THE ROLE OF THE UNITED NATIONS IN CONFLICT RESOLUTION IN SYRIA, 2011-2013
This study investigates the role of United Nations (UN) in conflict resolution in Syria. Specifically, the study examines the effect of the absence of punitive measures in the UN intervention strategy on compliance to the peace process in Syria and the implication of partisan involvement of the permanent members of the Security Council on compliance with ceasefire agreements in Syria. Thus, the central questions in this study are; Is the absence of punitive measures against violators of UN peace process implicated in the escalation of humanitarian crisis in Syria? Does partisan involvement of the permanent members of the United Nations’ Security Council members undermine compliance with ceasefire agreements in Syria? The conflict resolution theory was used as framework of analysis and data were gathered through the qualitative method of data collection with reliance on secondary data sources like books, journals and other articles. Our data analysis was based on qualitative descriptive analysis and the adoption of ex-post facto research design. The study found the absence of prescribed punishment for the violators of the UN peace process undermined compliance to all forms of peaceful intervention in the Syrian crisis, thus, implicated in the escalation of humanitarian crisis in Syria in the period under study. Also, the study found that partisan involvement of some Security Council members, particularly the United States and Russian governments, undermined compliance to ceasefire agreements in Syria. Accordingly, we upheld our hypotheses, that the absence of punitive measures against the violators of UN peace process is implicated in the escalation
of humanitarian crisis in Syria and that the partisan involvement of the permanent members of the United Nations’ Security Council undermined compliance with ceasefire agreements in Syria. The implication of the study is that the adoption of conflict resolution strategy that rely only the conflicting actors’ willingness to act in good faith, without any prescribed punishment for violations of peace deal agreements, is bound to be characterized by selective obedience or weak compliance to all negotiated solutions to the crisis. Also, the
failure to outlaw all forms of external military support for the Syrian government and opposition fighters will reduce their willingness to comply with peace deals. Thus, the study recommended the need for the UN to outlaw external military support in the Syrian conflict and include sanctions for cases of outright violation of peaceful agreements, as well as take into cognizance, the demands of the conflicting parties in a bid to reach a resolution acceptable by both government and opposition group.
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