Kyle Rapp

Document Type



The failure of United Nations safe areas during the fall of Yugoslavia, at Srebrenica in particular, highlighted major limitations inherent to the safe area policies. Flaws in the mission mandate, the understandings of impartiality and neutrality, and in force deployments came together to critically limit the effectiveness of the safe area deployment. This paper aims to analyze the failures of Srebrenica to highlight changes which need to be made to create an effective safe zone policy in the future, one which is capable of offering robust and effective protection. At the same time this paper addresses issues of legitimacy, including the emerging norm of ‘Responsibility to Protect’ and the role of the General Assembly in legitimating action, to highlight the legitimacy of a robust safe zone policy informed from the failures of Srebrenica.