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Gender-Sensitive Protection and the Responsibility to Prevent: Lessons from Chad

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Helping states to fulfil their duty to protect their citizens and those seeking refuge within the sovereign terrain of the given state belongs to the second pillar of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P). The R2P concept, however, relates as much to preventing mass atrocities as to halt already on-going ones. This article emphasises the gender dimensions of prevention of and protection against violence and other threats, in order to stress the importance of implementing and mainstreaming gender into R2P. The case study of interest here is the UN support mission to Chad and the Central African Republic (MINURCAT) that provided a fairly encouraging, albeit short-lived, example of gender-responsive prevention and protection measures at the community level for refugees and IDPs in eastern Chad. Chad exemplifies a case with low-intensity conflicts and responses made at the local level, like the MINURCAT-supported community conflict resolution initiative, proved constructive in preventing violent responses. Here, deliberate integration of female police officers was a first step towards facilitating contact with women not allowed to talk to male strangers. Further, ensuring gender training for the entire police unit as an integrated part of their protection responsibility helped in avoiding male-as-norm approaches. The forced withdrawal of the UN was questioned as premature. However, the security situation has remained fairly stable, and the government seems able to provide at least some of the more hard-end forms of protection measures, although rule of law and other forms of protection for vulnerable groups remain elusive in eastern Chad.

