The study of civilian protection and hurdles in its implementation is of seminal importance insofar as it informs policymakers’ attempts to respond to the scourge of war. The sheer weight of numbers of civilians affected by current-day war and the failures of international humanitarian and development organisations in Rwanda and Bosnia are the driving forces in resurrecting protection as an imperative in conflict areas. This paper discusses the process of ‘mainstreaming’ protection into international humanitarian and development organisations and the role of International Organizations (IOs) and International Non-Governmental Organizations (INGOs) in the internal conflict of Mindanao, Phillipines.
This essay purports to focus on Angola as a case study that transcends the diseased nature of bureaucratic humanitarianism- undesirable and ritualised behaviour in which rules obscure social goals and perpetuation instincts dehumanise Africans such that genocide could get rephrased as “civil war”. Humanitarianism, for the purpose of this exegesis, is underlined as a complement to great power strategies rather than as a de-contextualised impulse to help humans whose existential needs are in threat. The author re-conceptualises humanitarians as not only activists but policymakers; not only outsiders ‘looking in’, but also rulers who wield power and abuse it in environments where accountability breaks down. The essay argues that UN agencies and INGOs were central, not peripheral, to the quest for unrestrained access Angola’s strategic minerals and that they added to the troubles of the Angolan people. According to the author, “If Angolans, Africans and all other peoples from the developing world are to rebuild their other-determined lives, they have to upend the de-legitimising empire of humanitarianism.”
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