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Special Political and Decolonization Study Guide for 26 Feb 2012 Training


Original Source:

TOPIC: CIVIL WAR Statement of the Problem


he French author Victor Hugo once wrote, “Civil War? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn’t every war fought between men, between brothers?” While the idealism of Hugo’s statement may ring true for many a peaceloving global citizen, it is not possible to escape the devastating reality of the multitude of civil wars that have plagued the international community of the recent era. Civil wars are in-

between two or more parties associated with the same political state. While restricted within a single state, civil wars also transcend national boundaries, as arms, soldiers, refugees, the stability and security of the international community. It is an unavoidable consequence of centuries of nationbuilding, colonial rule, decolonization, and regime change that there exist instances of nations or peoples residing in non-self-governing regions, or in other words, under the of a people to self-determination, the non-governing group believes that it has a right to its own state; its own government and economy; and the creation of its own society in which the customs, language, or shared culture of that eth-


concern throughout the international community as to instigate a regional intergovernmental organization, such as the African Union or the League of Arab States, to intervene in NATO’s arms embargo against Libya and enforcement of a ing throughout the state in the spring of 2011. Again, the Special Political and Decolonization Committee seeks to establish the legitimacy of the minority groups seekstate, protect the rights of these peoples, and evaluate how scope of both the region at war and the international community. However, in cases of self-determination and ethnically fueled civil war, this task may be more challenging than it appears. On too many occasions, what started as a small rebel insurgency grew and morphed into a brutal and bloody civil war, lasting years and impacting the lives of innocent civilians, both domestically and abroad. While it is important for this committee to decide how best to bring about an end dress how to prevent these hostilities from the beginning and fall back into the pattern of violence.

instances in which groups of citizens with a shared goal and belief attempted to gain a greater degree of autonomy within the existing state structure or tried to completely sever ties with their host state. In an unsettling amount of cases, though backed by popular support, this assertion of independence is met with brutal oppression by the host govern-

As delegates to the Special Political and Decolonization Committee, you will have the opportunity to engage in a high level of debate, grapple with one of the most nuanced issues of our time, challenge yourselves to evaluate a situa-

of an existing state structure or the creation of a new state can cause political upheaval, economic destabilization, and social unrest. At times, these cases of civil unrest cause such

diplomacy in order to pass a comprehensive resolution that encompasses peacemaking, peacekeeping, and peacebuilding in light of civil war.

History and Discussion of the Situation


diately clear and simple, there are actually a variety

term. First, it is necessary to examine the most rudimentary aspect of the phenomenon: war itself. Scholars of internacriteria to indicate when acts of violence actually amass into contradictory, assessments, experts agree that war is a “political act of organized violence to obtain some advantage or goal in terms of power, territory, or security.”53

3 be accompanied by a greater political, ideological, or social agenda. Experts disagree over the scale of the violence necessary for it to be termed a “war,” with the required number of battle-related deaths ranging from 200 to 2,000 in a given year. Most recently, the International Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) considered a “war” as having an annual battle death threshold of 1,000, while 25-999 battleFurthermore, a civil war must feature “sustained combat between relatively organized forces”; in other words, 54

be able to carry out consistent hostilities rather than sporadic attacks. In this way, insurgencies, which consist of rebel uprisings, are a tier lower in intensity than civil wars but have the risk of escalating into full wars.

