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08 January 2008
Responsibility to Protect Engaging Civil Society
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I. Crisis in Kenya

II. R2P in the News

III. Commentary on Darfur

IV. Featured Report

V. Positions Available

I. Crisis in Kenya

Kenya is not Rwanda. It's still possible to learn from past mistakes and prevent ethnic warfare
Los Angeles Times
04 January 2008

The international community flunked its first genocide prevention test in Rwanda. It failed again in Darfur. Now comes another chance at redemption -- in Kenya, where, mercifully, there is still time and opportunity to keep one of the few peaceful, stable and prospering countries in Africa from jumping over the precipice of ethnic warfare. It will require a swift and concerted effort to help the Kenyan people and institutions eager to save their own nation. It can still be done, but only if we learn the lessons of ethnic cleansings past: The longer the killing goes on, the harder it will be to stop the cycle of atrocities and revenge.

Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu flew to Nairobi on Tuesday to try to mediate the conflict between Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki, who had himself sworn in for a second term two hours after a blatantly flawed election was abruptly decided in his favor, and his rival, Raila Odinga, leader of the Orange Democratic Movement. Odinga met with Tutu and has called for an end to the violence, but Kibaki refused to see the archbishop on the grounds that Kenya is not in civil war.

() The African Union's chairman, John Kufuor, the president of Ghana, offered to fly to Kenya as well, only to have Kibaki's spokesman say that AU intervention wasn't necessary to deal with an internal Kenyan matter. Kibaki needs reminding that the U.N. Security Council, with Kenyan assent, in 2006 recognized that national sovereignty is trumped by the duty of the international community to intervene when governments are "manifestly failing to protect their populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity."

Until now, Kenya has done a far better job than most African nations in managing its many ethnic divisions. It has strong human rights groups and traditions that ought to prevent the kind of genocidal madness that struck Rwanda. But Kibaki, who came into office as a reformer promising to reverse the decades of corruption, decay and ethnic favoritism of strongman Daniel Arap Moi, has proved a grave disappointment. He has, however, been one of Africa's best U.S. allies in combating terrorism, and he receives nearly $800 million in international aid. The United States and Britain, both key trading partners for Kenya, should use that leverage now to force Kibaki to negotiate a power-sharing deal and help pull his country back from the brink.

Full text available at:,0,2313306.story

UN Dispatch
04 January 2008

In the wake of the horrific violence rocking Kenya -- once a paragon of stability in central Africa -- the United Nations aid apparatus is revving up. The World Food Program is providing enough aid to the Kenyan Red Cross Society to feed 100,000 people for one month and the UNICEF announced that it is ready to assist up to 85,000 people with "with shelter and non-food items" and "13,000 family kits, comprised of blankets, tarpaulins, cooking sets, soap, and jerry cans, are locally pre-positioned and 2,000 family kits are in the pipeline." The aid is necessitated because of the widespread internal displacement caused by political violence following a disputed election. From the UN News Center.

"The United Nations humanitarian agencies in Kenya are gearing up to do everything necessary to help displaced and needy Kenyans at this difficult time," Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator John Holmes said today.

"Meanwhile, all political leaders in Kenya have a responsibility to protect the lives and livelihoods of innocent people, regardless of their racial, religious or ethnic origin, and ensure that relief can safely reach those in need," he added, deploring the reported "troubling" increase in sexual and gender-based violence. ()

Full text available at:

UN News
02 January 2008

The following statement was issued today by the Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:

The Secretary-General is increasingly troubled by the escalating tensions and violence in Kenya in the aftermath of last weeks elections. He is shocked by reports that dozens of civilians were burned to death in a church in Eldoret, and that 300 people have now been reported killed in this deplorable outburst of violence. The Secretary-General reminds the Government, as well as the political and religious leaders of Kenya, of their legal and moral responsibility to protect the lives of innocent people, regardless of their racial, religious or ethnic origin, and he strongly urges them to do everything within their capacity to prevent any further violence.

() The Secretary-General is also concerned with the deteriorating humanitarian situation, as large numbers of people have been displaced by the violence. He calls on all concerned to allow safe access for relief workers helping those affected by recent events.

() The Secretary-General is in the process of contacting the leadership in Kenya, the African Union and other concerned parties on how to address the crisis. A solution is urgently needed, through a spirit of dialogue and by making full use of constitutional and legal rules and mechanisms.

