<b>Humanitarian Intervention in the Balkans</b>

Nicholas Morris*

in Humanitarian Intervention and International Relations

Published in print December 2003 | ISBN: 9780199267217
Published online April 2004 | e-ISBN: 9780191601118 | DOI:
Humanitarian Intervention in the Balkans

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Assesses the success of the two humanitarian interventions in the Balkans – Bosnia in 1995 and Kosovo in 1999 – from the perspective of humanitarian organizations. It argues how, ironically, the effectiveness of organizations such as UNHCR can dissuade powerful states from taking the necessary steps to address the root causes of massive human rights violations. Slow and ambiguous action from the international community can raise false expectations on the part of suffering civilians, and embolden those who commit atrocities. The author argues that the political, military, and humanitarian strands of interventions are always closely interwoven, and draws a series of lessons from the Balkans experience: the need for the international community to act early, credibly, and consistently; the importance of preserving the identity of a humanitarian operation; the imperative to end the impunity of those who orchestrate and commit massive violations of human rights; and the importance of engaging the United Nations.

Keywords: ‘no-fly zone’; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Contact Group; Croatia; Dayton Agreement; ethnic cleansing; Former Republic of Yugoslavia; humanitarian action; IFOR; International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC); intra-state conflict; just cause; Kosovo; Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA); Kosovo Verification Mission (KVM); NATO; Nicholas Morris; OSCE; proportionality; Sarajevo; Serbia; Slobodan Milosevic; UN Protected Areas; United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR); UNPROFOR

Chapter.  10218 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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