Interferring in other countries’ policies

International relations should be based on respecting the sovereignty of each country, but at the same time, countries should not turn a blind eye to the excesses that can happen in any particular one. An independent country doesn’t mean its regime is free to govern its people without guaranteeing them basic right human rights and good governance. It’s one thing for a country to choose a political system, but it’s another to have a regime that enslaves its people by not allowing them the right to choose and govern itself through democratic process.

It is unlikely that the UN will adopt a resolution by which it will have the right to directly topple regimes that have exaggerated its abuses or shown incompetence in governing. The best thing to do is to isolate it economically and diplomatically. Military interventions are an infringement on a country’s sovereignty and it will set a precedent for automatic military interventions in any country surrounded by hostile ones. This is likely to be unpopular by the people themselves as they will see it as an occupation or a continuous domination by foreign powers.

Military interventions can be possible only in weak countries. But it’s unlikely to take place in countries with heavy military machine like Burma and North Korea. Any force trying to invade them will sustain heavy casualties, not to mention the veto of China to do so. Military interventions can’t be a general rule. As for the diplomatic and economic sanctions against a hostile regime can work if they are taken unanimously. Many regimes survive just by establishing good relations just with a few reliable countries. Mugabe is surviving thanks to the economic ties he has with SADC, mainly with South Africa.

There are also the political calculations of the worth of a massive intervention in a country’s affair, especially when it comes to military action. NATO military intervened in Serbia because the situation there worsened by genocide was a threat to the image of Europe as a free continent and it couldn’t allow those things happen on its soil when the like of them were taking place elsewhere in parts of Africa like Liberia.

What remains as a solution is to starve authoritarian and abusive regimes of all the means to survive and to give a boost to the opposition committed to democracy and to hope for the best to come.

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