Full text available at:

II. R2P in the News

The UN's new secretary-general is neither a dazzler nor a grandstander, but (at last) he has some things to show for his long hours and dogged phone calls
The Economist
03 January 2008

ON DECEMBER 31st African Union troops in Darfur exchanged green berets for blue ones. That did not make their job of policing Sudan's war-wracked western region much easier, but it signalled the formal creation of what is set to be the world's biggest peacekeeping operation, with 26,000 personnel, under the joint aegis of the AU and the United Nations. A fortnight earlier, 187 countries at a UN conference in Bali, including China and the United States, unexpectedly agreed to begin talks on a global effort to save the planet from climate change.

Apart from those two things, however, Ban Ki-moon would appear to have little else to claim for his first year as UN secretary-general. After years of headline-grabbing rows, divisions and scandals, the beleaguered world body suddenly seems to have gone quiet. No more bold plans for sweeping reforms; no more dazzling speeches, or grand visions for the organisation's future. Yet behind the scenes, without great fanfare, Mr. Ban, although still far from a household name, is quietly getting things done.

() In a speech summing up his first year in office, Mr. Ban said that he had ot sat still. He had flown 125,000 miles, made 57 official visits to 39 countries and territories on six continents, held more than 300 bilateral meetings with government officials and spent 132 days n the road, he noted. But other than getting blue helmets into Darfur and helping to get climate-change talks started, what has he done?

Nothing really spectacular, it is true. But that was not his aim. As Mr. Ban announced before taking up his post, he wanted to concentrate on the many lofty goals that had already been set for the world body, rather than identify ew frontiers to conquer. In particular, he wanted to restore its excellence, integrity and pride by making it more efficient, more accountable and more relevant to the needs of all its 192 members, including the weightiest of allhe United Statesithout whose support the UN can do little.

() Contrary to expectations, Mr. Ban has also been surprisingly good on human-rights issues. Although he can do nothing about the disastrous new Human Rights Council, which was set up before he took over, he has been pressing ahead with the idea of an international responsibility to protect civilians from genocide and other atrocities when their own governments are unable or unwilling to do so.

Following that principle's reluctant adoption by the UN summit of world leaders in 2005, it risked being still-born. But Mr. Ban is now seeking to resuscitate it, pushing through the appointment of a full-time senior adviser on genocide and other atrocities along with a part-time adviser on the responsibility to protectespite initial fierce opposition from Russia as well as many developing states who object to the violation of their sovereignty by do-gooding Westerners. All senior UN appointments have to be approved by a majority of the General Assembly.

In recent weeks Mr. Ban has shown that he is sensitive to individual tragedy as well as to atrocities on a larger scale. He was visibly overcome with emotion when comforting the families of 17 UN staff who were killed by a terrorist bomb in Algiers.

A comeback kid

After his first six months Mr. Ban was widely being written off, in the words of one underling, as ediocrity big-time. Thrown on to a world stage for which he was ill-prepared, he seemed destined to political oblivion. Despite his evident good intentions and commitment to the world body, some survivors from Mr. Annan's reign became so disillusioned by his lacklustre performance that they thought of quitting. No longer.

As Mr Ban himself admits, his learning curve was steep. He was initially overwhelmed by both the sheer size of his job and its lack of any real power other than persuasion. As a Korean, he was used to putting his job ahead of everything, even his family. But at the UN he found a very different culture. Here were 192 sovereign states, each apparently determined to put national interests before the common good. As a man of integrity, he had perhaps naively hoped to ead by example. At the UN, that is often not possible.

He has nevertheless won widespread respect. As many staffers and ambassadors have noted, what this seemingly grey man lacks in charisma, he makes up for in industry, a sharp mind and sheer tenacity. He gets on the phone and badgers world leaders relentlessly. That is how he got his breakthrough at Bali. That is how he convinced China to allow the UN flag to fly in Darfur. And he clearly hopes that his quiet doggedness can achieve quite a lot more before he leaves the East River.

Full text available at:

The Hindu
05 January 2008

The United Nations, US and Canada have expressed deep concern over the security situation in Sri Lanka following government's decision to scrap the six-year- old ceasefire pact with LTTE, urging the two sides to avoid an escalation of hostilities and ensure protection to civilians.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said that he was "deeply worried" as the withdrawal from the accord came amidst intensifying fighting in northern Sri Lanka and increasing violence across the country, including the capital Colombo.

