International humanitarian intervention and its impact on state sovereignty with special reference to the United Nations mission to East Timor and Western Sahara compared
By Dr. Suleiman Sandal
International humanitarian intervention to protect human rights requires measures can reach to use military force against the State that commits such violations. And how this is in a consistent with the principle of State sovereignty and whether the priority is given to the principle of sovereignty or the protection of human rights. Moreover, what is the impact of it, on the state sovereignty when it occurs. The starting point of the thesis is arguing that the maintenance of sovereignty has a priority to the protection of
human rights. Technological development and the emergence of the new players in the international arena have influenced the traditional concept of sovereignty. There is a contradiction between the principle of sovereignty and the international humanitarian intervention, which itself is a form of exploitation of resources and domination over the weak states. The dissertation dealt with this issue with a descriptive, historical and analytical approach that leads to objective results. It makes a comparison between the two cases of United Nations intervention in the conflict in East Timor and Western Sahara. It elaborates the concept of sovereignty in the traditional and the modern sense. And then explains the evolution of the principle of sovereignty from the Middle Ages until the modern era and the theories that explain it. And the reasons that led to its erosion. It examines the concept of international humanitarian intervention, its objectives, types, arguments of supporter and non-supporters. As well as the reasons that led to its appearance, legitimacy, the position of the international judiciary, the position of the United Nation Charter and the modern trend towards building a legal theory on humanitarian intervention. It addresses the two cases of the United Nations intervention in East Timor and Western Sahara, using a comparative method as a tool to expose the practical aspect of the international humanitarian intervention. Each case is described regarding the nature of the conflict, the human rights situation and the events that had shaped the situation of the United Nations intervention in East Timor and demonstrated the phases and activities of the Mission. It also describes the United Nations intervention in the Western Sahara conflict, explaining the nature of the conflict, the human rights situation and the events that had shaped the intervention and activities of the Mission. Through a comparison approach, it identifies the similarities and the differences between the two cases, and why success in East Timor and the failure in Western Sahara. The study concludes that the principle of sovereignty is an advantage that explains the nature of the State as an international person that can impose its authority over the territory of the State. The principle of sovereignty passed through four stages. The first stage is the agreement of Westphalia, and second is the erosion of the traditional concept of the sovereignty. The third the consideration of the human rights as an international affair and the fourth is the harmonization of the traditional and modern concept of sovereignty as a responsibility that imposes certain obligations to be fulfilled before the state is arguing on principle of sovereignty. International humanitarian intervention has a direct and indirect impact on the state sovereignty which moves it partially or entirely to the intervening party in a given period base on the type of the intervention. There is no explicit provision in the United Nations Charter about the international humanitarian intervention. In removing the contradiction, the study recommended an amendment to the Charter of the United Nations, including the issue of the international humanitarian intervention with its legal terms. Furthermore, the General Assembly of the United Nations should adopt an international declaration in the name of sovereignty as responsibility, and international deed for Humanitarian Protection defines the form and the conditions of international humanitarian intervention.