Role of the UN in African Societies

Topics: Africa, World War II, Second Congo War Pages: 3 (1170 words) Published: May 9, 2012
Role of the UN in armed conflict prevention, management and resolution in African societies

Conflict is an emotional reaction to a situation or interaction that signals disagreement of some kind (Bernard Mayer). It becomes armed conflict if it is an open clash between two opposing groups or individuals (Thomas Paine). The United Nations is the mandated body internationally to intervene or ensure peace worldwide after the WWII through the Security Council. Any security measure that must be undertaken as a reaction to armed conflict worldwide either by transnational, regional or on bilateral actions must receive the blessing of the UN Security council for it to be legitimate. Africa has had its fair share of violent conflicts throughout history. For this essay, analyses will be based on the period from the time of wars and conflicts for colonial independence to the present outlining the actions and inaction of the UN in seeing to a peaceful Africa before, during and after violent conflict. The first issue has to do with the UN’s failure to intervene to stop bloodshed perpetuated by colonial authorities against people legitimately fighting to liberate their countries and attain self-rule after the UN after WWII recognized the right of all peoples of the world to self-determination. In Kenya, the British suppression of what is now called the Mai Mai revolt is a case in point. Also the Belgian suppression brutally of the independence elements in Angola is a classic example. In the above and many other cases of legitimate struggle for independence, the UN has consistently failed in its obligation to Africa to protect such legitimate causes. This therefore created from the onset, African countries’’ lack of trust in the UN to support Africans in distress and a culture of impunity. Also worth of mention is the lack of political will to intervene to protect civilians against aggression by apartheid South Africa as well as other rogue African governments. Examples...
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