"The Secretary General urges all concerned to ensure the protection of civilians and humanitarian assistance to ... affected areas," he said in a statement.

US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said that the US was "troubled" at the move.

"Ending the ceasefire agreement would make it even more difficult to achieve a lasting, just and peaceful solution" McCormack, said and adding "both sides share the responsibility to protect the rights of all Sri Lankans."

"We call on both the government and the LTTE to avoid an escalation of hostilities and further civilian casualties," the US spokesman said.

Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Bernier said his country "deeply regrets" the decision of the government of Sri Lanka to withdraw from the 2002 Ceasefire Agreement. ()

Full text available at:

III. Commentary on Darfur

Gordon Barthos
The Toronto Star
05 January 2008

A year ago, Prime Minister Stephen Harper pleaded with the world to ease Darfur's tragedy. "We must act to save a desperate population," he said. "It's the responsibility to protect."

He also rightly pumped up Canada's aid to Darfur, to $440 million since 2004, to support a United Nations peacekeeping effort to suppress a genocidal conflict that has killed 200,000 people and driven millions from their homes.

But as the first 9,000 troops and police of a beefed-up UN/African Union force began deploying in Darfur this past week, awaiting 17,000 follow-on troops, they were being set up for failure.

As UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warns, "the entire mission is at risk" because fully five months after approving the new force, Security Council members such as the United States, Britain and France still haven't supplied a single one of the 24 transport and attack helicopters the peacekeepers need to provide firepower and mobility. It's outrageous.

() While 100 helicopters are needed to keep 24 airborne, given servicing, the major powers can supply them, or lease some for UN use.

That is, unless they are more disposed to promise help to a poor, African, Muslim region facing genocide, than to deliver.

This indifference has emboldened Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to set up other obstacles. He has barred non-African peacekeepers. Slapped curbs on UN night flights, and large cargo planes. Demanded the right to suppress UN radios and get advance notice of UN movements.

That leaves the UN force hemmed in by al-Bashir, outgunned by his forces, abandoned by the major powers, and unable to protect civilians and aid workers, much less suppress the fighting.

Meanwhile, Darfur's agony knows no end.

Full text available at:

31 December 2007

SUDAN, 31 December 2007 (IRIN) - The transformation at the start of 2008 of the African Unions peacekeeping force in Darfur into one jointly commanded by the UN will not significantly increase the number of troops on the ground and, say aid workers, do little to immediately improve the delivery of humanitarian assistance.

Under Security Council resolution 1769, passed 31 July 2007, the joint African Union/United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID), is supposed to consist of up to 19,555 military personnel, 3,772 police officers and 5,105 civilians, making it one of the largest peacekeeping operations in the world.

The beleaguered and under-resourced AU force comprises around 7,000 troops and 1,200 police.

Although UNAMID comes into being on January 1, it will initially be made up almost entirely of the AU personnel already on the ground, with major additional deployments not expected for several months.

UNAMIDs commander, Gen Martin Luther Agwai, publicised this shortfall in early December, when he lamented that just a third of UNAMIDs full contingent would be in place at its inception.

"How do you expect this force to do the job of 20,000 just because we are re-hatting on December 31?" he said in Khartoum, referring to the date of a handover ceremony in the North Darfur state capital, El Fasher.

The job in question is laid out in UNAMIDs mandate, the key elements of which are to ontribute to the restoration of necessary security conditions for the safe provision of humanitarian assistance and to facilitate full humanitarian access throughout Darfur and to ontribute to the protection of civilian populations under imminent threat of physical violence and prevent attacks against civilians, within its capability and areas of deployment, without prejudice to the responsibility of the Government of the Sudan.r
() Enormous needs

Gen Agwai is far from alone in fearing it will take some time for this assistance to improve in the near future.

() For Auriol Miller, director of Oxfams operations in Sudan, f the international community has the will the make it succeed, UNAMID could have a positive impact on saving lives in Darfur but we fear it is in danger of making the same mistakes as the AU troops, who did not receive the support they needed.