“Many times... separatist movements are met with extremely violent suppression on behalf of a government...” In addition, civil wars involve organized groups that oppose the government or other central authority of a given domination. In either case, a civil war is a power struggle, whether a group wants to usurp power or merely assert its il wars, depending on the involved parties and their goals. one group attempts to overthrow the government in power in order to change the political system of the state.55 On the other hand, a “coup d’état” involves a military takeover of the government; politically, it is similar to a revolution, but usually involves less dramatic societal overhauls.56 Furthermore, while revolutionary movement usually require the

support of the masses, coups tend to involve an elite group being toppled by another and therefore are not necessarily as popularly supported or widespread as revolutions.57

Self-Determination and Civil War


any civil wars, however, occur not to change the organization and administration of a government.

group wishes to assert its right to self-determination and establish a form of intrastate autonomy or to split from its host state altogether through secession. Many times, such separatist movements are met with extremely violent suppression on behalf of a government that does not want to rescind its control over the ethnic group in question. phenomenon. Stemming all the way back to ancient tribal wars, the right to assert and embody one’s own personal ethnic, cultural, or religious identity has always been a prerogative for which individuals have fought for millennia. In the late eighteenth century, the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of Citizens ushered in a new sociopolitical ideology based on the value of an individual’s identity: the “era of national self –determination.”58 In this theory, the nation is the principle source of sovereignty and identity, and thus, in order to maintain one’s own identity, the nation that one belongs to must also embody the same identity. Conversely, if a group has a right to self-determination, it follows that the group has the right to belong to a nation that accurately represents its own identity. that has acquired national history” and has three components: spatial, social, and political.59 While the spatial refers to the physical boundaries of a particular region or regions, not necessarily contiguous, associated with the nation, and the social refers to a shared culture and history, the political aspect of a nation is the state, or in other words, the political authority of a certain region or territory.60 most closely associated with a particular ethnic identity, while a state is a “political entity with a varying degree of sovereignty.”61 National identity is bound to a shared, collective identity may be based on a common language or dialect, a similar history or common experience, shared each another, even if they do not all live in a single common region or contiguous territories.


For the individual, national identity serves as a source of connection or loyalty to an overarching ideology or group stems from national identity, and in turn, one’s political identity contributes to one’s relationship with one’s own associated with nations, a nation does not necessarily have to be a sovereign state. When the relationship between a minority nation, or group, turns sour – because of continual oppression, violation of rights, revocation of privileges, or other actions that may cause the minority group to believe that it is being mistreated – and the group sees an opportunity to improve its situation, in many cases the group will attempt immediately; there may be much buildup to the war in the form of attempted negotiations and compromise. History has shown that if such disputes are not settled relatively quickly, there is a higher likelihood of the tensions to boil over and

Risk Factors and Causes


n order for an uprising to grow into an actual civil war, it is vital for the movement to receive popular support from the masses; it is only possible if individuals are able to compromise their own personal interests for the shared interest and are 62 Common historical, national, or cultural symbols are an integral means of uniting a group behind a singular goal, of solidifying popular support, and even of recruiting civilians to take up arms in support of a cause. Children and young adults are particularly

causes without questioning authority, and they also tend to embody a certain energy and passion particular to their age groups. In civil wars, the rebel or insurgent groups adopt a shared identity, presenting a united and determined front. Because of this strong sense of identity, it is logical that wars of secession or political autonomy are centered on ethnic, social, and cultural lines. In this orientation, it is also easy and natural for civilians to align themselves movement. However, even civil wars of self-determination would not occur if the minority group did not believe they did not see that there was a possibility for improvement. It has been found that the combination of “opportunity in the

political environment” and “collective incentives” is one of the best predictors of group rebellion of at-risk minorities.63 In other words, minority groups are more likely to sympathize Bank has suggested that greed, rather than need, is the ideal indicator of countries prone to civil war; nations rich in natural commodities are more likely to become embroiled in civil wars.64 However, some scholars argue against this greedversus-need theory by claiming that in order for an uprising to receive popular support, there must be the juxtaposition of an economically-advantaged and disadvantaged group, which causes resentment within the civilian population. 65 against another group or source of authority is also dependent on the alienation or oppression that the group than, or incompatible with the other members of society which two groups are culturally and ethnically very similar, occasions, religious leaders have melded theological and political messages, and through their spiritual institution, are able to spread their message to a large number of attentive followers. Furthermore, many religions foster a sense of heroism for those who actively seek to uphold and defend their ideologies; in the most extreme cases, individuals engage in acts of terrorism, such as suicide bombings, in what they believe to be a holy war - a war for their faith. One example of this religious animosity is the Bosnian War, in which Bosnian Serbs systematically murdered thousands of Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats, despite the clear ethnic similarities that existed. alone will not cause a group to take up arms and incite a economic, or social prejudices and disadvantages – may become intertwined with the identity of the group to create


s previously discussed, the ultimate goal of many minority groups that provoke civil wars is the formation of a new, independent state, completely separate from its former host state. When considering secession and the

