Can The UN Deliver On Peace in Darfur? Essay Sample
- Word count: 3403
- Category: genocide
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Can The UN Deliver On Peace in Darfur? Essay Sample
Introduction and Back ground.
The initiation of military operations after the September 11 events of the global war against intimidation spread commonly and against Iraq particularly; it put in the shade compassionate intercessions observed by multiparty organizations. Yet, the hazard caused by governments of genocidal view is worthy of the ongoing notice of worldwide supremacy since their draconian strategies and mobilization abilities comprise the tangible weapons of mass obliteration against common citizens. The delayed rejoinder of the global society to carnage in Darfur has been extensively viewed as a reaction of the up-and-coming standard in global culture that places a liability to defend inhabitants under attack by genocidal governments. (Piiparinen p. 1).
The present disaster in Darfur has profound origins and stanches from manifold levels of disagreement that have turned out to be more and more multifaceted eventually. This time, it is the third confrontation in Darfur in the precedent 20 years, and definitely the most destructive with respect to the numbers of civilians slaughtered and dislodged. The awful caustic nature of this warfare is a consequence of a number of issues counting a speedily increasing populace that has ditched wanderers and herders in opposition to one another in arguments over property rights in the ecosystem made brittle by consecutive famines and growing barrenness; venerable financial and improvement ignorance of the whole Darfur state by consecutive Sudanese innermost administrations; and their catastrophic opting to arm their military with modern weapons, to furnish, to lead, and to compensate with Northern Arab peoples, now known as the Janjiweed armed forces, as their substitutes in the warfare.
Arming the Janjiweed guided them to the initiation of genocide in the years 2003 and 2004; this turned out in the killings of hundreds of thousands of blameless inhabitants and the obliteration of their rural communities and means of living. Additionally, local opinionated programs are being carved out in Darfur and the effects have stretched beyond the Sudanese boundaries into both Chad and the Central African Republic (CAR). The Darfur inconsistency must be decided to finish the explicit war between Chad and Sudan; it is in the positive concern of both administrations to collaborate in working for a nonviolent resolution to the disagreement.
The United States Government granted more than $2.7 billion in fiscal year 2005 and fiscal year 2006 to Sudan and to Darfur programs initiated in order for relief reforms in eastern Chad. Together with other countries, the United States has granted lifesaving and life-supporting foodstuff and non-rations help, and has maintained the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) power by structuring and preserving 34 base camps for more than 7,000 people working for peace. The U.S. is the most important charitable contributor, letting assistance for over 2.2 million on the inside dislodged people and civilians in refugee camps. The Bush Administration`s decisive purpose in Darfur is the growth of a permanent makeup of serenity in order to stop the crisis of humanity and keep away from a fourth battle in the prospective times. (Natsios, p. 1)
History of the Darfur Crisis
The clash in Darfur is viewed to have started in the beginning of 2003, when two rival factions, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) blamed the administration of ignoring the Darfur area, as well as giving undue favor, according to them, to the Arabs, whereas coercing the black Africans. The SLM, coalition far bigger than the JEM, is by and large linked with the Fur and Masalit, and the Wagi tribe of the Zaghawa, meanwhile the JEM is connected with the Kobe tribe of the Zaghawa. In the year 2004, the JEM attached to the Eastern Front, a faction formed in 2004 as a coalition between two Eastern ethnic radical groups, the Rashaida clan’s Free Lions and the Beja Congress.