MIS (the AU mission in Dafur) is now demoralised, rejected by most Darfuris and unable to protect itself, let alone civilians, she said, recalling that in October 2007 an attack on an AU base outside of Haskanita by an unidentified armed group resulted in the death of 10 peacekeepers.

NAMID must not be allowed to suffer the same fate. It must be able to show civilians it is different to what has come before, Miller told IRIN.

t must be able to respond rapidly to attacks and ceasefire violations It must accompany women when they collect firewood and go to market to reduce the risk of being attacked, she said.

If it fails to distinguish itself quickly, ts credibility on the ground will rapidly diminish and this could lead to a further deterioration of security in Darfur, Miller warned.

e think Darfur is a test case, she added. NAMIDs failure could have far-reaching consequences affecting other peacekeeping operations and dealing a solemn blow to the international communitys commitment to realise its responsibility to protect.r
But it would be a mistake to place the onus for Darfuris fate exclusively on the new force. cessation of hostilities between the many different parties to the conflict must be agreed, implemented and effectively monitored. Peacekeepers are unlikely to succeed unless there is some sort of peace to keep, said the Oxfam official.

() Whos to blame?

Like many governments, UN officials and others following the Darfur crisis, the Coalition placed most of the blame for UNAMIDs initial shortcomings on Sudans government, accusing Khartoum of "imposing conditions that would render the mission likely to fail". The report said the government had delayed deployment by creating obstacles such as imposing curfews, refusing night flights and not allocating land for bases.

The NGOs also said Sudan had stalled on the Status of Forces agreement, which outlines the terms of engagement and is necessary for proper deployment.

Khartoum, which has long demanded that UNAMID ground troops all come from African states, also stands accused of stalling over requests that promised personnel from Thailand, Nepal and an engineering unit from Norway be included.

On 13 December, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Edmond Mulet told reporters: "We've been requesting from [the government of Sudan] official answers on these pending, outstanding questions and we do hope that they will come to us as soon as possible because this is delaying putting in place the other assets in the mission."

Lack of helicopters

Another problem confronting the mission is the lack of critical assets, notably 24 helicopters that have yet to be provided by member states.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recently said: "In the past weeks and months, I have contacted, personally, every possible contributor of helicopters - in the Americas, in Europe, in Asia. And yet, not one helicopter has been made available yet."

He attributed the reason to a "lack of political will" by member states, but diplomats say countries were reluctant to contribute valuable assets in such a poor security environment where there have been past attacks on helicopters.

() In addition to these setbacks, other delays plague the mission. While 140 Chinese engineers have reached Darfur, their equipment which is being sent by sea, could take more than a month to arrive. UN officials say transport times within Sudan are proving to be longer than anticipated.

Full text available at:

John Turley-Ewart
The National Post (Canada)
24 December 2007

As 2007 draws to a close one issue stands out in my mind as the saddest of all Darfur.

Hundreds of thousands have died in a conflict charged with racism and the worst bloody-minded inhumanity the world has seen in sometime. Bringing peace to Darfur was never going to be a matter of "peacekeeping" as so many in Canada thought. Irwin Cotler, former Liberal justice minister, has been the best spokesman for the demand for action in Canada and the "responsibility to protect."

But peace would only be won at the price of war and no NATO country was willing to pay that price. For that reason I have had little time for the Cotlers of Canada who are engaged in what I see as a disingenuous exercise that pretends peacekeeping and working with the Sudanese government will resolve the matter. If only more resources and will was shown, Cotler thinks lives could be saved. That is simply untrue.

Sudan's government has made it very clear that any force that it does not explicitly authorize will be treated as an invasion force not peacekeepers. Hence the tortured dance the world has witnessed for months as the African Union and the United Nations tried to manage this edict from the Sudanese government while attempting to stem the slaughter.

A couple of years back when Paul Martin was prime minister and hopeful of doing something to help end the slaughter in Darfur he received a rude awakening. The African Union and Sudan would not accept any "white" troops on African soil to enforce peace. Sudan makes the same demand today, a transparent attempt to paint Western peacemakers as colonialists rather than representatives of nations that want to see an end to the mayhem that has killed mostly black Africans in Darfur.

() The outcome for Canada was a small number of Canadians sent to Africa to help train AU troops to use equipment donated by Canada and other countries. Canadians would only carry light arms to protect themselves. They would not be in a position to defend anyone else.

