Topic A: The Situation in Darfur (2003)
The war in Darfur, Sudan began when General Omar Bashir staged a coup in compliance with the United Arab Network. Bashir went on to take over the region in 1989 and gain complete military control. Political tensions grew as various groups attempted to regain control of the region, leading to an influx of arms smuggling and violence. The establishment of the National Islamic Front Government marginalized many of Sudan’s non-arab citizens due to the arab network’s directed violence and discrimination. By 2003, the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) began rebelling against the government for their unfair treatment of and lack of security for non-Arab populations in Sudan. The Islamic-backed government responded with acts of ethnic cleansing and human rights abuses, destroying over 400 villages, claiming the lives of 400,000 individuals and displacing 2,500,000 others. This situation eventually escalated into the Darfur War.
A variety of political, social, and economic issues are all intertwined in the war, including inter-faction tensions, the role of the Sudanese government, the delivery of humanitarian aid and more. Furthermore, countries must address differing positions on intervention and restructuring tactics. The war’s ethnic cleansing component presents a human rights issue on an international scale, but the conflict also features prominent local elements, pushing the Security Council to ensure national sovereignty and make peace in the region.
Topic B: The Situation in Iraq (2003)
On 11 September 2001, Saudi terrorists carried out one of the largest terrorist attacks in history on US soil, hijacking four planes that were subsequently flown into the World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania. The United States government, led by President George W. Bush, declared a war in Iraq and started a military campaign in an attempt to seek and destroy weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) in the region. As part of the counter-terrorism operations, President Bush set out to dethrone President Saddam Hussein and bring an effective government back to Iraq. As a result of US efforts, on 1 May 2003, the mission to dethrone Hussein succeeded and President Bush declared an end to the major combat operations, although troops remained in the region.
While the invasion had ended, fighting did not cease between US forces, Al-Qaeda affiliates, and Iraqi citizens. On 23 May 2003, Paul Bremer, head of the coalition provisional army in Iraq, disbanded the Iraqi Army, sending thousands of armed militants into the streets with no formal military structure. In addition, Hussein was discovered and captured by US Marines on 14 December 2003 and was eventually executed for his war crimes as well as his involvement with the secular arab socialist Ba’ath party. The new temporary government, established by the US, led the country but the lack of an established government during this time fueled Al-Qaeda violence against US forces and local Shiites. Alongside continued political divisions and active fighting, Iraq faces massive infrastructure and humanitarian challenges. Thus, despite the cessation of major combat operations, Iraq remains in disarray and is host to a variety of social, political and economic issues that the Security Council must address.