It was February 26, 2003, when an assemblage naming itself the Darfur Liberation Front (DLF) openly asserted acclamation for an assault on Golo, the main office of Jebel Marra District. Though, even previous to this aggression, a disagreement had exploded in Darfur when insurgents assailed law enforcement locations, army settlements and military processions, resultant in the government’s employment of a huge air and terra firma attack on the insurgent throttlehold in the Marrah Mountains. (Flint & De Waal p. 76-77)
The conflict has been characterized as one between Arab and African populations, and although it has many inter-woven causes, it is mainly rooted in structural inequality between the center of the country around the Nile River and the ‘peripheral’ areas such as Darfur. Anxiety has been worsened in the past twenty years by an amalgamation of ecological catastrophe, towering populace increase, migration, political favoritism and local politics. In April 2003, a combined Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) and JEM might raids penetrated al- Fashir and assaulted the resting barracks. This attack was considered as extremely victorious and was taken as unparalleled in Sudan ever during the 20-year war in the South region; the revolutionary Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) had never smashed with such an action before. (Flint & De Waal p. 99-100)
It is at this point that President Omar-al- Bashir threatened to unleash the army. Being untrained in desert operations, the army decided to use aerial bombardment of rebel positions on the mountain, and the results were devastating. (Ibid p. 99)
The revolutionaries afterward took hold of the municipality of Tine along the Chadian edge, capturing great bulks of provisions and weapons. It is at the moment that President Omar-al- Bashir claimed to let loose the military. Nevertheless, the Sudanese military was powerless to counteract to such attacks since the opposition employed the hit-and-run strategy making use of Toyota Land Cruisers to pace away across the semi-desert
The continuous defeat of the army by the rebels led the government to decide to make use of the Janjiweed, which is a group composed of armed herders outfitted as a paramilitary force, complete with communication equipment and some artillery. (Ibid p. 60, 101-103)
Despite the ceasefire, Janjaweed and rebel attacks continued, and, as part of its operations against the rebels, government forces have since waged a systematic campaign of “ethnic cleansing” against the civilian population who are members of the same ethnic groups as the rebels.
The more upgraded army of Janjiweed promptly achieved the higher position, and near the spring of 2004, numerous citizens (most of them were from the non-Arab background) had been slain and near about one million people had been herded away from their houses, creating a main crisis of the civilized world in the area. The disaster rose to a global height when the homeless started to move into adjacent locality of Chad. A United Nations viewer group accounted that non-Arab towns were wiped off whereas the Arab towns were not touched at all. In 2004, Chad negotiated conciliations directing to an April 8 compassionate truce between the Sudanese administration, JEM and SLM. A collection of people fragmented from the JEM in April (National Movement for Reform and Development); it did not partake in the April truce talks or accord
The level of the predicament directed to threat of an about-to-happen catastrophe, with the United Nations Secretary, General Kofi Annan, cautioning that the danger of genocide was terrifyingly genuine in Darfur. Self-governing viewers of the situation noticed that the strategies, that comprised dismemberment and murder of civilians and even children and infant babies, are more similar to the racial purification strategies employed in the Yugoslav conflicts. (BBC News n.p.)
On May 5 2006; the authorities of Sudan agreed on an agreement with the splinter group of the SLA headed by Minni Minnawi. Conversely, the accord was turned down by two other lesser parties, the Justice and Equality Movement and a competitor group of the SLA. (Washington Post n.p.)
The agreement was arranged by the US Deputy Secretary of State Robert B. Zoellick, Salim Ahmed Salim (operational in support of the African Union), AU delegates, and other overseas bureaucrats in service in Abuja, Nigeria, and it requested for the disarmament of the Janjaweed armed force and for the insurgent might to break up and be included in the army.
Following renewed fighting in July and August of 2006, United Nations Secretary- General Koffi Annan called for 18,000 international peacekeepers to be sent to Darfur to replace the AU force of 7,000. (BBC News n.p.)
This proposition was opposed by the Sudan government, however, which warned that it was undertaking preparations for a major military offensive, if such force was deployed.
On August 19, 2006, Sudan repeated its resistance to restoring the 7,000 AU soldiers’ force with the one comprising 17,000 UN soldiers. The outcome of this resistance in the US issued a “threat” to Sudan over the “potential consequences” of this status. On August 24, Sudan was unsuccessful to be present at a United Nations Security Council gathering to give details of its arrangement of deploying 10,000 Sudanese soldiers to Darfur as opposed to the future deployment of 20,000 UN mediation soldiers’ force. (Teutsche Presse-Agentur n.p.)
