The Case Of Kosovo And Unilateral Humanitarian Intervention

3646 Words May 3rd, 2015 15 Pages
The most important precedent supporting the legitimacy of unilateral humanitarian intervention was established by the events that transpired in Kosovo between March and June of 1999 (Tesón, 2009). NATO’s intervention in Kosovo has confirmed the doctrine of humanitarian intervention as legal custom. The Kosovo incident also gave expression to the moral consensus in the international community that severe tyranny should not be tolerated.
The facts in this case are well known and have been extensively documented, especially in The Independent International Commission on Kosovo 2000 Report (also known as the Kosovo Report). The Government of Yugoslavia—a state that existed in Southeast Europe during most of the 20th century— exercised tyrannical rule over the Kosovars for many years, to such an extent, and reaching such gravity, that it can plausibly be argued that the people of Kosovo acquired a right to resistance to tyranny. As a result, the intervention carried out by th North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) can be naturally interpreted as assistance to a justified revolution. This is the correct way to understand humanitarian intervention: not as a unilateral decision unrelated to the wishes of the victimized population, but as assistance to revolutionaries seeking freedom from tyranny (Tesón, 2009).
Because the Serb forces perpetrated ethnic cleansing later in the war (March-June, 1999), after the beginning of NATO’s intervention, observers debated…
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