United Nations Role in Conflict Management in Africa: a Case Study of Darfur

Topics: Sudan, United Nations, Omar al-Bashir Pages: 44 (11737 words) Published: February 9, 2012
CHAPTER ONE

1.1INTRODUCTION

BACKGROUND

Conflict is a naturally inevitable part of human life worldwide1. It exists in all relationships, groups, culture and every level of social structure. Although, conflict is often uncomfortable and energy consuming, it can be a positive force for change and bring an otherwise stagnant relationship out of dormancy into a new life and vitality. Conflict is therefore an outcome of human interaction as a result of disagreement between individuals, parties or states. A conflict situation is characterized by the inability of those concerned to iron out their differences.2 Human wants are unlimited but the means to satisfy these wants are scarce. There is therefore, an inherent struggle in man for greater share of the limited resources. Conflict of interest is the result of these struggles. Most times, these conflicts at the micro level if not controlled can develop to conflict at the macro level such as communal, national, regional or even global. The existence of conflict connotes the presence of antagonisms or struggles by individuals, groups or organizations in the bid to pursue incompatible interests. When these struggles are not properly handled, they inevitably degenerate into violent conflicts. Violent conflicts have devastating effects on individuals and their societies. It was the horrified effect of First World War that led to the creation of the League of Nations. The failure of the League to prevent another war and the bitter lessons of the Second World War fostered the transformation of the League of Nations into the United Nations (UN). The United Nations was charged with the maintenance of world peace, develop good relations between countries, promote cooperation in solving the world’s problems and encourage respect for human rights. Dr Martin Luther King Jnr asserted that “a treat to peace anywhere is a threat to peace everywhere”. Thus, the UN was designed to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to world peace and the suppression of acts of aggression. The UN to manage violent conflicts between nations evolved Peace Support Operation (PSO).

During the cold war era, most of the crises could have been attributed to ideological rivalry between the United States of America (USA) and the then Soviet Union with the support of their respective client states in Africa. However, conflicts in Africa assumed different description after the Cold War. The major conflicts, in the continent today take the form of internal conflicts rather than conflicts across national borders.10 There have been violent conflicts in Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda, Burundi, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Sudan among others.

1.2STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

The occurrence of conflicts in Africa has become worrisome and their resolution has also been quite challenging. After the cold war, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Cote D’Ivoire, Somalia, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Rwanda and Sudan were engrossed in intra-state violent conflicts. These conflicts had devastating impact on Africa. It is estimated that millions of Africans lost their lives to these violence. The destruction of properties worth millions of dollars, refugees and displaced people were the aftermath of violent conflicts in Africa. In the post cold war era, the strategic withdrawal of ideological competition between the super powers changed the nature of conflicts in Africa. These conflicts changed from inter-state to intra-state shortly after the cold war in 1990. Fierce ethnic rivalries, economic and social decays led to untold hardships that challenged the very existence of various African states.1 This brought about new challenges to international peace and security as well as the United Nations. Ironically, Africa’s problems were perceived in a more limited regional context and responsibility for their solutions was shifted to the Africans themselves. The...

Bibliography: 5.3.1 BOOKS
1. Adeyemo FO, Third party Mediation in Arab – Israeli conflict, (Nigeria 1986).
4. Cohen PS, Modern Social Theory (London Heinemann 1968).
5. Coser L, The Function of Social Conflict, (New York the Free Press 1965).
6. Dan Melvin, Care Seeks Political Fix to Sudan (1999)
7. David JF, Peace and Conflict Studies: An African Overview of Basic Concepts
8. Derg F and Zartman, Conflict Resolution in African (Washington DC Bookings Institute 1995).
9. Ehsan Ullah Saqib, Current Affairs (Lahore Pakistan 2003)
10. Guide to Research Methodology (Apr 2006)
11. Johnson ED, The Root Causes of Sudan’s Civil Wars (Bloomington, Indian university Press 2003).
12. Nomali Sam, Global Disorders and the New World Order (Lagos 1993).
15. Staub E, Roots of Evil: The Origins of Genocide and Other Group Violence, (Cambridge University Press 1992).
16. Woodhouse T and Rambo Tham , Peace Keeping and Conflict Resolution. (Frank Cass London. Portland 2000)
5.3.2 DOCUMENTS
1. Amoaku KY, Address of the UN under Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of Economic Commission for Africa, to the 70th session of the council of ministers of the organsation of African Unity, (Algeria 1999)
2. Darfur Peace Agreement.
4. Salim AS, The OAU and Conflict Management in Africa, Chairman’s Report of Joint OAU/IPA Consultation Addis Ababa 19-21 May 1993 (New York: International Peace Academy 1993).
5.3.3 RESEARCH PAPERS
1. Eluwa A, Conflict Resolution in Africa, the Role of the African Union (College Paper, AFCSC Jaji-Kaduna 2003).
2. Gidado AM, AMIS and the Darfur Crisis (Commandant’s Paper, ICCS Jaji-Kaduna 2005).
3. Labaran OB, United Nations and Peace Keeping Operations in Africa - Sierra Leone in perspective (college paper, AFCSC Jaji-Kaduna 2004).
4. Magaji M, Conflict Resolution in Africa: Diplomatic Options (College Paper, AFCSC Jaji-Kaduna 2003).
5. Odibendi K, Conflict Resolution in Africa: Case Study of the Democratic Republic of Congo( College Paper, AFCSC Jaji-Kaduna 2003).
6. Oguntimehin OA, Conflict Resolution in Africa: Challenges to African Union.( College Paper, Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji-Kaduna 2005).
7. Oyigbo NO, United Nations and Sub-Regional Bodies in Conflict resolution in Africa: A Case Study of Sudan (College Paper, AFCSC Jaji-Kaduna 2003).
8. Sokoya JO, The United Nations and Nigeria in Search of Collective Peace and Security in Africa: A Case Study of Darfur Crisis (College Paper, Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji-Kaduna 2006).
9. Sule OO, Conflict Resolution in Africa: A Case Study of Somalia (College Paper, Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji-Kaduna 2005).
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