Global consideration to the Darfur clash mainly started with accounts by the support associations Amnesty International (2003, July) and the International Crisis Group (2003, December). Nonetheless, extensive media reporting did not begin until in March 2004 the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Sudan, Mukesh Kapila, located Darfur as the “world’s greatest humanitarian crisis”. It is certainly creditable to note that Kapila’s appeals for efforts to stop the butchery in Darfur were overlooked, and ultimately because of aggravation with the no-action-policy of the UN he gave up. Gerard Prunier contends that the world’s strongest nations have mainly limitized their reaction to expressions of anxiety and insists that the United Nations make some effort. The UN, missing both the financial support and armed back up of the rich nations, has quit the African Union to position a symbol military(AMIS) with no permission to guard inhabitants. In the need of overseas political determination to speak to the political and financial arrangements that lie beneath the disagreement, the global society has distinguished the Darfur divergence in humanitarian support stipulations and looked into the “genocide” tag. (Waal, p. 1039-1043)
It is sad, that over ten years following the Rwandan genocide and despite years of soul-searching, the response of the international community to the events in the Darfur region of Western Sudan starting in 2003 at best point at history repeating itself. The world has watched, and continues to watch with both shock and apathy as Sudan’s Arab dominated government ethnically cleanses the vast Darfur region by giving air support to mainly Arab militias who kill, maim, rape and rob black Africans. (Waal, p. 1039-1043)
It was on September 18, 2004, that the UN Security Council approved Resolution 1564; this resolution required a commission of investigation on Darfur to evaluate the disagreement. The UN description made public on January 3rd, 2005 said that though there were a huge number of killings and rapes, they were not able to name it as genocide due to the fact that “genocidal intent appears to be missing”.
Despite this initial finding, and the uncertainty at that time as to whether this was genocide or not, the US took the lead in condemning the genocide, thus departing from the reasoning that informed the American diplomatic rhetoric response to Rwanda ten years prior. Thus whereas the Clinton administration was reluctant to name the killings in Rwanda genocide, the Bush administration was quick to use the term in the case of Darfur. This raises the question as to why no action has been taken despite naming these events as genocide whereas in the Rwandan case this term was avoided as it was seen as imposing an obligation to act.
What had become of the argument that the US avoided the term, since admitting that genocide was taking place in Rwanda would have imposed an obligation to act? By the summer of 2004, amidst utterances of an impending genocide in Darfur by American evangelicals, African- American leaders, and human rights advocates, high-level US officials began to openly refer to the situation as genocide despite the fact that there was still uncertainty as to whether what was happening was really genocide. Of interest is the fact despite being so quick to name the crime genocide, the U.S was not willing to do anything to stop it. (Dissecting Darfur; Anatomy of a Genocide Debate, p. 31-34)
The Role of United Nations (UN) as a Peacekeeping Force
The UN Security Council passed a decree on August 31, 2006, to deploy a fresh peacekeeping military of 17,300 soldiers to Darfur. The Khartoum administration, yet, showed high resistance to the decree. African Union administrators on September 1, 2006, accounted that Sudan had initiated a key distasteful act in Darfur. The Sudan authorities on September 5, 2006 directed the AU military in Darfur to quit the location by the close of the month, detailing that the AU entertained no right to move this task to the UN or some supplementary party, and additionally, that this was a the basic thing of action that depended only on the discretion of government of Sudan.
On September 12, 2006, Sudan’s European Union representative Pekka Haavisto claimed that the Sudanese army was bombing civilians in Darfur.The UN Secretary General Kofi Annan told the UN Security Council that the tragedy in Darfur had reached a critical moment and that it warranted the Council’s closest attention and urgent action. In spite of the thought that the AU military was not able to make any action possible because the AU authorization was very restricted, Khartoum continued firmly in opposition to the UN mediation force, with President Al- Bashir portraying it as a colonial scheme and saying that Sudan did not crave to be twisted into a new Iraq.
With the UN military scheme for an indefinite period on October 2, 2006 deferred owing to the Sudan authorities’ antagonism, the AU proclaimed that it would expand its existence in Darfur until December 31, 2006. 200 UN soldiers were deployed to strengthen the AU military, and on the date of October 6, the UN Security Council balloted to expand the UNAMIS consent until the time of April 30, 2007. The mixture UN/AU military was as a final point endorsed on July 31, 2007 with the collectively endorsed UN Security Council Resolution, 1769. UNAMID will resume charge from AMIS by the month of December 31, 2007, at most recent, and carries a preliminary consent well up to July 31 of the year 2008.
