- PROJECT TITLE: THE ROLE OF THE UNITED NATIONS IN THE POST- DARFUR CRISIS AND THE EFFECTIVENESS OF ITS CONFLICT RESOLUTION MECHANISMS DEPARTMENT: HISTORY & INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
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1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
As a collective security mechanism, the United Nations was established October 1945 at the end of the Second World War as a successor to the League of Nations. The United Nations has been charged with vast responsibilities for the maintenance of international peace and security and also to check the use of force by individual states in the settlement of international disputes. The UN carries out these responsibilities under the United Nations Charter as a guide to resolving international disputes and also maintaining international peace and security. According to Article 1 of the charter, it is expected to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of peace.
Apart from regulating unilateral use of force by states, the UN has also played substantial roles in intra-state disputes across the globe since its birth. It has independently initiated peacekeeping operations in war-ridden states and has attempted to find lasting answers to these crises. These peace operations involve peacekeeping, peace building and peace enforcement; they consume several billions of dollars from the UN funds and are evidence to show the commitment of the UN in keeping the peace across the world.
Also, the UN has helped to resolve crisis and achieve peace in different parts of the world internationally, regionally and sub regionally, it continued to play the role of third party mediator in different crisis for example, in Iran, Indonesia, Greece, Kashmir, Palestine, Korea, Suez, Hungary, Congo, Cyprus, Arab-Israeli war of 1967, Liberia, sierra Leone, Somalia to mention a few demonstrates the commitment of the UN.
In Africa, since the 1960‟s when African countries started gaining political independence, intra state crisis had become common occurrences particularly in the form of civil wars. Most of these crises could be attributed to the colonial and neo-colonial experiences of these countries, as colonialism created contradictions within these countries. However, efforts have been made to rectify these problems and bring about the needed peace in these countries.
The crisis in the Darfur region of Sudan where thousands of lives were lost and millions of people were displaced from their homes called for the concern of the international community including the United Nations. The crisis which started since February 2003, according to Time magazine (October 4th, 2004) gradually escalated into an explosive proportion attracting condemnation from world leaders who accused the Sudanese government of doing virtually nothing to contain the situation. The government was however accused of fueling the crisis. Within a short period of time, Darfur crisis became a high profile event under the lime light of international attention.
The UN raised alarm on the crisis in Darfur in 2003 and finding a lasting resolution was the top priority for the Security Council and two consecutive Secretary-Generals. In addition to pursuing a political solution, the UN and its partners organized the largest aid effort in the world in Darfur and in refugee camps in chad and Central African Republic. In parallel, UN human rights experts had reported on abuses and monitored efforts by local courts to bring perpetrators to justice. The United Nations Security Council passed resolution 1547 on June 11th, 2004, to kick start peace talks by requesting all parties to the crisis to sign and implement the humanitarian protocol and also develop strategies to enhance peace by peacekeeping, peace building and peace enforcement operations in Darfur.
Under the auspices of the African Union (AU) and with the support of the UN and other partners, the Darfur peace agreement (DPA) was signed on 5th may 2006. Intensive diplomatic and political efforts to bring the non-signatories into the peace process yielded promising results. Some of these results are; the government and southern rebels signed a peace deal, the agreement included a permanent cease fire and accords on wealth and power sharing, Also the United Nations Security Council authorized sanctions against those who violated the cease fire in Darfur, the council also votes to refer those accused of war crimes in Darfur to the International Criminal Court.
In accordance with the decisions of the 16 November 2006 high level consultations in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, attended by the former Secretary General, the five permanent members of the Security Council, representatives of the government of Sudan, the AU, other states and organizations with political influence in the region, and some African Union Missions in Sudan (AMIS) troop contributing countries the UN department of peace keeping operations (DPKO) has developed, adapted and implemented a three phase approach to augment AMIS and deploy an unprecedented AU/UN hybrid peacekeeping operation in Darfur, referred to by its acronym, UNAMID.
Intensive private and public diplomacy by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and several in the international community resulted in Sudan‟s acceptance of this force in June 2007 and its formal establishment through Security Council resolution 1769, adopted on 31 July 2007.
The peace talks and cease fire by the UNSC which led to the establishment of the resolution
1769 did not last long after the death of the vice president and former southern leader John
Garang in a plane crash, his death sparked deadly clashes in the capital between southern Sudanese and northern Arabs. This also led to the secession of southern Sudan to form its autonomous government in line with the 2005 peace deal, and became independent in 2011.
Notwithstanding, of all the peace arrangements put in place by the UN, the peace in the whole of Sudan is still unstable, there have been reports of recent clashes between the Sudan and South Sudanese governments, which raises questions about the efficacy of the UN and its peace initiatives. The UN has therefore been challenged with the ineffectiveness of these peace initiatives and therefore has to proffer more efficient and effective peacekeeping and peace building mechanisms for complete resolution of the Darfur and post Darfur crisis and also for the achievement of long lasting and constant peace all through Sudan and South Sudan.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
According to the charter, the United Nations is an organization for maintaining and keeping peace by suppressing the outbreaks of international violence and by encouraging and facilitating the peaceful settlement of international disputes. It is therefore obligatory for the UN to intervene in both intra and international crisis to promote and maintain peace. This can be achieved by carrying out peacekeeping operations in troubled spots of the world. The Darfur conflict in 2003 took a rapid transformation in terms of intensity and dimension. The international community, the UN and the African Union responded diplomatically to contain the conflict but went through many challenges and problems during the process especially the UN. One of the challenges faced by the UN during the crisis was the inability of the Security Council to come up with a decision free from the veto of the permanent members. The UN was therefore criticized for failing to deliver peace in the Darfur region of Sudan because it is an idle organization that was being monopolized by the great powers. Due to the intensity of the conflict and the violation of international law and also the war crimes committed by the Janjaweed and the Sudanese rebel groups, it was expected that the UN should have taken immediate action towards the resolution of the conflict, but the organization did not send any real threats of sanctions to the fighting parties to deter their actions in Darfur. The supply of arms by other countries of the world especially china to the Sudanese government also made things difficult for the UN in its intervention. The UN was limited within insufficient humanitarian activities rather than settlement initiative, and only unilateral actions were taken by governments. There was also the
Inability of the UN as an organization to act and respond militarily or to effectively sanction Sudan or any other state violating human rights or international law was due to the unwillingness of the UN to develop a conflict resolution mechanism capable of managing crisis. This unwillingness was a result of the misperception of the existence of global threats by states and non-state actors. All these problems made the international community, scholars and other countries to question the effectiveness of the UN in conflict resolution.
