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\"Forgotten\" Humanitarian Obligations: The case of the Saharawi

NK Swazo


In a recent essay, political scientist Michael Dillon wrote: “The refugee is…a scandal for philosophy, and specifically for epistemology, in that the refugee recalls the radical instability of meaning and the incalculability of the human. The refugee is a scandal for politics also, however, in that the advent of the refugee is always a reproach to the formation of the political order or subjectivity that necessarily gives rise to the refugee.”1 The case of the Saharawi, I submit, is an indictment of both philosophy and politics, given the reproach this people may with all due warrant lay at the bar of international justice to call the international community to account for failures of performance on humanitarian obligations. It is their case that I take up here, as a problem of ethics in international affairs, as the minimum of a philosopher's recompense owed this people today.

African Studies Monograph Vol. 8 (1) 2008 pp. 1-29

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