Looking at the response by the UN and the international community to the atrocities going on in Darfur, it is no doubt clear that despite the experience during the Rwandan genocide over a decade ago, the world seems to be following the same path as it did then. Despite the awareness raised by UN officials, international governments, as well as the by the media, the crisis in Darfur is yet to receive adequate attention and action. Strong condemnation, backed by inaction has not yielded any positive results for the people of Darfur, whose innocent lives continue to be senselessly lost.
Although the crisis in Darfur presents a supreme humanitarian emergency, it has not been treated as such and since the genocide begun, the world has left the responsibility of protecting the citizens of Darfur to the African Union Peacekeeping Mission, whose effectiveness has been marred by limited training, limited resources, limited numbers, as well as a limited mandate. The UN Security Council on its part has been divided on Sudan because different member states have divergent interests. Other players, such as the US were quick to call it genocide, but then let it happen. What is clear is that despite loud proclamations of lessons learned following the Rwandan genocide, the situation in Darfur is a clear indication that indeed, no such lessons were learned. (Wetugi p. 89)
With no end to global conflicts, humanitarian interventions are likely to continue in the foreseeable future. How such future humanitarian crises will be handled is important in ensuring that catastrophic human rights violations will be a thing of the past. This is why reforming the UN humanitarian intervention framework and response of international community to crises is very critical to averting occurrences of genocides. (Wetugi, p.93)
Specifically, some of the policy recommendations which may play a critical role in preventing future human rights violations in Africa are as follows:
- The role of intergovernmental organizations in Africa, such as NEPAD, ECOWAS, SADCC, EAC, IGADD and COMESA should be encouraged to promote not only economic interests but also political harmony, with emphasis on protection of human rights. Rather than waiting for the UN and the international community, in cases where conflicts flare up in Africa, such regional organizations should be given a mandate and flexibility to intervene in order to end the conflicts before they degenerate into suffering and loss of human life. It should be noted that Africa cannot achieve such a feat on its own. Because of financial and logistical constraints, the UN and the international community can enhance the intergovernmental organizations’ effort by supplementing their resources.
- New legal and institutional reforms are necessary within the UN Charter to ensure member states comply with the treaties on human rights. This will streamline the diverse human rights monitoring and supervision mechanisms that currently exist. One way of doing this is for the UN personnel to make prompt visits whenever there are complaints of human rights violations. This will help contain and curtail any incidents of human rights violations at earlier stages.
- There is also a need to redefine the criteria for humanitarian intervention. Whereas the primacy of the use of force by the UN Security Council should be maintained, effective preventive measures such as economic and political sanctions before the actual use of force should be given impetus to pre-empt human rights violations. This can only be effective when all the UN Security Council member states are in agreement rather than pursuing different agendas depending on their interests and objectives.
- The current composition of UN Security Council has been a source of stalemate where, in the case of human rights violations that require intervention or sanctions, the Security Council members decide either to pass a resolution or not, depending on how it will affect their geopolitical and economic interests. To break this log jam, there is a need to reform the Security Council itself by enlarging it through increasing the number of members to provide equal geographical distribution with voting rights. The immediate outcome of such a reform will likely increase the legitimacy of the Security Council among the UN member states when intervening to halt human rights violations.
- Finally, there is a need to adopt a progressive interpretation of the UN Charter to conform to changing times. In this regard, legal objections to the doctrine of humanitarian intervention in the international law relate to the relationship between humanitarian intervention on one hand and the doctrine of state sovereignty and non-intervention on the other. Therefore, it is imperative to balance the UN Charter obligations on states to promote and protect human rights, but at the same time, give the UN Security Council and the international community the flexibility needed to intervene whenever there is evidence of human rights violations.
BBC News 2004a. “Dozens Killed in Sudan Attack”, May 24.
De Waal, Alex. Darfur and the Failure of the Responsibility to Protect.
Dissecting Darfur: Anatomy of a Genocide Debate. Sage Publications.
Flint, J and De Waal, A. (2006) Darfur: A short History of a Long War. London. Zed Books.
Natsios, Andrew. Congressional Testimony. SITUATION IN DARFUR. Federal Document
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Washington Post. 2006a. “Sudan Main Rebel Group Sign Peace Deal”, May 5.
Wetugi, Karen Muthoni. Conflict and Humanitarian Intervention in Africa: Is Tomorrow Too Late? University of Kansas.