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The Safe Haven in Northern Iraq


Auteur : Helena Cook
Éditeur : KHRP Date & Lieu : 1995, London
Préface : Pages : 176
Traduction : ISBN : 1 900175 00 2
Langue : AnglaisFormat : 145x210 mm
Code FIKP : Liv. Eng. Coo. Saf. N°3881Thème : Général

Présentation
Table des Matières Introduction Identité PDF
The Safe Haven in Northern Iraq

The Safe Haven in Northern Iraq

Helena Cook

KHRP


In March 1991, following the Gulf War a radical act of humanitarian intervention by Britain France and the United States, invoking Resolution 688 of the Security Council, established safe havens in Northern Iraq.
The objective was to protect the Kurds and other inhabitants from the onslaught of Sadam Hussein’s Republican Guards, an objective which has been achieved through the threat of the use of airpower from bases in Turkey and by agreement with Turkey.

Four years on, this important report on the background to the safe haven policy and what has happened since, is intended to remind the international community of its continued responsibility for its own creation of Iraqi Kurdistan.
This report, published by the Human Rights Centre, University of Essex and the Kurdistan Human Rights Project, London, is a thorough and scholarly analysis of urgent and as yet unanswered questions- what is to be the future of the autonomy achieved in Iraqi Kurdistan? Should the Security Council vote to lift sanctions on Iraq, what human rights and democratic guarantees will it offer to the Kurds in the aftermath?

The study is offered as a resource to those who must now address these issues. The debate that must occur should not just be among those few countries presently proVIding aerial protection for the enclave but the entire United Nations as well as Iraqi Kurds themselves.



Helena Cook is an international human rights lawyer. She has law degrees from Cambridge UnIVersity, U.K, and Harvard Law School, USA and is a qualified lawyer in the UK. She was head of the Legal and Intergovermental Organisations Office at Amnesty International from 1990-1994, haVIng worked as a legal adVIser in that office since 1987.

Prior to that she spent four years with the New York based Lawyers Committee for Human Rights as a staff attorney. Since 1994 she has worked as a lecturer and consultant in international law and human rights is a Fellow of the Human Rights Centre of the University of Essex. In September 1995 she joins the UK-based Public Law Project as Director of Policy and Research.

She has authored a number of publications relating to international law and human rights and the work of non-governmental organisations.

 



FOREWORD


In March 1991, following the Gulf War a radical act of humanitarian intervention by Britain France and the United States, invoicing Resolution 688 of the Security Council, established safe havens in Northern Iraq. The objective was to protect the Kurds and other inhabitants from the onslaught of Sadam Hussein’s Republican Guards, an objective which has been achieved through the threat of the use of airpower front bases in Turkey and by agreement with Turkey. Four years on, this important report on the background to the safe haven policy and what has happened since, is intended to remind the international community of its continued responsibly for its own creation of Iraqi Kurdistan.

In the intervening years the Kurds have established for themselves a democratic administration which under pressure of the effects of international sanctions has suffered greatly leading to severe conflict between the major political factions. The territory has also endured an internal economic embargo by Iraq, aerial bombardment and invasion from Turkey and missile attacks from both Iraqi and Iranian forces. The most recent Turkish invasion in March 1995 in pursuit of the PKK has underlined the complete vulnerability of the people in supposedly internationally protected territory. (See addendum to the study).

The fate of die “safe areas” in eastern Bosnia , Srebrenica and Zepa, must serve as a reminder to the United Nations that failure to agree upon a clear policy in advance and to commit the resources to implement that policy forseeably results in agression. The study argues for a new Security Council Resolution on Iraqi Kurdistan. Its purpose would be to establish, more firmly than Resolution 688, a United Nations Protected Area within Iraq with international guarantees of its autonomy. The study proposes that international involvement should continue under UN jurisdiction until there is a negotiated settlement, in which the Kurds must have full and equal participation. Until that happens the international community as a whole must remain responsible to ensure the protection of the Kurds against Iraqi military threat as well as military incursions from other countries. The author also details a range of human rights policies addressed to both the United Nations and the Kurds themselves. Itcalls for international initiatives to ensure the economic and social development of Iraqi Kurdistan, including the exemption of the area from the international sanctions regime now imposed on die whole of Iraq.

