Civil intervention missions do not try to be "neutral", at least not in the etymological sense of the word, which is "neither one nor the other".
The mandate of a peace mission aimed, if not at reconciling, at least at conciliating the parties involved in a conflict is not to take sides with "neither of the two" adversaries, but to take sides with both.
Its members take sides twice, with one side and with the other. But this double commitment is never unconditional : it is always undertaken with discernment and in a spirit of fairness. The need to respect human rights and democratic conditions is always stated.
For over 20 years NGOs have been testing civil intervention missions. They are proving to be workable solutions when diplomatic efforts have failed and military action is impossible or inadequate. Sending unarmed, and impartial civilian personnel objectively to a conflict zone cannot be assimilated to a "declaration of war" by the belligerants.
Civil intervention missions can strengthen the role and the influence of those members of the civil society who are seeking a political solution to the conflict in which they are embroiled. Their action usually completes that of the NGOs giving emergency and development aid.
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