1887

Blood and Borders

The Responsibility to Protect and the Problem of the Kin-State

image of Blood and Borders
Inter-ethnic conflict and genocide have demonstrated the dangers of failing to protect people targeted by fellow citizens. When minority groups in one country are targeted for killings or ethnic cleansing based on their group identity, whose responsibility is it to protect them? In particular, are they owed any protective responsibility by their kin-state? How can cross-border kinship ties strengthen greater pannational identity across borders without challenging territorially defined national security? As shown by the Russia-Georgia conflict over South Ossetia, unilateral intervention by a kin-state can lead to conflict within and between states. The protection of national minorities should not be used as an excuse to violate state sovereignty and generate interstate conflict.

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The responsibility to protect minorities: Is the kin-state a problem or a solution?

States have a responsibility to protect all people at risk from atrocities living on their territories – be they citizens or non-citizens, indigenous people, majorities or minorities. But sometimes states may be too weak to do so. Or they may act in a way that endangers part of the population, for example persons belonging to a national minority.

English

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