5 legality of the act of seceding from an already existing state. In most instances, the constitution of a government will rarely explicitly say that succession is legal, but most constitutions history, there have been many cases brought to a country’s central judicial system regarding the legality of secession. While there is no central international policy on the right to succession, there are several examples that set precedent for the global community. One of these is the United States’s Supreme Court trial Texas v.

the recognition of other major world powers. For example, India’s recognition of Bangladesh in 1971 was a major factor in its successful separation from Pakistan, while conversely, Katanga’s failed attempt at seceding from the Congo in the 1960s was in due in part to its lack of international backing.68 question of whether the United Nations should, or can, aid or hinder the ultimate success of a particular case of secession by choosing whether or not to recognize the new state.

declared the Confederate state government of Texas during the Civil War illegal because the secession of Texas from the United States was illegal in and of itself. Moreover, the decision asserted that all cases of unilateral secession were illegal, unconstitutional, and invalid; however, if the separation came into being “through revolution or through consent of the States,” the state could legally remove itself from the United States.66 If a state attempted to secede, For Quebec, while there exists some political will to separate from Canada, there reaching a unanimous “consent of the States” would be nearly index.php/tag/parliament/ impossible, and therefore, “consent” was taken to mean a three-quarters approval of a constitutional amendment that are centered around the formation of a completely new state, supported by one party but opposed by another (usually the government in power), the secession would be inherently illegal. However, the legality of secession does not necessarily equate with its ultimate success. In the case of Quebec, a providence of Canada that has long desired complete independence, the Canadian Court indicated that, if recognized by the international community, a state’s secession could ultimately be successful even if it did not gain the permission of its former government; in this way, the Court implied that the legitimacy of a state inherently depended on its acceptance by other international states.67 general historic trend of secessionist nations’ goal to earn

the possibility of secession is the stability of the new state. two groups, such as civil war, the formation of the new state could threaten the peace of the region. Furthermore, the newly formed government could be more likely to fall prey to contention or hostilities within from within its ranks, as a precedent of political and social order has not yet been established. Finally, because the once minority group is now the majority group in its own state, there is a danger that the cycle of oppression and human rights violations will continue, targeted towards the new minority groups in this state. Overall, while secession will grant the minority group full sovereignty and autonomy, it also presents political, economic, and social perils that threaten the success of the new state and the security and stability of the region.

6 the post-colonial era and the early 1990s, the international community was loath to apply this resolution’s ruling to quarreling nations within the same state.69 forced to resort to violence as the only means by which to achieve their goals. Another issue for the United Nations is the question of state sovereignty and the legality of intervening in a civil war, as the tension between those who believed that the United Nations could become involved in an intrastate war, also known as interventionalists, and non-interventionalists increased.70 principles instituted and sustained by the United Nations were the protection of human rights and the principal of underscored international law, and it is a right that many gave independent governments absolute authority over their such as the United Nations can technically only respond to civil intrastate violence on behalf of, and with the blessing of, the acting government in question – not on the side of the

Of the many human rights violations the UN seeks to prevent, the use of child soldiers in wars is just one of many. Source: 2008. Photograph. Vision. 2008. Web. 20 Aug. 2011. < aspx?id=6684>.

