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1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
THE ROLE OF THE UNITED NATIONS IN CONFLICT RESOLUTION: A CASE STUDY OF THE POST-DARFUR CRISIS (2003- TILL DATE)
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,………
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 South Sudan.
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.