Stephen Kovats on Sat, 27 Mar 1999 12:34:40 -0500

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Syndicate: RE:Peljhan and international legality

RE: Peljhan "as for the legal side, there are reportedly loopholes in the
un charter
and resolutions, especially in regards for the situation in the former
yugoslav territories, that make the nato operations significantly more
legal that it appears. i do not know of details about this, but would be
good if someone could check this out. someone with more legal

dear marko, 

although I have no "legal insight" myself this is also something I have
heard, and have been pondering intensly as well. I think it's incredibly
necessary to get through all the smoke screens of accusations, propaganda,
recriminations and so on rising from all corners.  On top of all the work
and effort by the independent media community (xs4all, c3, b92, syndicate
among many others) being put into finding comprehensive sources of
confirmable and reliable news etc., it is equally essential to objectively
see really what the actual international legality of the situation is. This
is one thing which is definitely missing in virtually all the sound bites
and analysis being reported - even from UN officials, who themselves should
be interested in finding appropriate and face-saving legal support.

The commentary I heard in one of the many programs of the past few days,
although I don't remember which one (probably BBC or german ARD), mentioned
a part of either the UN charter, or some statute of international law or
convention (whatever that actually is in itself), that under certain
circumstances in which the leader, leadership or government of a sovereign
state agressively abuses the internal population - whether as genocide or
other form of extreme depravation against a significant part of society -
external intervention is justified. As far as I understood, this does not
apply only or strictly to Yugoslavia and all its former bits. Whether this
is true, or whether it applies in this case (and of course, if so, why no
intervention in Rwanda  etc) I don't know. In addition to this seemingly
foggy charter, loophole, or whatever, is the compounded justification
(again, I use this term in a strictly qualified sense) of the breaking of
the troop withdrawal and military action cessation accord which the
Yugoslav government signed (with NATO or the EU?) last autumn.

Does anybody know what the best source is to find copies of such documents?

and as for radio21, yes, it would be important to hear what's going on with
them, whether they are broadcasting or not.

stephen kovats