the process, attempts by the ICC to prosecute war criminals has run up against the responsibility of the Ugandan government to provide security for its people by ending the violence through peace negotiations.

Because immediate civilian protection has the concrete result of saving thousands of lives, the "Responsibility to Protect" civilians should be considered a more fundamental norm than that of accountability through international law. The latter only holds a theoretical possibility of saving a nebulous group of people through deterrence.

()Deferring to Ugandan accountability mechanisms is not a breach of international law on the part of the ICC. The Rome Statute, the legal document that created and governs the ICC, grants the Prosecutor the ability to withdraw ICC investigations in the event that they do not serve "the interests of justice" or that the domestic government proves willing and able to hold alleged criminals accountable under the principle of Complementarity.

Though accountability will occur outside of an international courtroom, it will nevertheless advance the goals of the ICC by acknowledging the rule of law and by combating impunity for LRA leaders. ()

Full text available at:
http://allafrica.com/stories/200707270595.html


3. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO: PROTECTION OF CIVILIANS IN NORTH KIVU MUST GO BEYOND MONITORING
Refugees International
23 July 2007

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the UN Security Council has given a clear mandate to MONUC, its peacekeeping mission there, to protect civilians; Directive 01/07 issued by the MONUC force commander is equally clear about this duty. Mechanisms to collect information, monitor needs, and develop recommendations are impressive, yet these improvements have not led to action in the volatile province of North Kivu. While the presence alone of peacekeepers might give hope to the population and deter abuse, MONUC must be more proactive in protecting civilians.

()Mechanisms exist for reporting abuses and making recommendations to protect civilians. MONUC publishes regular reports on human rights, and teams from the UN and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) travel throughout the territories to talk with villagers about their concerns and then share recommendations with MONUC and other agencies. The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has made much progress in establishing a working group on protection under the new Cluster Leadership Approach to gather information and advocate for an end to attacks and abuse of civilians.

The results of these efforts, however, are disappointing: recommendations go unimplemented and attacks continue. In some cases MONUC or NGOs may not be able to conduct protection or assistance activities; insecurity, bad roads, and insufficient operational capacity limit the amount of work that can be done. Nevertheless, MONUC and humanitarian agencies must develop creative solutions to protect the population of North Kivu from attack.

MONUC must mainstream gender concerns through all of its work, as required by Security Council Resolution 1325. Given that violence against women is one of the greatest protection problems in the DRC, and that MONUC has a protection mandate, there should be systems in place to bring women peacekeepers and translators to talk with Congolese women about their concerns and to implement protection activities. Forces loyal to Tutsi warlord Laurent Nkunda have used rape as a weapon of war in North Kivu, yet in areas where his troops are deployed, very little is done to protect women who walk to the market, to church, or to get firewood. MONUC should work with Congolese women and gender experts to develop protection strategies such as firewood patrols and deploy in areas of known abuse such as market routes and military checkpoints.

Unaccompanied women and children, the elderly, orphans, and people with disabilities are especially vulnerable. In a site where thousands of displaced had recently arrived, people reported that those with disabilities and some of the elderly had not been seen since the violence started. Women reported that they must sometimes walk for an entire day to find firewood, clearly a risk in such a highly militarized area. A community leader stated that she could think of six children in the camp from different families who were separated from their parents. The government of the DRC has the primary responsibility to protect its civilians, and international agencies have the responsibility to do so when the government cannot, yet there are very few programs to support those who are especially vulnerable to abuse.

()The main request of the people in areas controlled by the most abusive force, the Bravo Brigade, is to have these troops transferred elsewhere. Nkundas forces, the majority of which are Tutsi, must be fully integrated into the national army and moved from the majority-Hutu areas in North Kivu. To further defuse the situation, the Government of the DRC must mitigate inter-ethnic tension and deter violence by deploying more government civil servants to North Kivu, supporting local conflict resolution efforts, providing social services, and investigating and prosecuting all perpetrators of violence.

