• Humanitarian Intervention in Metaphorical Metamorphosis. Memories from the experiences of Libya and Cote d’Ivoire

Lambert Academic Publishing
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(Moses Tofa holds a BSc in Political Science, an MSc in International Relations from the University of Zimbabwe and an MA in International Peace and Security from King’s College London, UK. He has taught at the University of Zimbabwe and the Women’s University in Africa. He is an African Leadership Centre Scholar.)


The interventions in Libya and Cote d’Ivoire present an epoch-making but potentially precarious ricochet in the trajectory of the “fledgling” doctrine and practice of humanitarian intervention. With these interventions, humanitarian intervention drifted to a mooting point. Unlike previous cases of humanitarian intervention whose legitimacy have been contested almost exclusively from a jus ad bellum point of view, the interventions in Libya and Cote d’Ivoire shifted the controversy from jus ad bellum to jus in bello. The “elastic confines” of the “emerging norm” of the “protection of civilians” have made humanitarian intervention unprecedentedly controversial. It has metamorphosed humanitarian intervention in an amorphous way which potentially makes it more challenging to peddle the humanitarian agenda as a guiding principle in international relations. The Achilles’ heel of NATO’s intervention in Libya in giving impetus to the crystallization of the humanitarian agenda is that it was largely construed as a titanic imperialist project than a project which was predicated on the rarefied moral imperative to save strangers beyond borders.

MATERIAS: Humanitarian intervention, Metaphorical Metamorphosis, Memories, Experiences of Libya and cote d'Ivoire