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7 Conclusion

From: Military Assistance on Request and the Use of Force

Erika De Wet

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 22 February 2024

Human rights — Military assistance — International humanitarian law — Collective security — Customary international law — UN Charter — Armed forces

This concluding chapter identifies what the customary international law requirements are for valid requests for military assistance. It also addresses the ambivalent relationship between this legal construct and the notion of collective security embodied in the UN Charter. On the one hand, there is the risk that military assistance provided by individual states or groups of states undermines the notion of the centralization of decisions regarding the use of force with the United Nations Security Council. It can further perpetuate the perception of neo-colonialism and imperialism that have been associated with military assistance on request ever since the Cold War. On the other hand, clauses such as article 4(j) and potentially article 4(h) of the African Union Constitutive Act and article 25 of the Economic Community of West African States Mechanism Protocol suggest that military assistance on request can be deployed as a mechanism for maintaining regional peace and security. This suggests that, depending on the context, military assistance on request can be utilized in the interests of international peace and security and could therefore be reconcilable with the notion of collective security underpinning the UN Charter.

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