This report is a thorough and scholarly analysis of urgent and as yet unanswered questions- what is to be the future of the autonomy achieved in Iraqi Kurdistan? Should the Security Council vote to lift sanctions on Iraq, what human rights and democratic guarantees will it offer to the Kurds in the aftermath? The study is offered as a resource to those who must now address these issues. The debate that must occur should not just be among diose few countries presently providing aerial protection for die enclave but the entire United Nations as well as Iraqi Kurds themselves.

This study was undertaken by Helena Cook, a Fellow of the Human Rights Centre, university of Essex and formerly head of Amnesty International’s legal division. The research, writing and publication of this report was made possible by the support of the Frankfurt based NGO, Medico International which’ has a major humanitarian involvement in Iraqi Kurdistan. It is published jointly with the London based NGO, the Kurdistan Human Rights Project, to the work of which charity .staff and students at Essex have contributed significantly in their personal capacities. The advise and assistance of member s of the Human Rights Centre and other experts in preparing this study is great fully acknowledged as is the research assistance of Rebecca Juste.

Kevin Boyle
Director Human Rights Centre
Colchester
July 1995



Introduction

“It is the state that the international community should principally entrust with the protection of individuals. However, the issue of international action must be raised when states prove unworthy of this task, when they violate the fundamental principles laid down in the Charter of the United Nations and when-far from being the protectors of individual - they become tormentors...In these circumstances the international community must take over font the states that fail to fulfil their obligations".
The UN Secretary-General (1993)

“This new effort, despite its scale and scope, is not intended as a permanent solution to the plight of the Iraqi Kurds... it is an interim solution designed to meet an immediate, penetrating humanitarian need. Our long-term objective remains the same: far Iraqi Kurds and, indeed, for all Iraqi refugees, wherever they are, to return home and to live in peace, free from repression, free to live their lives".
US President Bush (1991)

“We went into northern Iraq in order to persuade the Kurds to come down from the mountains - to save lives. We don't want the operation to aid in a way that will merely re-create the same problem".
UK Foreign Secretary (1991)

This report examines the situation of Iraqi Kurdistan four years after the international community took unprecedented steps to establish an internationally-protected area for the Kurds inside Iraqi territory. It reviews the historical context of the struggle for Kurdish autonomy in Iraq, the events that led to the setting up of safe havens for the Kurds, the subsequent emergence of Iraqi Kurdistan as a self-governing area and the current scope of international protection and involvement there. In the context of Iraq’s shocking human rights record and its history of brutal repression of the Kurds, it examines the nature of the international community’s responsibility in Iraqi Kurdistan and outlines the further steps that are urgently needed in order to meet that responsibility and avert a second human tragedy for the Kurds. The report takes account of events up to and including the beginning of March 1995.

The international community went to extraordinary lengths in 1991 to protect the Kurds from the Iraqi Government’s Violent suppression of the internal rebellion that took hold in the wake of the Gulf War. The terrified flight of almost two million Kurds to the borders of Iraq to escape the military onslaught led to the adoption of Resolution 688 (1991) by the UN Security Council. This Resolution determined that the consequences of internal repression in Iraq amounted to a threat to international peace and security. It demanded that the repression be brought to an end and insisted that Iraq allow international organizations access to provide humanitarian assistance throughout the country. Thousands of foreign military troops then entered Iraq to set up safe havens and to hold Iraqi forces back in order that the refugees and the displaced could return to their homes. A massive UN aid programme was also launched in the country, with special security proVIded by a UN Guards Contingent.

…..

 




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