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The Responsibility to Protect$
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Jared Genser, Irwin Cotler, Desmond Tutu, and Vaclav Havel

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199797769

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199797769.001.0001

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(p.279) 13 Kenya
The Responsibility to Protect

Meredith Preston-McGhie

Serena Sharma

Oxford University Press

In late December 2007 and the early days of January 2008, eruptions of violence around Kenya brought the world's attention firmly on the disputed presidential election, held on December 27, 2007. Within days, the country was paralyzed. Transport links were cut, trade stopped, violence intensified, and the government was unable to function. Equally rapidly, leaders from the continent and abroad flew in to press for a resolution to the crisis and an end to the violence. The crisis in Kenya has been highlighted as a unique case of political action and a successful example of mediation as a crisis prevention response. This chapter attempts to provide a more critical view of the added-value of the responsibility to protect (RtoP) in the Kenya case, and of the case of Kenya for the RtoP more generally. Has the international response to this crisis improved the capacity of Kenya to prevent such atrocities in the future, and do the lessons from Kenya offer us insights into making RtoP more generally effective in supporting the prevention of such atrocities in the future? The chapter proceeds in four sections. The first section establishes the background context of the crisis through a consideration of Kenya's strategic role. This is followed by an overview of the 2007 elections and their aftermath. The third section analyzes regional and global responses to the crisis. The fourth and final section assesses the influence of the Kenya crisis on the broader development of the RtoP.

Keywords:   responsibility to protect, violence, presidential elections, international intervention, political action, medication, crisis prevention

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