WASHINGTON ACADEMY MODEL OF UNITED NATIONS
1. The peacekeeping mission in Sudan
Sudan is the largest country in Africa. For more than 20 years the country has been undergoing a devastating civil war that has displaced most of its population as well as destroyed most of its infrastructure. The magnitude of the country has made peacekeeping efforts difficult, especially because of the poor communications and transport systems that exist. Landmines are also a large risk everywhere in the region. Particularly the western region of Sudan: Darfur, has undergone serious warring conflicts since 2003, killing more than 200,000 people and displacing almost 2 million more (many of which fled to neighboring Chad). The conflict is mainly between the Sudanese military and rebels who yearn for the end of marginalization and discrimination.
The United Nations has resolved to send blue helmet troops to this region to aid the African Union’s peacekeeping mission, but Sudan has rejected UN presence. The Sudanese government has said it would only allow UN technical presence. Since 2004, peacekeeping missions have been launched to Darfur, both from the United Nations and from the African Union. The goals of these missions are “monitoring and observing, confidence building and contributing to a secure environment, and ensuring that aid can get through.”
Already millions of Sudanese refugees have fled to neighboring countries like Chad, Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya, the Central African Republic, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Simultaneously, men, women and children from Sudan are being trafficked for forced labor and sexual exploitation by criminal groups in countries of the Middle East, including Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, as well as terrorist organizations like Uganda’s “Lord’s Resistance Army”.
The situation in Sudan, more specifically in Darfur, is considered as the worst humanitarian crisis in the world at present. Its effects spread out beyond the borders of the region, causing concerns for the entire international community and therefore it is in the Security Council’s power and responsibility to resolve this issue by establishing effective peacekeeping missions in the region and taking immediate action.