Unilateralism in Conflict Resolution. Its Challenges in International Relations and Human Rights

Master's Thesis, 2017

72 Pages, Grade: 1



Chapter 1 Background
1.1 Abstract
1.2 Justification
1.3 Methodology
1.4 Literature review

Chapter 2 Nature of conflicts
2.1 Conflicts from Natural Resources
2.2 Energy as a global driver
2.2.1 South China Sea
2.2.2 Sudan and South Sudan
2.2.3 Egypt and Israel
2.2.4 Argentina seizes YPF
2.25 Argentina, Britain and the Falklands
2.2.6 Iran and Uranium

Chapter 3 Conflicts Resolution
3.1 Niger Delta Militants
3.2 Boko haram
3.3 Biafra
3.4 Other Conflicts and their resolutions
3.4.1 Egypt: Suez Canal
3.4.2 Rwanda Civil War:1990-94
3.4.3 South Africa
3.4.4 Libya
3.4.5 Kingdom of Laos
3.4.6 Cambodia
3.4.7 Iraq
3.4.8 Expulsion of Palestinians in Kuwait
3.4.9 The Ossetia Conflict 1991-1992
3.4.10 Jammu and Kashmir
3.4.11 Failure of the UN in Sri Lanka
3.4.12 United Nations Peace Keeping facts sheet

Chapter 4 Why Conflicts remain unresolved

Chapter 5 Unilateralism in Conflict Resolution
5.1 The US / NATO War in former Yugoslavia
5.2 Impacts and Challenges in Human rights
5.3 Challenges in International Relations
5.4 Unilateralism in the invasion of Kuwait
5.5 Imapacts of the invasion of Kuwait
5.5.1 Challenges in Human rights
5.5.2 Challenges in International Relations

Chapter 6 Multilateralism and Unilateralism

Chaper 7 Summary and Conclusions

Chapter 8 Recommendations



We are in a world enmeshed in various types of warfare across countries and continents. Threats of wars, the possession of nuclear and chemical weapons and other verbal threats by national leaders affront human existence. These have necessitated multilateral actions against countries perceived as inimical to world peace. Such actions have taken the form of multilateral diplomatic negotiations, sanctions and outright attacks and reprisal attacks.

Multilateral responses mostly hinged on protracted and unsuccessful diplomatic negotiations are sometimes so slow that they could waste valuable time which could, on the long run, cripple the essence of diplomacy and international peace. In order to ’save time’, some countries impatiently embark on unilateral actions by addressing a regional or global challenge without recourse to the collective decisions of the comity of nations or the United Nations. Going to war to prevent war does not make sense. Nevertheless, illegitimate action carried out by a state in concert with other states does not make it legitimate as far as the action infringes upon the rights of other states under established international law.

When the United States of America led a coalition of Australia, Poland and the United Kingdom to invade Iraq between 20 March to 1 May 2003 based on the allegation that the Ba’athist government of Iraq under Sadam Hussain had weapons of mass destruction, former U.S. President Georgy W.Bush and UK Prime Minister Tony Blair said that the mission of the coalition was "to disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, to end Saddam Hussein's support for terrorism, and to free the Iraqi people."[1]

Thereafter, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan clearly stated in an interview with the BBC in September 2004, "From our point of view and from the Charter point of view the war was illegal”.[2] It was reported that when American diplomat Joseph C. Wilson embarked on investigating the contention that Iraq had sought uranium for nuclear weapons in Niger, he categorically reported that the contention lacked substance.[3]

Unilateralism may sometimes have its positive parts as not all unilateral acts are unlawful. In most cases, it is an infringement on international laws and an abuse on human rights as innocent citizens are denied the right to life coupled with the destruction of their private properties. When is unilateralism fair?

1.1 Abstract

This paper sets out to examine how and why a country take decisions on international issues without recourse to consulting or liaising with other countries either in the execution of war or in the course of embarkation on peacemaking. Focus shall be on some wars and peace-making efforts solely planned and implemented without recourse to set international rules and respect for the protection of human rights and how it affects international relations. What are the impacts of such unilateral decisions? Some of these actions were adjudged either wrong or right especially when unilateralism was precipitated by the lack of consensus to reach negotiations or how unilateralism negatively affects other countries. From whatever position these actions are evaluated, it is a growing anomaly that could manifest dire consequences. What are the statistics of unilateralism in modern times?

This thesis shall also examine how the international community responds to unilateralism in conflict resolution. How effective has the reactions of the United Nations towards unilateralism been to date? What are the causes, motivation and consequences of unilateralism? Unilateralism in itself does not determine the legitimacy or illegitimacy of an action. It is the circumstances of the action and the responses of other states that usually determine the legitimacy of unilateralism; especially if the action affects a third state. This thesis shall examine the effects of multilateral responses against unilateralism and how such responses have guarded the norms of international relations and human rights. When does multilateral inaction instigate unilateralism for global benefit? Why do majority of countries remain silent when a country wrongly embark upon a unilateral action to attack or annex another country?