Current Situation


s the number of civil wars has dramatically increased since the advent of the United Nations, many have pondered and questioned the role of the international community in preventing and ending civil wars, as well as

tenets of many regional institutions such as the Organization of African Unity, founded in 1963, which was later renamed the African Union.71 uphold and protect its member states, both from tensions between one another, and from the danger of outside interests. However, some scholars argue that state sovereignty is only completely valid when the majority population of a state is in support of such a claim and thus also in support of the authority of the government.72 argument arises when one considers that some governments may have the support of the majority group, but may oppress or not recognize the rights of the minority groups of the state, groups that would oppose the state’s authority.73 However,

issue of the right to self-determination and, in 1960, adopted whether by international organizations or independent the Declaration on Granting of Rights to Colonial Countries actors, has been traditionally seen as illegal, a precedent that and Peoples, otherwise known as General Assembly favor the status quo.74 to self-determination and self-government. However, this resolution was particularly addressed at territories that were colonies of a greater imperial power separated by a great distance, such as British or French colonies in Asia Nations to protect human rights. Both the United Nations or Africa; it did not directly address the issues of selfDeclaration of Human Rights and the Geneva Conventions determination of ethnic minorities who already lived within outline the United Nation’s commitment to persecuting those to commit human rights violations and providing aid

7 brutal violence directed at innocent civilians, or in the most extreme cases, acts of ethnic cleansing or genocide, the international community has the duty to protect those being harmed; however, if a state is carrying out these acts and becomes aware of a possible humanitarian intervention, thus international organizations have no business becoming involved. On the other hand, if the Security Council deems

less likely it is to end in a negotiated settlement as opposed to a singular military victory.76 It is also noted that the ability of a rebel group to survive the initial stages of the war points endurance of the rebel group.77 As states and regions that have a history of civil violence are more likely to fall prey to internal warfare again in the future, it is especially important

security, according to Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, the Security Council “may take such action by air, sea, or land forces as may be necessary to maintain or restore international peace and security. Such action may include demonstrations, blockade, and other operations by air, sea, or land forces of Members of the United Nations”.75 Moreover, the nations with veto power in the Security Council – namely the People’s Republic of China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States – are able to use this power to manipulate the actions of the United Nations to suit their own political or economic interests in certain cases. Even so, the ability to people struggling for deserved independence remains shaky and thus continues to create inconsistencies regarding interventionist operations.

UN Peacekeeping Forces can sometimes play a complementary or leading role to Peacekeeping Forces: Limits and Opportunities. Association of World Citizens, 24 May 2011. Web. 20 Aug. 2011. <>.

Nation Building


he ability to bring about a certain resolution to a civil war

well as the course of events during the war. In the end, both the how the international community can work to end the war and what agreements can be instituted in any settlement.

settled. If there is no outside intervention, nearly half of the time the civil war will result in a government victory, instead of either a rebel victory or a negotiated settlement.78 When the United Nations becomes involved, however, the only one-third as likely to end in a rebel victory, as compared to a result with no third party intervention.79 On the other hand, when either the United Nations or another third


nearly ten-fold, while the probability of either a decisive government or rebel victory decreases by 20 per cent and 29.1 per cent, respectively.80 outside intervention, particularly involving military aid, can help shorten the duration of a civil war and thus bring about a more permanent resolution, in the form of a negotiated settlement. 81 Negotiated agreements take on a wide range of forms and characteristics, depending on the unique situation of the civil war in question. Some of the common issues to be debated include the following: a cessation of all hostilities, the schedule and participants of the negotiations, a framework towards a lasting and comprehensive peace, and guidelines in regards to how the peace will be enforced and maintained in the region.82 Some contentious issues may also be included in the peace talks, such as reparations or punitive actions against one or both parties involved, the trading or release of prisoners of war, and, perhaps the most dramatic, the formation of a new state. Finally, it is also vital for the international community to turmoil. First, the political and economic stability of the region – whether the previously existing state remains or if there has been the formation of a second, new state – must be supported and ensured. Furthermore, the humanitarian attention paid to the issues of war crimes, refugees and internally displaced persons, and child soldiers, among the United Nations as “peacebuilding,” as it is believed that the political, economic, and social stability and sustainability that can be achieved in a region directly correlates to the risk it has of falling back into civil war.

