23 Steps The UN & The U.S. Should Take To Respond To Allegations

1. Has genocide or human rights abuses occurred? Are civilians being killed? Are there death marches, roadside executions, murder of the rich, the intellectuals and forced labor? Have spy planes and satellites shown any killing, mass graves, armies, mass movements and destruction?

2. Don’t get caught up with what the alleged perpetrators are calling it. The Nazis disguised their crimes with euphemisms such as “resettlement,” “removal,” and “special action.” The Khmer Rouge (KR) used, “sweep, throw out” and “sweep, discard.” On top of that, Leng Sary, co-founder of the KR, made the “logical” argument about why the KR could never kill on the scale suggested: “There is no reason for the KR to reduce the population or to maintain it at its current level since today’s population of 8 million is well below the potential of the country, which needs more than 20 million.”

3. Introduce the issue immediately at the UN Security Council.

4. Are foreigners and journalist allowed into the country? Are they allowed free reign: to explore independently, investigate and talk to whomever they want without a chaperon?

5. Are relief and humanitarian aid organizations, such as the Red Cross, Human Rights Watch, allowed into the country?

6. If there are thousands of eye-witnesses testimony send in independent international investigators to go fact-finding missions. Skepticism is necessary at this point. Refugees tend to paint as black a picture as they can. But, when too many tell the same stories in much too similar details, we need to send in journalists and international organizations.

7. Have journalist and international organizations bring back pictures and videos. This way journalists don’t need to rely on eyewitness accounts of refugees who managed to escape. Reporters are trained to authenticate their stories by visiting or confirming with multiple sources. Thus they tend to, rightly, shy away from publishing refugee accounts. When they do print them, they routinely add caveats and disclaimers.

8. Send in the Human Rights Watch’s International Commission of Investigation

9. Call for the appointment of a special human rights rapporteur to investigate and send him/her in.

10.Send in the UN Secretary-General to visit the country.

11. Send in politicians to visit refugee camps. Videos aren’t enough to move people —especially politicians. What does move people is personal contact with the traumatized refugees.

12. Publicly identify and threaten the perpetrators with persecution.

13. The fact that we don’t know everything doesn’t mean we know nothing. If genocide or human rights abuses have enough evidence, urge our allies and other countries to file genocide charges at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). This court has no enforcement powers but it can settle the question once and for all. It can also issue a declaratory judgment and demanded that provisional measures be taken.

14. Shift the burden of proof to the perpetrators. Instead of having the world prove that the perpetrators are committing genocide, have the perpetrators prove to the world that they aren’t committing genocide. At this point, it isn’t that refugees have to prove that there’s genocide but the skeptics have to prove that there isn’t. They’re required to offer persuasive reasons for disputing eyewitness claims.

Now that genocide is legally proven:

1. Respond with a sense of urgency. Give the perpetrator warnings with consequences if they are disobeyed, i.e threats.

2. Demand the expulsion of the perpetrator’s representatives from international institutions such as the UN.

3. Close the perpetrators’ embassies around the world.

4. Call upon the perpetrator’s allies to influence the perpetrator to change.

5. Deprive the perpetrators of propagating hate.

6. Freeze foreign assets.

7. Enact fuel embargoes, sanctions and arms embargo against the aggressors only —not the victims. The U.S. maintained an arms embargo against the Bosnian Muslims even after it was clear that the arms ban prevented the Muslims from defending themselves.

8. Send in U.N peacekeeping forces to keep the perpetrators away. Also, send in a U.N. police force to keep law and order in place since the government has gone rogue and there is no law and order.

This is a Chapter VI deployment mission that assumes a ceasefire and a desire on both sides to comply with a peace accord. With a group of countries, set up safe areas to house refugees and civilians, and protect them with well-armed and robustly mandated peacekeepers, airpower, or both.

Diplomacy without the meaningful threat of military force had often failed to deter abuse. Slobodan Milosevic, the Bosnian genocide perpetrator, ignored diplomatic threats.

On top of that, Human Rights Watch decided that henceforth anytime that “genocide or mass slaughter” could be diagnosed around the world, the group would have to put aside its mistrust of military power and recommend armed intervention.

9. If the above doesn’t work, move from peacekeeping to peace enforcement. That is, move to a Chapter VII mission. This would demand more U.N. peacekeepers with greater resources, more aggressive rules of engagement, and an explicit recognition that the U.N. soldiers were there to protect civilians.

To your success,
Nikhil Mahadea