The Responsibility to Protect: East, West and Southern African perspectives on preventing and responding to humanitarian crises

Tasneem Jamal News

Greg Puley

Working Paper 05-5

This paper draws on the findings of a series of consultations carried out in East, West and southern Africa in 2004 and 2005. It has two primary objectives: (1) to provide an overview of current efforts to develop a more effective multilateral approach to preventing and responding to serious humanitarian crises in Africa, with particular reference to the principles and recommendations in The Responsibility to Protect and (2) to identify some of the key challenges facing the development of such an approach and to suggest some preliminary strategies for overcoming these challenges.

This paper does not seek to summarize the enormously complex moral, legal and political debates around the question of humanitarian intervention, nor does it attempt to cover the vast range of issues that are touched upon in the ICISS report (ie. The Responsibility to Protect), nor does it examine Northern or Central African efforts. Rather, the emphasis is on how the central normative and operational questions around when, how and by whom military force ought to be applied in the interests of human protection in the East, West and southern Africa sub-regions.

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