Civil Wars in Today’s World


decade old or more, and many that are still an issue to this day. 83 In addition, researchers have found that the average

to more than 16 years since the birth of the United Nations.84 Clearly, despite the development of the United Nations and other international organizations, the global community One explanation is that since 1945, the world has become

“smaller,” in the sense that nations across all continents are more interdependent and connected than ever due to an expanding globalized economy and the advancement while civil wars of the past may have featured localized or intrastate – has international political, economic, and

ever to work to prevent civil disputes before they even begin.

Past UN Actions


hen it comes to cases of civil war, the presence of the United Nations in turbulent regions expanded greatly in the post-Cold War era, growing from six to 42 peacekeeping missions worldwide, even though the number of civil wars experienced a dramatic increase starting in the 1970s. Of these 42 missions, 21 have been in Africa, 9 in Europe, 6 in the Americas, and 6 in Asia.85 In the past two decades, the United Nations has found that its responsibilities encompass not only intervention in a dispute in order to preserve international security but also to provide humanitarian aid, which has made the organization overburdened and overextended at times.86 Besides peacekeeping, the United Nations also tries to prevent civil wars from occurring, to provide peace

However, even with the best intentions from the UN and the In order to understand the complexity and international Sudanese civil war can serve as a prime example.


he state of Sudan is located in the northeast of Africa, bordering both traditionally African and Arab nations. Before achieving independence in 1956, the northern territories of Sudan were under the auspices of Egypt and the Arab world, while African tribes inhabited the southern region. In 1953, Sudan was granted the right to self-determination and self-government by its colonial powers and, a year later, formed a parliament.87 Once fully independent, the government of Sudan underwent several changes of power by a series of coups, some of which were violent and others of which were bloodless. In the early 1980s the Sudanese government attempted to institute Islamic law as the law of the land but was met with rioting from several southern provinces, which led to a national state of

9 peaceful precedent was interrupted by insurgents in the western province of Darfur, who rebelled against the government, claiming that their people, mainly African tribesmen, were being oppressed and neglected by the Arab government. In March Bashir regime once again 2004, the United Nations took on the cause of reported that the Arab Islamic law and brutally Janjaweed, an apparently fought the southern government-backed rebels; in three years, all militia, was engaging branches of government in brutal violence and were under Muslim systematic killings of control, and the National African tribal villagers.94 Islamic Front dominated 88 the political arena. In Within the year, addition, all opposition international political forms of media, political leaders called the violence parties, and unions were in Darfur genocide; Sudan, which has recently undergone a violent civil war, has however, the United now split into Sudan and South Sudan. Rickey News. 26 July Nations did not. While military campaign against 2011. Web. 20 Aug. 2011. < this violence continued in Sudanese Christians was 89 uploads/2011/07/South-Sudan.gif>. implemented. the west throughout 2005, the Sudanese government Both the United Nations and the international community and the southern rebels succeeded in negotiating a peace reacted severely to the turn of events in Sudan. In the early 1990s, the United Nations denounced the government for harboring and abetting terrorists, as well as stopping its aid supply to the more than 7 million Sudanese civilians which led to the deaths of nearly 2.2 million people, nearly 90 Libya and Iran openly supported the three times as many as the Rwandan Genocide and ten Sudanese government, providing it with military training times as many as would be killed in Darfur.95 However, the and arms, while states such as Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Uganda political leaders of the North and South did not agree on how have aided the southern rebels, blaming the government of to draw a border between the two states and how to share Sudan for backing rebel factions within their own borders.91 As the decade progressed, bouts of violence were dispersed emergency and signaled the birth of the Sudanese civil war. Finally, in 1989, the government was overthrown by Lieutenant General Omar Ahmed alBashir, who has managed to retain control of the

