The South Sudanese Civil War
South Sudan, the youngest member of the UN, has not experienced a smooth transition to an independent state. The oil production on which it relies is simultaneously a blessing and a curse. Exploitation is rampant with rivalling tribes, hostilities with Sudan, and international conglomerates profiting off the oil. This has caused large gaps in its already fragile economy while a political dispute between the President, Salva Kiir, and his deputy Riek Machar has escalated into an ethnic conflict between the men’s respective groups. Famine, ethnic violence and outright civil war now risk tearing the new state apart while a UN mandated peace agreement has all but collapsed. The UN Security Council must find a long term solution to this crisis, which will have to involve an effective peace agreement, and help South Sudan transition into a stable member of the UN.
The Yemeni Civil War
As a direct consequence of the Arab Spring, the situation in Yemen constitutes one of the most recent conflicts in the Middle East. The conflict over the control of the Yemeni State has led to innumerous casualties and directly contributed to the aggravation of the worldwide refugee crisis. The situation has mobilized several international players, with echoes of a proxy war between Shia Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia, and involves militant groups such as Hezbollah and ISIL. It is the responsibility of the UN Security Council to establish a lasting climate of peace and security and prevent the state from becoming a failed state and breeding ground for international terrorism.
The Security Council consists of 15 members and its primary responsibility is the maintenance of international peace and security. Each Member has one vote. Under the Charter, all Member States are obligated to comply with Council decisions. It’s members are comprised of the five permanent states: China, Russia, UK, USA, and France. The other ten states rotate annually and as such, have a non-permanent status. The Security Council takes the lead in determining the existence of a threat to the peace or act of aggression. It calls upon the parties to a dispute to settle it by peaceful means and recommends methods of adjustment or terms of settlement. In some cases, the Security Council can resort to imposing sanctions or even authorize the use of force to maintain or restore international peace and security.