1. fn11 For a further discussion on R2P intervention in Darfur see for instance Lanz, D. (2011), ‘Why Darfur? The Responsibility to Protect as a Rallying Cry for Transnational Advocacy Groups’. Global Responsibility to Protect, Vol. 3(2): 223–247.
2. fn22 See the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS) (2009), The Responsibility to Protect: Report of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty. Ottawa: International Development Research Centre.
3. fn33 For a different view on this, see the report Physicians for Human Rights (2009), Nowhere to Turn: Failure to Protect, Support and Assure Justice for Darfuri Women, available at http://darfuriwomen.phrblog.org/nowhere-to-turn/.
4. fn44 UNHCR, 2006. UNHCR chief calls for stronger international presence in Chad [Online]. New York: UNHCR. Available at: http://reliefweb.int/node/222078 [Accessed 2 February 2012].
5. fn55 See Bond & Sherret (2006), ‘A Sight for Sore Eyes: Bringing Gender Vision to the Responsibility to Protect Framework’, UN INSTRAW, and E. Stamnes (2010), The Responsibility to Protect: Integrating gender perspectives into policies and practices, Oslo: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI).
6. fn66 S/RES/1923, 25 May 2010.
7. fn77 See Solhjell, R., J. Karlsrud & J. H. Sande Lie (2010). Protecting Civilians against Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in Eastern Chad. NUPI Security in Practice Report no. 7. Oslo: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs.
8. fn88 Blog post, 31 July 2009. http://africanarguments.org/2009/07/31/good-enough-report-on-chad/ downloaded 21 September 2011.
9. fn99 De Waal, 7 February 2009. ‘Making Sense of Chad’, available at http://www.worldhunger.org/articles/08/editorials/de_waal.htm, accessed10 October 2011.
10. fn1010 International Crisis Group (2008:1). Chad: A New Conflict Resolution Framework.’ Nairobi/Brussels: Africa Report no. 144 (24 September). Downloaded 21 September 2011 from http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/regions/africa/central-africa/chad/144-chad-a-new-conflict-resolution-framework.aspx.
11. fn1111 International Crisis Group (2009:3), ‘Chad: Powder Keg in the East.’ Africa Report no. 149. Downloaded 21 September 2011 from http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/regions/africa/central-africa/chad/149-chad-powder-keg-in-the-east.aspx.
12. fn1212 BBC, ‘French aid worker killed in Chad’, 1 May 2008. Available at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7378304.stm, accessed 28.11.2011.
13. fn1313 International Crisis Group (2009: 4).
14. fn1414 Tubiana, J. (2008). The Chad– Sudan Proxy War and the ‘Darfurization’ of Chad: Myths and Reality. Geneva: Small Arms Survey.
15. fn1515 UNSC, (2010). Letter dated 7 September 2010 from the Permanent Representative of Chad to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council. S/2010/47. New York: UNSC.
16. fn1616 The number of displaced had decreased the most from 180,000 to 143,000, but this could still not be said to be enough to reach the target of a return of a ‘critical mass’ of the internally displaced persons, as set out in the first key benchmark of the Mission. See UNSC (2008). S/RES/1834, September 2008. New York, United Nations Security Council.
17. fn1717 UNSC (2010). Report of the Secretary-General on Chad and the Central African Republic,. 14 October. New York: UNSC; and UNSC (2010). Report of the Secretary-General on Chad and the Central African Republic, 1 December. New York: UNSC.
18. fn1818 S/RES/1888, 30 September 2009, S/RES/1325, 31 October 2000 and S/RES/1820, 19 June 2008.
19. fn1919 See Stamnes (2010:28).
20. fn2020 Bond & Sherret (2006).
21. fn2121 Haas & Schäfer (2009).’Masculinity and Civil wars in Africa – New Approaches to Overcoming Sexual Violence in War’. Programme Promoting Gender Equality and Women’s Rights. Eschborn, 2009. Available at http://www.gtz.de/de/dokumente/en-masculinity-and-civil-wars-2009.pdf.
22. fn2222 Stamnes, E. (2010). The Responsibility to Protect: Integrating gender perspectives into policies and practices. Oslo: NUPI Report.
23. fn2323 See for instance Evans, G. (2008:171). The Responsibility to Protect: Ending mass atrocities once and for all. Washington DC: Brookings Institution Press.
24. fn2424 International Crisis Group (2009:4).
25. fn2525 UNHCR internal document 30 September 2009, accessed 5 November 2010 in Chad.
26. fn2626 UN 2009. 'Implementing the responsibility to protect.' Report of the Secretary-General. UN doc. GA/63/677, 12 January., New York, United Nations. Some critics have argued that the UN Secretary-General put too much emphasis on prevention and early warning in order to avoid the more controversial and coercive dimensions of R2P. See Thomas G. Weiss, ‘RtoP Alive and Well after Libya’, Ethics & International Affairs (2011): 2.
27. fn2727 UNSC (2010c) Report of the Secretary-General on Chad and the Central African Republic, 14 October. New York, United Nations Security Council: p. 12.
28. fn2828 UN General Assembly, 2005. In larger freedom – towards development, security and human rights for all’ Report of the Secretary-General. A/59/2005. New York, UN General Assembly.
29. fn2929 Wheeler and Harmer (2006:14) Resetting the Rules of Engagement: Trends and Issues in Military– Humanitarian Relations. London: Humanitarian Policy Group, Overseas Development Institute.
30. fn3030 Solhjell, R., J. Karlsrud & J. H. Sande Lie (2010). Protecting Civilians against Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in Eastern Chad. NUPI Security in Practice Report no. 7. Oslo: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs: 16.
31. fn3131 Colm Burke, Member of the European Parliament and the European People's Party, argued during a visit to Chad in March 2008 that “[t]he EU and the international community have a 'responsibility to protect' civilians in such dire circumstances and the deployment of EUFOR is an attempt to do just that”. European People's Party (2008) Chad – the EU has a responsibility to protect civilians – visit of Colm Burke MEP [Online]. Brussels: European People's Party. Available: http://www.eppgroup.eu/press/showpr.asp?PRControlDocTypeID=1&PRControlID=7181&PRContentID=12548&PRContentLG=en [Accessed 3 February 2012 2012].
32. fn3232 Oddly enough, the joint DPKO/OCHA study on Protection of Civilians published in 2009, asserted that MINURCAT (and UNAMID) had ‘carved out a new role for FPUs in directly protecting civilians by assigning them protection and public order duties in large IDP camps.’ Holt, V., G. Taylor, et al. (2009) Protecting Civilians in the Context of UN Peacekeeping Operations: Successes, Setbacks and Remaining Challenges. New York: UN DPKO & UN OCHA, p.123. However, FPUs were never deployed to MINURCAT.
33. fn3333 UN DPKO (2010) Functions and Organization of Formed Police Units in United Nations Peacekeeping Operations. New York, UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations.
34. fn3434 Ibid.: n.3, p. 4.
35. fn3535 Karlsrud, J. & Felix da Costa, D. (2009). ‘Protection and humanitarian space: a case-study of the UN Mission to the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT)’, Humanitarian Exchange, 44, September 2009. London: Humanitarian Practice Network.
36. fn3636 Amnesty International, 2010. ‘We too deserve protection’ – Human rights challenges as UN Mission withdraws, New York: Amnesty International Publications.
37. fn3737 Interview in Farchana refugee camp, 5 November 2009.
38. fn3838 Solhjell, de Carvalho & Sande Lie (2011). Somewhere to Turn? MINURCAT and the Protection of Civilians in Eastern Chad and Darfur. Security in Practice 5, Working Paper 788. Oslo: NUPI.
39. fn3939 Interview in Farchana refugee camp, 4 November 2009.
40. fn4040 Posted on MINURCAT webpage 9 February 2009. Available at http://minurcat.unmissions.org/Default.aspx?tabid=296&ctl=Details&mid=533&ItemID=1268.
41. fn4141 See Felix da Costa and Karlsrud 2010 and Felix da Costa and Karlsrud 2011.
42. fn4242 Interview with Victor Angelo, former SRSG MINURCAT, 20 June 2011.
43. fn4343 UNSC 2010. Letter dated 7 September 2010 from the Permanent Representative of Chad to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council. S/2010/47. New York: United Nations Security Council.
44. fn4444 United Nations Peacebuilding Fund, ‘Chad’. Available at http://www.unpbf.org/wp-content/uploads/4th-consolidated-annual-progress-report.pdf, accessed 28.11.2011.
45. fn4545 Interview with Pauline Ballaman, former head of Oxfam GB in Chad, 24 November 2011.
46. fn4646 See J. Karlsrud and D. Felix da Costa, The Elusive Concept of Protection: The Elusive Concept of Protection of Civilians: A Case-Study of the United Nations Mission to the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT), Security in Practice 7, 2011 (Oslo: NUPI, 2011); and B. de Carvalho and Jon Harald Sande Lie (2011) ‘Chronicle of a Frustration Foretold? The Implementation of a Broad Protection Agenda in the United Nations.’ Journal of International Peacekeeping 15 (3).
47. fn4747 UNSC, (2010b) Letter dated 7 September 2010 from the Permanent Representative of Chad to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council. S/2010/47. New York: UNSC, p. 2. Italics added.
48. fn4848 UNHCR reports presented during fieldwork, November 2009.
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/content/journals/10.1163/187598412x639719
2012-01-01
2015-08-31

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