The efficacy of the United Nations in conflict resolution: a study of the response of the security council to the Darfur conflict in the Sudan

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University of Fort Hare


After the First and Second World War, violent interstate and intrastate armed conflicts have befallen the global community. These conflicts have been accompanied by gross human rights violations and absolute disrespect for international humanitarian law. They also pose major threats to international and regional peace and security. The body charged with the responsibility of maintaining international peace and security is the United Nations. This study investigates the efficacy of the United Nations in conflict resolution and it sampled Darfur in the Sudan as a case study. Relevant literature was analysed by secondary method to determine the strength and weaknesses of the United Nations Security Council. The reviewed literature gave two different conclusions on the question of whether or not genocide occurred in Darfur. Former US Secretary of State Collin Powel and the US State Department are of the opinion that genocide did occur in Darfur. Their determination however was not in line with the report put forth by the International Commission of Inquiry in Darfur. The latter suggests that only war crimes and Crimes against Humanity were committed in Darfur and, as such, they do not meet the criteria of the crime of genocide as prescribed in Article 2 of the Genocide Convention. The UN Security Council in turn adopted resolution 1593 to refer the situation to the International Criminal Court for further clarifications. The current study however argued that the United Nations has not been and continues not to be effective in conflict resolution. Detailed analysis of literature shows that divisions within Security Council members have been a major hindrance to the smooth functioning of the Organization. The veto power bestowed upon the five permanent members of the Security Council has been an obstacle. The study suggests that the veto power should be shared among the 15 members of the Security Council or cease to exist. It also recommends that reparation as a form of compensation be provided to the victims of the Darfur conflict.



United Nations, United Nations -- Security Council, Humanitarian law -- Sudan -- Darfur, Human rights -- Sudan -- Darfur, Genocide -- Sudan -- Darfur, Humanitarian assistance -- Sudan -- Darfur, Conflict management -- Sudan -- Darfur, Sudan -- History -- Darfur Conflict, 2003-, Darfur (Sudan) -- Politics and government