In the near term, however, the only force capable of stopping attacks on civilians and protecting them from abuse is MONUC. While supporting the government, it must take immediate steps to secure the main roads in Rutshuru and Masisi, and protect women during their daily movements. Recommendations to safeguard the people of North Kivu are plentiful; the time has come for MONUC and the rest of the international community to act. ()

Full text available at:
http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/RWB.NSF/db900SID/TBRL-75DPR9?OpenDocument



II. R2P and Darfur

1. BIDEN/LUGAR INTRODUCE RESOLUTION CALLING FOR IMMEDIATE DEPLOYMENT OF UN PEACEKEEPERS TO DARFUR
Senate Press Release
20 July 2007

Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Joseph R. Biden, Jr. (D-DE) and Ranking Member Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) have introduced a bipartisan Senate resolution which calls for the immediate deployment of a peacekeeping mission to Darfur and lays out benchmarks for that mission.

()The Biden-Lugar resolution specifically calls for the United States and the international community to raise the forces and contribute the air and ground vehicles and equipment that will be needed to deploy an immediate peacekeeping mission to Darfur. Additionally, the resolution underscores the need for a sustained, high-level diplomatic effort to forge a comprehensive peace settlement. In the event that Khartoum does not abide by its commitments, the resolution calls for the imposition of meaningful measures including multilateral sanctions and a no fly zone. The resolution also makes clear the responsibility of all parties including the Khartoum government, its militia and rebel groups to guarantee humanitarian groups access to those in need and security.

Members of the United Nations Security Council are currently considering a new resolution authorizing the hybrid peacekeeping mission.

ver the past four years, as many as 400,000 people have died in the 21st century's first genocide. Millions more remain in grave danger, trapped in camps on both sides of the Chadian border. The world stands at a critical moment: we must collectively assume our responsibility to protect the people of Darfur, said Senator Biden. nd if Khartoum does not fulfill its part of the agreement and allow the full deployment of the peacekeeping mission, then the international community must impose multilateral sanctions, an expanded arms embargo, and a no fly zone over Darfur. ()

Full text available at:
http://biden.senate.gov/newsroom/details.cfm?id=279441&



III. Other Reports of Interest

1. INTERNATIONAL CRISIS GROUP: STRATEGY FOR COMPREHENSIVE PEACE IN SUDANr
Strategy for Comprehensive Peace in Sudan (Africa Report No. 130, 26 July 2007) is the latest report from the International Crisis Group. The report examines the progress and complications of implementing the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement in Sudan.

The full ICG report is available at:
http://www.crisisgroup.org/library/documents/africa/horn_of_africa/130_a_strategy_for_comprehensive_peace_in_sudan.pdf


2. ENOUGH PROJECT: HARTOUM BOMBS AND THE WORLD DEBATESr
hartoum Bombs and the World Debates: How to Confront Aerial Attacks in Darfur is written by John Prendergast and Julia Spiegel, for the ENOUGH Project. The ENOUGH Project is a joint initiative of the International Crisis Group and the Center for American Progress. hartoum Bombs and the World Debates is the ENOUGH Projects 5th Strategy Paper on Darfur.

The full ENOUGH Project report is available at:
http://www.enoughproject.org/reports/pdf/no_fly_zone.pdf



IV. Related Events

1. REFUGEE AND MIGRANT SUNDAY
26 August 2007
Australia

efugee and Migrant Sunday is a celebration of the contribution refugees have made to Australia that is held every year in thousands of churches around Australia. Each year, the National Council of Churches in Australia (NCCA) produces an Education Kit for parishes and the wider community that contains education sheets and education and liturgical resources to help celebrate the day and take further action. This years education kit focuses on the international communitys responsibility to protect civilians in Sudan and Burma from genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. It will have a similar format as last years kit, but will focus on the responsibility to protect in several different countries. In addition to the six education sheets, this years kit also includes a powerpoint slideshow and a short video, which can be downloaded from the NCCA website.

For more information, please visit:
http://www.riverinayouth.net/2007/07/30/refugee-and-migrant-sunday-26th-august-2007/
 

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