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Issues discussed by the United Nations Security Council

By Siow Jia Wei, The Wall Street Journal

Published: 18 Mar 2019 - 06:46 AM

A UN soldier in the conflict

A UN soldier in the conflict

The Kurdish conflict discussed by the UNSC is an issue that might not be as simple as it seems. The Kurds are a group of people living in a mountainous region spread mostly among four different countries. They are Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran, with the largest number of Kurds living in Turkey. The conflict was mostly a result of the Kurds not being able to have their own permanent nation state. This happened when the Treaty of Lausanne set the boundaries of Turkey such that the Kurds would not be able to have their own nation state. This caused them to be spread among four countries, receiving minority status in all of them. However, the Kurds still desire their own nation state. This has resulted in outcomes ranging from successful for the Kurds to complete oppression. For example, in Iraq the Kurds have managed to gain an autonomous region after fighting for it through force. In Syria, the Kurds have established their own government out of former Syrian territory and is the main force pushing the Islamic State out of Syria. However, in Turkey, the Kurds continue to fight guerrilla wars against the suppressive Turkish government with many killings and arrests of Kurds over the course of the conflict. After enduring ethnocide for such a long period of time, the Kurds have rightfully stood up against the Turkish government under the banner of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which is the main cause of this conflict. Up till now, the conflict is still going on with no end in sight.

The insurgency in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is another issue being discussed by the UNSC. The DRC has had a tumultuous history since the days when it was a Belgian colony. Throughout its history, it has had multiple corrupt leaders and rulers, each only caring about the amount of money going into their pockets, leading to the devastation of the country. There were also multiple insurgency groups such as the March 23 Movement (M23) and the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) constantly trying to take control of parts of the country. Even though the country has a huge amount of natural resources worth over $24 trillion, the country is one of the poorest in the world with a Gross Domestic Product ranked as the second lowest in the world and 70% of the population below the poverty line. This is due to the corruption of the government and the armed forces of the country, leading to it being unable to fight off the insurgency groups trying to take control of the country and other groups trying to exploit the natural resources. With the citizens and civil servants viewing joining insurgency groups and corruption as the only way of earning enough to stay alive, the country is stuck in an endless cycle of poverty and instability. The Government of Congo and the insurgency groups violate the human rights of the residents of Congo through the usage of child soldiers, forced labour, as well as violence against women. However, the UN and other various organisations and countries have stepped in and started peacekeeping missions in an effort to help stabilise the country. This has been to some extent a success, restoring some stability to the region. However, this issue cannot be solved with such temporary measures and the UNSC must reach an agreement on the most effective method to end the insurgency in the Democratic Republic of Congo.