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Jakarta Post

Lesson from humanitarian intervention in Syria

  • Mangadar Situmorang
    Mangadar Situmorang

    Senior lecturer at the Department of International Relations, Parahyangan Catholic University

Bandung   /   Fri, April 27, 2018   /  01:56 pm
Lesson from humanitarian intervention in Syria Smoke billows following Syrian government bombardments on Kafr Batna, in the besieged Eastern Ghouta region on the outskirts of the capital Damascus on Feb. 22, 2018. (Agence France -Presse/Amer Almohibany)

That many Syrian civilians and innocent people were treated inhumanely by their own government through the use of chemical weapons would never be imagined, let alone accepted by the Indonesian people. That the United States, supported by the United Kingdom and France, responded by launching missile attacks against Syria is similarly intolerable to most Indonesians and the government alike.

A simple question then arises: what is more important, protecting civilians’ human rights or respecting a state’s sovereignty? The discourse was and is ongoing over whether it is legally and ethically acceptable to protect human rights for the sake of state sovereignty. As anticipated, the discussion is not likely to reach a unanimous agreement by all students studying conflict resolution, nor would it in global politics. Contrasts are quite clear. 


Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.