and the end of the civil war. However, in December 1999, President Bashir clashed against Hassan al-Turabi, the head of parliament, declared a state of emergency and dissolved the entirety of government and parliament, replacing them with his own supporters.92 Authority on Development, comprised of representatives from Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda, which was followed by the Machakos Protocol, calling for â&#x20AC;&#x153;self-determination for the peoples of South Sudan.â&#x20AC;?93 However, in February 2003, the

between the North and South. Individual countries, such as the United States, imposed their own sanctions on Sudan. For the next three years, aggression from the North ensured central to the oil trade. Finally, in 2009, an international

United States President Obama also increased the pressure on

10 of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA).”96 harsher sanctions if peace was not reached. In January 2011, in a referendum vote, citizens of southern Sudan voted overwhelmingly in favor of complete independence from Sudan, and on 9 July, South Sudan gained its full independence. However, just a few weeks later, United Nations human rights experts expressed grave concern over reports of mass murder in Southern Kordofan region of Sudan, which lies that “the UN has received ‘very disturbing’ reports recently from Southern Kordofan that include indiscriminate aerial attacks, shelling, abductions, extrajudicial killings and mass

Some have criticized the United Nations for not implementing sanctions or other punitive measures against the Sudanese and ethnic violence; however, for a number of years, the government of Sudan has outright rejected UN peacekeepers and diplomats. Furthermore, while many international populations of both the South and Darfur, many times this aid was blocked by either the government or by armed militants. However, the new independence of South Sudan is viewed by many as the ideal opportunity for the United Nations to intervene on behalf of the marginalized populations of

Violence in the African region threatens to descend into deeper hostilities with each failed negotiaion and false promise. Photograph. Booker Rising. Web. 20 Aug. 2011. <>.

11 Sudan, in order to prevent another humanitarian crisis and to end the tragedy in Darfur once and for all.

with preventative politics in the United Nations. Its goal is to carry out political missions that deal with the root cause of

Proposed Solutions

However, the international community can see that this is


challenges faced by the United Nations is the lack of legal

Instead, if the United Nations wishes to send peacekeeping forces into any region, for example, the state has a right to sovereignty is still upheld as one of the most crucial aspects of independence. As discussed previously, some argue that national sovereignty should come second to the security of committee should discuss if there is ever a time when the sovereign right of a state can be breached by an international organization in order to maintain peace and security or to prevent a humanitarian disaster. Should there be criteria for to intervene? states, regional organizations, and international security large of a responsibility for the United Nations to provide aid, regional organizations such as the African Union or the Organization of Arab States may serve as a relief to the burden of peacekeeping placed on the United Nations by taking on some of the responsibility for their own regions. Furthermore, some scholars believe that since the regional organization is more “specialized,” or in other words may it will be better prepared to deal with the complexities of the issue.97 However, these organizations also bring their own biases to the situation or may choose to follow a noninterventionalist path. International security organizations, such as NATO, are generally less restricted by bureaucratic conventions and thus can intervene more readily than the United Nations.98 of civil wars is to make sure that they do not have a chance Nations has worked to move from “a culture of ‘reaction’ to ‘prevention’, to work with Member States as well as civil society to pursue comprehensive strategies that address more immediate as well as deep-rooted structural causes 99

to consider what more can be added to this plan of avoidance

Finally, as countries with a history of civil disputes have a higher likelihood of relapsing into violence, it is vital that the international community work to bring security and stability Resolution 60/180 and Security Council Resolution 1645 mandated the formation of the United Nations Peacekeeping Commission (PBC) and charged it with the task of

sustainable development, and providing the United Nations with suggestions about how best to partner with “relevant 100 While the PBC can make suggestions to the United Nations, it is up to the UN’s member states to implement the suggestions and move from con�lict resolution to recovery and nation building. This committee should consider how the United Nations can best approach the peacebuilding and insurance of free elections, economic aid from international organizations, transparency in new governments, humanitarian aid, and support of the local education system.

