Topic A: "The regional consequences of the intervention in Libya"
With support from NATO forces Colonel Gaddafi was captured and killed in October 2011. Ironically, it was his strong personality and leadership that kept the otherwise vulnerable region stable, connected local tribes and leaders in peace.
After the fall of Gaddafi the Tuareg tribes, nomadic people who were trained in Libya as part of its security forces, returned to their previous homes in the surrounding areas, especially the Sahel region, northern Niger, northern Mali and southern Algeria. As the UK and USA focused all their energy on securing the anti-aircraft weapons, a massive amount of other equipment and weapons were lost without a trace.
In the Guardian it was stated 'Two artillery shells can make a car bomb, and there are hundreds of thousands of them missing in Libya. For 10 years the US and its allies lost soldiers in Iraq to the weapons they failed to secure in 2003, and now the same thing has happened in a more massive scale in Libya.'
The subsequent developments in the region have been called the spillover effect of Gaddafi's fall. 'The Libyan "blowback" took the form of an influx of Libyan weapons and the return on Tuaregs who formerly fought for the Libyan dictator. Those weapons and the presence of seasoned fighters tipped the balance.' Well equiped men in official Libyan uniforms and vehicles have been witnessed in the In Amenas gas fields attack in Algeria and in Mali the government stated prior to the French intervention that it did not have good enough weapons to fight the rebels.
Libya and the surrounding region is an area rich in resources. Mali is Africa's third biggest gold producer, Algeria has vast oil and gas reserves and neighbouring Niger is the primary source of uranium for French nuclear power plants. In addition, there are various other rebel groups acting in and around the Sahara, Al-Qaida among them, and the colonial borders are unnatural and strange to the local people who see the Saharan area as one natural piece of land. All these factors along with the war in Libya must be taken into consideration.
The aim of the topic is to analyse the events subsequent to the Libyan civil war in the surrounding areas and propose solutions to stabilise the region, bearing in mind the Security Council's responsibility for international peace and security.
Topic B: "Border conflicts and ethnic cleansing in Myanmar"
Burma/Myanmar is a large country with an ethnically diverse population. It was under military control for around 50 years. During that period the Burmese dominance over other ethnic minorities was the source of serious human rights and humanitarian law violations, such as genocide, forcible relocation of civilians, systematic rape, taking of sex slaves by the military, using and recruiting child soldiers, human trafficking, slavery and the suppression of the freedom of expression.
In 2010 the first general elections in 20 years were held and a nominally civilian government was elected. The elections were boycotted by the National League for Democracy, the main opposition, and the objectivity of the results was questioned. The military still has a lot of power and an important position. Even the current president, Thein Sein, is a former general.
Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of the NLD, is probably the most widely known public figure and human rights activist from Burma. Her party won the previous election in 1990 but was not allowed to govern. She was detained for 15 years between the years 1989-2010 and was released after the election in 2010. After the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and since the military has been relinquishing its control over the government, the country’s foreing relations have been improving.
However, regime of discrimination and ethnic cleansing has lead to the uprising of rebel groups and longlasting military conflicts in the country, especially in border areas. According to the BBC ’ Military offensives against insurgents have uprooted many thousands of civilians. Ceasefire deals signed in late 2011 and early 2012 with rebels of the Karen and Shan ethnic groups suggested a new determination to end the long-running conflicts, as did Chinese-brokered talks with Kachin rebels in February 2013.’ the EU has lifted non-military sanctions since April 2012 and foreign aid has been promised. However, the military has ignored ceasefire agreements before. The aim of the topic is therefore is to consider the likelihood of the continuance of current trends, peacetalks and democratisation and to look at possible long term solutions.