• Cecilie Lundsgaard Nielsen
4. term, Global Refugee Studies, Master (Master Programme)
The Ethiopian government is not able to protect its civil population from mass atrocity crimes, why that responsibility bestows to the international community according to the international norm the ‘Responsibility to Protect’ (R2P). This dissertation conducts a case study on the United Nations Security Council’s (international community) ability to utilise policy tools of the R2P to protect the Ethiopian civil population from crimes amounting to war crimes, crimes against humanity, and ethnic cleansing. It is investigated how the following coercive and non-coercive policy tools have been utilised: 1) Mediation and Political Dialogue, 2) Public Advocacy, 3) Criminal Investigations, Fact-Finding Missions, & Commissions of Inquiry, 4) Referral to the ICC, 5) Monitoring or Observer Missions, 6) UN Charter Chapter VII Authorised Use of Force, and 7) Sanctions. The case study is investigated by applying the theories of institutional liberalism and realism. The institutional liberalist approach enables the perception that institutions affect state behaviour and enhance the interest of all people. The realist theory enables the reflection that self- interest, sovereignty, and unequal power balance affect the international community and its abilities.

It is found that the international community’s ability to utilise policy tools, both coercive and non- coercive, is significantly limited by state sovereignty, the self-interest of the Ethiopian government, and unequal power balances existing within the international community. The sovereign rights and interests of the Ethiopian government limit the international community’s ability to intervene non- coercively as respect for sovereignty is bestowed significant importance in the UN Charter. The Ethiopian government does not possess a self-interest in cooperating with the international community. As the international community depends on cooperation to utilise the majority of the non-coercive policy tools, the self-interest of the Ethiopian government composes a challenge. The unequal power balance within the international community is constituted by the veto powers of five permanent member states. The veto powers of the Russian Federation and China constitute a specific challenge for utilising the policy tools of the R2P as the two countries have vocalised disapproval of international intervention in the conflict. Thus, it is found that the international community’s ability to affect the state behaviour of Ethiopia is challenged. It is discussed that the architecture of the international community affects the potential of the R2P and the ability of the international community to respond to the Ethiopian conflict.
Publication date13 Oct 2022
Number of pages69
ID: 490540018