This study intends to address these problems and critically evaluate the UN‟s efforts in terms of the mechanism of the organization and the strategies employed in resolving the Darfur crisis and also to see how effective they have been in establishing stable peace in Sudan and
South Sudan after the Darfur crisis that is, the post- Darfur crisis and if not what are the factors responsible for hindering stable and lasting peace in both countries that is, Sudan and
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF STUDY
The broad objective of this study is to examine the role of the United Nations in the post- Darfur crisis and the effectiveness of its conflict resolution mechanisms, the specific objectives of the study are to:
1. identify the remote and immediate causes of the Darfur crisis.
2. examine the measures put in place by the UN to resolve the crisis.
3. appraise the role of the UN as a collective security mechanism in international politics, and
4. assess the trends and challenges of the UN peace efforts in post- Darfur.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The work is guided by the following research questions;
1. What were the remote and immediate causes of the Darfur crisis?
2. How effective were the measures put in place by the UN to resolve the crisis?
3. What was the role of the UN as a collective security mechanism in international politics?
4. What is the nature and challenges of security in the post Darfur crisis?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
The UN was principally established after the Second World War to maintain peace and prevent the use of force by individual states in the settlement of international disputes. This research is important because it would be used to explain the effectiveness of the United Nations and how far the organization is willing to resolve the Darfur and post Darfur crisis and also explain the role and strategies of the United Nations in conflict resolutions. The research work will also contribute and add to the already existing academic literature and knowledge.
Although a number of literatures have been written on the role of the UN in conflict resolution and peace building, This research work intends to present ways of resolving the Darfur crisis and also come up with strategies to maintain and promote peace in that region .
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATIONS OF STUDY
The study covers the period 2003 to date. The reason for this is because the Darfur crisis started in 2003. A major limitation to this work is time, finance and paucity of books on the crisis. The researcher cannot travel to Darfur to do an on the spot assessment due to the timeframe, hence the work might not be able to capture all the developments; the reason for this is because the crisis is not yet completely resolved. However, these will not in any way affect the conclusions drawn in the work, as the research intends to utilize reliable findings for this work.
1.7 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
This research derives its data from primary and secondary source. The work derives its information from interviews, textbooks, journals, articles, magazines, government publications and also publications of various United Nations Agencies like UNICEF, WHO to mention a few. Also reports of the UN and AU on the crisis, internet information and documentaries and reports by foreign and local media are utilized appropriately. Top members of various institutions would be interviewed these institutions are international peacekeeping organization and the United Nations. Also learned scholars in peacekeeping and conflict resolution will also be interviewed.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
UNITED NATIONS: The UN is an organization that was established after the Second World War as a successor to the League of Nations, it was principally established to maintain international peace and security.
DARFUR: The westernmost region in the Republic of Sudan, covering and area about the size of France, the landscape of Darfur spans sandy dessert, grassy savannah and lofty mountains. The region is home to an ethnic variety people, most of whom are Muslims. The Fur people make up the largest non- Arab group in that region. In Arabic Darfur means “land of Fur”.
CONFLICT: A situation in which people, groups or countries are involved in a serious argument. It is also a violent situation or period of fighting between two opposing parties or countries.
CONFLICT RESOLUTION: The process of conciliation and mediation which is aimed at managing a crisis and ultimately eliminating the cause of the crisis so that the feuding parties return to peaceful coexistence. Conflict resolution is also a conscious effort by governments and international organization, NGO aimed at finding solutions to areas of disagreement between two parties.
PEACE KEEPING: The art of an international organization to intervene in a crisis primary to ensure ceasefire between the combatants. In peace keeping the latter identifies the aggressor and employs military force to defeat the attacker. Peacekeeping is one of the major strategies for maintaining peace in war torn countries.
1.9 CHAPTER ORGANIZATION
The work is divided into five chapters. Chapter one is the general introduction, it consists of the background of study, statement of problems, objectives of study, research questions, significance of study, scope and limitation, research methodology, definition of terms and chapter organization. Chapter two comprises the literature review and the theoretical framework; existing works on conflict in Sudan and the UN would be reviewed. Chapter three focuses on the Research Methodology used during the course of the study. Chapter four covers majorly the historical background of the study, data analysis and presentation and chapter five consists of the findings, conclusion and recommendations.
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Human Rights Watch (2009) vol.18 No. 1 (A)
Morgenthau Hans (1967) politics among nations: The struggle for power and peace. Boston:
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Palmer and Perkins (2007) International Relations 3rd edition on: United Nations Political and Security issues. A.I.T.B.S Publishers, India.
Thu Thi Quach (2004) the crisis in Darfur: power struggle, practical geopolitics, humanitarian crisis, Genocide, geostrategic significance. December 7, 2004.
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