Violence In Darfur And Responsibility To Protect Essay

Length: 4 pages Sources: 5 Subject: Government - Intl. Relations Type: Essay Paper: #37899604 Related Topics: War, Conflict, Genocide, Doctrine
Excerpt from Essay :

After hundreds of thousands of deaths and years of bloody conflict, the international community watched the final dust settle on the conflict in Darfur by the mid-2000s, but many of the important questions that were raised by this humanitarian disaster remain unanswered today. The purpose of this paper is to provide a critical review of selected resources concerning the genocidal conflict n Darfur to evaluate the international community’s response from 2003 onward from a responsibility to protect (R2P) perspective. In addition, a discussion to determine whether there reforms to R2P that could ameliorate any specific weaknesses or problems in the international response to the violence in Darfur is followed by a summary of the research and important findings concerning the above issues in the paper’s conclusion.

Review and Discussion

What does the international community’s response to the violence in Darfur (from 2003 onward) indicate about the strengths and limitations (or the promise and problems) in the doctrine of responsibility to protect (R2P)?

In many ways, the situation in Darfur resembles that in many other fragile African states where decades of corruption, poverty and civil conflict have exacted an enormous human and economic toll, leaving the majority of the population vulnerable to disease and displacement. Since the hostilities essentially peaked in 2004, the local governance situation in Darfur had disintegrated to the point where international intervention was desperately needed (De Waal, 2007). For instance, Henir and Murray (2017) advise that, “As the war raged in 2003-2004, the U.S. public discourse on Darfur was conducted in an informational near vacuum [but] the American movement for Darfur took off in mid-2004” (p. 306). This point is also made by Mandani (2009) who cites the grassroots initiatives that took place in the United States during the mid-2000s with the “Save Darfur” campaign characterizing the situation as a “continuing genocide” and was the “worst humanitarian disaster in the world” (p. 48).

Although this dire eventuality was predictable enough, the multiple antecedents to the violence were well documented and the genocide was played out in real time in the mainstream media, the international community was unwilling or unable to intervene before hundreds of thousands of people were murdered or displaced. In this regard, De Waal (2007) emphasizes that:

The basic pattern of grievances is shared by all the marginalized peoples: they were denied their share in political power and national wealth, and the government used divide-and-rule tactics to allow…slow-motion manner in which the international community was finally compelled to act despite documented reports of the genocide taking place underscores the weaknesses of the international response to the violence in Darfur. In addition, the international response to this humanitarian crisis also made it clear that any reforms to R2P must taken into account the country- and region-specific challenges facing humanitarian organizations. This need was incorporated into an addendum to the R2P which is termed the “responsibility while protecting” concept which means that there must be enhanced protections as well as increased accountability for the actions of peacekeepers during R2P mission (Stuenkel, 2016).


Complex problems demand complex solutions and the research was consistent in showing that intervening in the violence that ravaged Darfur during the 2000s was certainly no exception. Despite the inexplicable delays that were involved, the international community did finally take action to ameliorate the suffering that was taking place in Sudan, but many observers claimed that this assistance was “too little, too late” to prevent the genocide that claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of innocent people. In the final analysis, it is reasonable to conclude that the responsibility to protect doctrine will continue to undergo reform in…

Sources Used in Documents:


Axworthy, L. (2016, June). Resetting the narrative on peace and security: R2P in the next ten years. In the Oxford handbook of the responsibility to protect, 1-17.

De Wall, A. (2007). Darfur and the failure of the responsibility to protect. International Affairs, 83(6),1039-1054.

Henir, A. & Murray, R.W. (2017). Protecting human rights in the 21st century. Routeledge.

Mandani, M. (2009). Saviors and survivors: Darfur, politics and the war on terror. Doubleday.

Stuenkel, O. (2016, June). Responsibility while protecting. In the Oxford handbook of the responsibility to protect, 1-20.

Thakur, R. & Maley, W. (eds.) (2015). Theorizing the responsibility to protect. Cambridge.

Weiss, T. G. (2016). Humanitarian intervention. Polity.

Cite this Document:

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"Violence In Darfur And Responsibility To Protect", 13 December 2020, Accessed.11 May. 2021,

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