Recently my colleague John Ivison criticized current Prime Minister Stephen Harper for not doing more on Darfur, but the idea that more can be done is grounded in a well-intended but naive appreciation of what Canada and other NATO countries face when talk of bringing peace to Darfur is raised. The reality check on Darfur has been provided by the UN's peacekeeping efforts that are now on the brink of failure.

() Peacekeeping died in Rwanda, a now famous phrase and truism many must accept. The AU and UN peacekeeping effort in Darfur is inadequate. What we are really talking about when we say we must do something to stop the violence in Darfur is a full-scale invasion supported by thousands of ground troops, air strikes and the destruction of the current Sudanese government. No NATO country Canada included see such a war as in their interests. And at the end of the day, it's not.

Full text available at:

IV. Featured Report

Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and DanChurchAid
Copenhagen, Denmark
10th 11th September 2007

This report is the outcome of a seminar sponsored by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and DanChurchAid in Copenhagen on 10-11 September 2007. The seminar, which highlighted the responsibility to protect under a protection of civilians framework (and specifically with respect to Darfur) focused on the following aims: larify roles, responsibilities, mandates and capacities of humanitarian, political and military actors in protection work; discuss obstacles, weaknesses and strengths to come up with recommendations on strengthening implementation of protection measures, improve cooperation between actors and strengthen protection strategies.

Full text available at:

V. Positions Available

Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies (MIGS), Concordia University, in Partnership with General Romo Dallaire

(Full-time, 16-month contract, Montreal-based)


In partnership with General Romo Dallaire, a member of the United Nations Advisory Committee to the Secretary-General on Genocide Prevention, MIGS mission includes the development and management of major research programs focusing on the prevention of genocide and other crimes against humanity. In pursuit of this goal, MIGS has developed the concept of W2I, a crucial project that it is urgently pursuing in partnership with General Dallaire.

W2I will operationalize key aspects of the groundbreaking work of the Canadian Government-sponsored Responsibility to Protect initiative, the key recommendations of which world leaders endorsed at the UN World Summit (2005). Focusing on Canada and the United States, the goal of W2I is to develop practical tools to generate the political will to prevent genocide and other crimes against humanity.

MIGS was co-founded in 1986 by Professor Frank Chalk, former President of the International Association of Genocide Scholars, and co-author of The History and Sociology of Genocide. The Institute seeks to not only uncover the underlying reasons for genocide and other crimes against humanity, but also to put forth concrete policy recommendations to resolve conflicts before they intensify and spiral into mass atrocity crimes.


Reporting directly to Professor Chalk, researchers will engage in literature analysis, interviewing of senior politicians, bureaucrats, and other high-profile actors, the hosting of workshops, the interpretation and synthesis of findings, and the drafting of a publishable policy report. A lead researcher will be responsible for the day-to-day management of the four-member team.


The successful candidate will possess the following qualifications, skills, and abilities:

o Advanced degree in history, political science, journalism, law or other relevant social science (or equivalent professional qualification/experience)
o Strong knowledge of U.S. and Canadian politics and processes of policy-making
o Fluent English; a working knowledge of French would be an asset
o Demonstrated ability to advance projects, set priorities, manage exceptions, and work as part of a team
o Demonstrated ability to conduct, synthesize, interpret, and communicate research under tight deadlines
o Highly developed writing skills
o Demonstrated ability to conduct formal interviews and/or lead workshops/meetings
o Willingness to travel within North America
o Ability to assist in grant writing
o Available to begin work on February 4, 2008
o Eligible for immediate employment in Canada


MIGS seeks exceptional candidates, motivated by an urge to make a valuable contribution in the sphere of human rights, and offers a competitive salary commensurate with other employers in this field.

Application Procedure

Applications should include a cover letter explaining your interest in and aptitude for the role, a resum, and the contact details of three referees. You are encouraged to submit your application by regular mail at the address below as early as possible, and no later than Monday, 15 January, 2008. Emailed applications will not be accepted.

Professor Frank Chalk
W2I Project
Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies
Concordia University
1455 de Maisonneuve Blvd W.
Montreal (Quebec)
H3G 1M8

MIGS is an equal opportunity employer and, in order to build the strongest possible research team, actively seeks a diverse applicant pool.

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