How Sovereignty And Human Rights Can Influence International Relations
Running Head: How sovereignty and human rights can influence international relations
Name: Peter Bisset
Date: Friday, November 05, 2010
How sovereignty and human rights can influence international relations
Every nation is regarded sovereign by the international community. It is this sovereignty that make leaders of a nation decide on the manner in which the country will be governed. As a result, there are variations in the way different policies are made and followed in every nation. The differences in policy and governance among nations have been a cause of serious conflicts for a very long time. Several nations have been involved in conflicts which have even resulted into war. There are various sources of conflicts between sovereign nations. In the recent past, nations have been on conflicts due to reasons such as disputes caused by boundary determination like in Ethiopia and Eritrea. Conflicts over regions of interests like in the case of India and Pakistan over Kashmir (Kamarulzaman, 2003). Nevertheless, conflicts have also erupted due to violations of human rights.
The humanitarian crisis in the Darfur region is currently being regarded as the most intense in the recent times. As a matter of fact there have been various deaths caused by the crisis. The conflict, which begun when the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) in conjunction with the Justice Equality Movement (JEM) started attacks on the government since 2003 has escalated into a massive humanitarian crisis. At the moment, it is estimated that over 2.7 million people have been driven out of their homes since the eruption of the conflict (Guérin, 2010). At the same time, the UN estimates that more than 300, 000 others have lost their lives during the conflict. The main reason triggering the conflict was the oppression the government was supposedly directing towards the blacks in favor of the Arabs. In response to the rebellion, the government militias were formed to quell the rising rebellion. The militia formed by the government has been waging attacks on the Darfur region as well as further into Chad. As a result of the attacks, there have been massive movements of people from their homes to camps located in Sudan as well as in Chad.
In 2008, Chad experienced a political violence which led to intense destabilization of the country. The situation of the Human rights was in shambles after the destabilization. As a matter of fact, there was massive displacement of people within the country due to the unrests. For instance, over 400,000 civilians were displaced within the country and now live in refugee camps. There were widespread human rights abuses including rapes recruitment of children in the army as well as violence based on gender (Human Rights Watch, 2008). Dramatic conflicts erupted in the 2007 between Chad and Sudan due to the three-year-old proxy conflict that existed between the two nations. In fact, the February 2008 Chad attempted coup, which was said to have a strong backing from the Sudanese government, worsened the conflict. The coup was at the verge of toppling the President Idriss Deby Itno’s government. The conflicts on human rights between Chad and Sudan are several. For instance, the fact that the Sudanese government supported rebel groups in the attempted coup was a direct abuse of human rights. The government of Sudan was uncomfortable with the stand of the Chadian government on the atrocities towards the black Sudanese civilians. Thus in an attempt to ensure there was no support from the Chadian government, Sudanese government backed the attempted coup. In the end, thousands of people lost their lives and several hundreds of thousands were displaced.
In the pursuit of a lasting peace on the conflict, there have been various attempts from diverse groups and nations (Lobban, 2010). For instance, soon after the attempted coup on February 25, Nigerian President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua disclosed his intention to initiate a comprehensive peace talks between the two countries. The government of Nigeria was vocal in leading the talks towards the establishment of lasting peace between the two nations. For instance, Nigerian president accepted massive aid and relief to the Chad government towards the resettlement of the affected people during the attempted coup. Nevertheless, there are more international peace talks which are likely to bear fruits of peace in the region. The Doha talks have been highlighted as means towards finding a lasting solution towards the Chad-Sudan conflict. Initially, blame game was apparent between the two nations with each claiming attacks from the other. For instance, in May 2008, talks had to be cut when Khartoum blamed Chad government for attacks in the capital of Darfur (Inc Icon Group International, 2008).
Nevertheless, the two governments decided to reach a ceasefire and resolve the conflict permanently. One of the most sought solutions is the end of any form of support towards any violence in any of two nations. The Doha talks also begun with the analysis of the past peace agreements between the two nations with the anticipation that a solution could be arrived at. Qatar took the role of brokering the peace talks between the two nations after having successfully sponsored peace agreements in the Middle East as well as North Africa. In the talks, the two nations agreed never to support any rebel group directed towards each other. In relation to human rights consideration, there was unanimous agreement that they would set up a joint force with each nation providing 1,500 army officers to guard the troubled border (Lobban, 2010). In view of the massive human rights abuse caused by the conflicts, the two nations agreed to stop the fighting and embark on proving a quality life for the civilians who are heavily affected by the conflicts. Through the peace talks initiated by the UN, the Libyan government as well as the Government of Nigeria, it was seen imperative that violation of human rights by the army was extensive and needed to be stopped immediately. In response to the humanitarian crisis in the Darfur region, the ICC has issued an arrest warrant to President Omar al-Bashir due to his participation in the escalation of the conflict leading to extensive deaths.
Guérin, K. (2010). “The Darfur Crisis Context.” Geointelligence Network, 212.
Human Rights Watch. (2008). Sudan: Darfur in flames: atrocities in western Sudan. Rights Watch.
Inc Icon Group International. (2008). Sudan: Webster's Quotations, Facts and Phrases. ICON Group International.
Kamarulzaman, A. (2003). Management and Resolution of Inter-state Conflicts in Southeast Asia. Malaysia: Southeast Asian Conflict Studies Network.
Lobban, R.A. (2010). Global Security Watch Sudan. Goleta, CA: ABC-CLIO Publishers.