Ne répétons pas l'erreur du Kosovo !

LONDRES –  La récente déclaration unilatérale d'indépendance du Kosovo rappelle des souvenirs. Je me suis publiquement opposé à l'attaque de l'OTAN contre la Serbie en mars 1999, déclenchée au nom de la protection des Kosovars contre les atrocités serbes. A cette époque, j'étais membre de l'Opposition Front Bench , le contre-gouvernement de la Chambre des Lords de Grande-Bretagne. Le dirigeant conservateur de l'époque, William Hague, m'a alors immédiatement chassé de mon siège, ce qui a mis fin à ma modeste carrière politique. Depuis, je me demande toujours si j'ai eu raison.

Je me suis opposé à cette intervention militaire pour deux raisons. Premièrement, j'estimais que si cela pouvait améliorer localement la situation, cela risquait de nuire aux conventions qui régissaient les relations internationales telles qu'on les entendait à l'époque. La Charte de l'ONU était conçue pour prévenir l'emploi de la force au-delà des frontières, sauf légitime défense ou application de mesures édictées par le Conseil de sécurité. Les droits de l'homme, la démocratie ou l'autodétermination n'étaient pas des raisons fondées en droit pour mener une guerre.

Deuxièmement, je pensais qu'il y a des moments où, au-delà du droit international, les violations des droits de l'homme sont tellement graves que l'on est moralement obligé d'intervenir, mais ce n'était pas le cas au Kosovo. J'estimais que le "désastre humanitaire imminent" que l'intervention était supposée éviter était largement une invention. Je pensais également que les moyens non militaires pour résoudre la situation humanitaire au Kosovo étaient loin d'être épuisés et que l'échec des négociations de Rambouillet avec la Serbie en février-mars 1999 était "simplement une excuse pour commencer les bombardements", selon Henry Kissinger.

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