Questions a Resolution Must Answer •

• • •

What is the mandate of the United Nations in terms tional sovereignty or humanitarian protection take precedence? Is there a way for the United Nations to decide where and when it should intervene? What should be the role of UN Peacekeepers in ingional bodies? Should independent states be allowed to intervene be able to place embargos or other punitive measures against one party? What is the right of an ethnic minority to practice its right to self-determination and secede from its host

12 • • • •

state? to prevent civil wars? to help nations recover from civil wars and rebuild society? What is the role of the United Nations in peacemaking, peacekeeping, and peacebuilding? What humanitarian action can be taken before, durians?

Key Actors and Positions

Western Europe and the United States of America


n terms of minority rights, Western democracies tend to want to ensure that any self-determination rights granted to ethnic minorities safeguard both fairness and justice for both the minority and majority groups as well as for the stability and security of the state. Many Western countries, though they had attempted to suppress minority nationalism in the past, now currently accept the existence of national groups within the borders of the larger state. Some examples of these groups include the Basques, Flemish, Scots and Welsh, and Puerto Ricans.

Central and Eastern Europe


n many countries throughout these regions, there has been a recent resistance toward multinational federalism or other forms of minority self-government in non-self-

government have resulted from cases in which the minority intervention and political civil war.”101 Overall, these nations are less likely to recognize and address the rights of ethnic minorities, as regional stability and security is a major concern and granting autonomy is viewed as a risk to this or other injustices are not as important as national security in considering ethnic minority recognition. Because many of these nations have a history of civil war, they will most likely side with the existing government rather than the rebels and will also support national sovereignty over humanitarian resistance.

Now the prerogative of these nations is to reach an agreement that accommodates both majority and minority parties. In this way, these states have accommodated the nations through some form of territorial autonomy, or selfgovernment within a greater legislative system, like a system of multinational federalism, would view secession as a less favorable option, as it comes with the risk of threatening the security of the region. When considering foreign civil wars, these nations have been known to unilaterally intervene on one side of the certain form of government or to act in their own interests.

has been raging for decades, and the movement threatens China’s ability to govern in the region.



he Peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Republic of China is composed of over 50 ethnic groups dispersed throughout the nation, with the Han ethnicity being the largest and most dominant of these

under the law to all ethnic minorities in China and recognizes which the Chinese government has granted rights of limited autonomy to several ethnic minority groups. However, there are also cases, such as that of Tibet, in which ethnic minority nations have asserted their right to complete independence from the Peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Republic of China - a right that has been the PRC is tolerant of minority nations within a country, as long as they ultimately remain part of the jurisdiction of national sovereignty. In the case of international civil wars, the PRC has also been known to side with the aggressor that nations scorned China for maintaining relations with the Sudanese government during the Darfur crisis. Some even accused the PRC of selling arms to the regime in Khartoum.

Southeast Asia


any nations in Southeast Asia have seen their fair share

In the years since the founding of the United Nations alone, Vietnam, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Laos, Indonesia, and Malaysia have all experienced some form

these hostilities grew from anti-colonialist movements, as revolutionaries fought to usurp power from their European

populations throughout the region.


tates of the Middle East and North Africa have become

Syria, and Libya all experienced varying degrees of intrastate do not want to rescind their power to the rebel factions and also do not want the international communityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s assistance in the power of the current central government. However,

welcome international assistance if they believe it will bring security back to the country. Overall, however, national sovereignty will remain an important issue to all of these states.

Developing Countries


he main concern of developing countries is maintaining the stability of the state and promoting sustainable development. While granting some form of autonomy to a minority nation would be destabilizing to the state in some cases, in other instances, national self-governance would help to appease regional tensions. Furthermore, many of these developing countries have their own history of civil war that allowed the United Nations to provide assistance to their country to help rebuild and to prevent future civil wars.

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