An analysis of norms regarding humanitarian interventions in the East African Region 1994-2011
Oloo, Irene A
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Standard analytic assumptions about states and other actors pursuing their interests tend to leave the sources of interests vague or unspecified. The contention here is that international normative context shapes the interests of international actors and does so in both systematic and systemic ways. Unlike psychological variables that operate at the individual level, norms can be systemiclevel variables in both origin and effects. Because they are inter subjective, rather than merely subjective, widely held norms are not idiosyncratic in their effects. Instead, they leave broad patterns of the sort that social science strives to explain. The study concludes that some the actors in the humanitarian intervention process are serving the interest of their own state actors or sub-state actors through which political gains are scored and are more likely to undermine peace efforts. International law can be read as either allowing or forbidding international humanitarian intervention, and the legal uncertainty around humanitarian intervention is fundamental and irresolvable. Contradictory and plausible interpretations about the legality of any act of intervention exist simultaneously, and neither can be eliminated. This does not mean that the law is unimportant; there are evident costs and benefits to states in being seen as following the rules. It means instead that law and law following should be seen as resources in the hands of states and others, deployed to influence the political context of their actions. The study further concludes that here is dearth of proper legal framework and pillar of the UN system to adhere to during humanitarian interventions. This is mainly witnessed by unclear and vague legal frame work, which results to different interpretation from different individuals. Finally the study concludes that norms regarding humanitarian interventions in the east African region are new issues of concerns which need to be addressed through concrete policies as well as practical initiatives. This is due to the fact that the current situation of humanitarian intervention in eastern Africa is wanting in different direction. The researcher recommends that humanitarian intervention bodies; states; or organizations should ever aim to be neutral; impartial and to act with consent of the main parties to the conflict. There is no consensus over the legality of intervention, in part because there is no consensus over the sources of international law more generally. The intervention problem is inseparable from questions that have been at the heart of international law for centuries, and that we cannot expect to be answered in order to reconcile the different views on humanitarian intervention. The legality of humanitarianism is therefore contingent on one's theory of how law works and changes. The law may well be incoherent, and it may be unable to distinguish between compliance and noncompliance, but it remains politically powerful and therefore important. The challenge for scholars is to explain how it is that the commitment to the rule of law coexists with this fundamental ambiguity. The study further recommends that proper legal framework, policies and UN system should be formulated in order to enhance effectiveness of humanitarian intervention.