The International Community Response

Peter Wallensteen, Erik Melander and Frida Möller

in The Slippery Slope to Genocide

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199791743
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199919222 | DOI:
The International Community Response

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This chapter establishes a close link between genocide and civil war since 1945: Civil wars threaten to unleash genocidal forces. Thus, containing civil war becomes important in preventing genocide. There are three instruments for this purpose: peacekeeping, preventive diplomacy, and sanctions. Furthermore, the authors demonstrate that the international response of peacekeeping has been more successful than is normally assumed if one considers that the reaction often is late and deals with the most difficult cases. This chapter also studies the preventive actions, particularly diplomacy, that were taken when conflicts were still small. In the period after the Cold War, attention focused strongly on the Balkan and Palestinian situations. In addition, the chapter demonstrates that sanctions can have an effect if they are well targeted and monitored. Bringing these results to bear on a particular conflict, the authors focus on Côte d’Ivoire in the period 2002–2010. They point to the potential for genocide stemming from the rise of the notion of ivoirité, which threatened to exclude a large part of the population from politics and spurred a short civil war in 2002. Concerted international action included peacekeeping, diplomacy, and sanctions. The chapter suggests that these measures together helped to prevent the situation from escalating into genocide, brought the parties to direct negotiations and to an agreed presidential election. Following the elections of November 20101, international efforts concentrated on having the outcome respected. Unfortunately it led to a short but intense armed conflict in 2011. However, one can still say that coordinated action by the UN Security Council can be effective in preventing genocide.

Keywords: peacekeeping; preventive action; diplomacy; targeted sanctions; international; côte d’Ivoire

Chapter.  13548 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social Psychology

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