1.2 Justification

This thesis is vital and necessitated by the fact that it reviews the foreign diplomatic policies of some countries that embark on unilateralism in relation to the laws of the international platform which they belong to. It highlights and questions circumstances permissible for a State or international organization to ‘legitimately’ regulate events beyond its territorial boundaries with or without international consensus. For example, in 2003 the United States of America attacked Iraq purportedly to prevent nuclear weapon proliferation. It was later discovered that Iraq did not posses weapons of mass destruction. What are the consequences of this action? If weapons of mass destruction were truly found in Iraq, would the war have been justified?

The study examines justifications for reinvigorating UN-approved multilateral actions and gives reasons why it is more respected and acceptable among the comity of nations as a pivot for the preservation of international laws and respect for human rights.

It is further justified because it highlight reasons why some conflicts remain unresolved; questions the rationale of the use of veto power and profers ideas and recommendations that could enhance international relations and respect for human rights. It further informs a new idea to further my studies on the gaps between respect for national laws, budgets and their implementations in the governance of developing countries.

1.3 Methodology

The study employs correlation - regression analysis on various cases of unilateralism with a view to examining the short run and long run determinants. Data for the study were mainly primary sources extracted as referenced.

The study is summarized with a conclusion and recommendations made by proffering scholarly solutions that could chart a way forward for sustainable and legal multilateralism so that in times of war or peace, standards are maintained while sovereign and established laws are respected.

Key words : Unilateralism. Multilateralism. States. International laws. Sovereignty. War. Human rights. International relations. Coalition.

1.4 Literature review

Unilateralism means to act alone. Unilateralism has been defined by the American Heritage Dictionary as the policy or practice of conducting foreign affairs with minimal consultation or cooperation with other nations, including a nation's allies.[4]

Bodansky (2000) wrote that the word ‘unilateralism’ has a strong negative connotation, and is used almost as a synonym for illegality.[5] Some unilateral actions have opened vistas for new international judicial legislation which hitherto, were not taken into consideration. Some unilateral actions are carried out when a State believes that it has judicial legislation to do so. Akehurst (1972) postulated that traditionally, the exercise of legislative jurisdiction is only considered contrary to international law if it represents a usurpation of the sovereign powers of a third State.[6] However, this position does not recognize the fact that the third state may be acting in ways inimical to world peace. For example, secret development of nuclear by a sovereign state in order to distabilize society should not be undermined. On the other hand, unilateral actions have been carried out by some countries because their leaders were led by fear and baseless suspicions or because they got wrong information about possible dangers.

Marlone and Khong (2003) states that „there is no clear dichotomy between unilateralism and multilateralism. There are many possible gradations between the two orientations, and there may be complex situations where elements of unilateralism and multilateralism coexist.”[7] Their position is justified when a country form a coalition with other countries with the purpose of taking a unilateral action without resorting to constituted international law or an umbrella body like United Nations. This thesis shall examine the implication of this.

Article 39 of Chapter VII of the United Nations charter, empowers the Council to "determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression" and to take military and nonmilitary action to "restore international peace and security".[8] There are inherent gaps in this charter which this thesis is set to address. In cases of exigencies, what is the time frame to ‘determine the existence of any threat to the peace’? The constraints of time sometimes propel countries in taking unilateral actions. Bodansky stated that “At times, states are faced with a choice not between unilateralism and multilateralism, but between unilateralism and inaction”[9] For a committed multilateralist, it is the best moral form to act in times of crises. Morningstar and Blacker (2004) described multilateralism as a universal moral imperative, based on the primacy of international law and the notion that there is universal jurisdiction that should supersede national boundaries. They further postulated that ‘A decision to act unilaterally in any given situation is based on three factors: sovereignty, power, and perceptions of national interest.’[10]

During his farewell address in 1796, President George Washington (1732–1799) implored the United States to “steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world, so far … as we are now at liberty to do it.”[11] Some of the foreign policies of the United States of America aligned to this seeming isolationism. This project is set to evaluate some foreign policies in order to highlight inherent isolationism were some countries rarely show concern in cases of unilateral actions taken by a state against another and it will make a case for global balance of power in order to discourage powerful countries from propagating self interests at the expense of global peace. It cannot be justified to go to war in order to prevent war.


Every form of conflict - whether by individuals, group of persons, companies or governments operating locally or internationally, arises because people see things from different perspectives. For example, the United States of America saw from their perspective that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and had capability to produce more. This idea and perspective was convincingly propagated to other countries who quickly believed. Unfortunately, after the invasion of Iraq, it was discovered that both the perspective and the propaganda were all ruse.

Another feature of conflict is that people share different belief systems. The Boko haram insurgents of Nigeria for example, share different belief system. According to them, Western education is fake and detrimental. They further believe that the Islamic Sharia law should be the only standard of judgement. In their belief system, whoever is not a muslim is not fit to live!

The nature of conflict could also arise when persons or countries have interests in a particular issue. This could be in the form of interest in natural resources, economy or political positions. For example, Iraq invaded Kuwait in order to seize her oil resources and find a way of getting out of her debt.

When interests are foisted on other persons or countries, conflict arises because nobody wish to be controlled by the selfish desire of others.

Private international conflicts could also arise when there is a breach in business agreement between companies from two different countries. Such conflicts are usually resolved by special courts or tribunal.

Conflicts could invlove nation-states, people and organizations within or outside nation-states. It also includes inter-group conflicts within a country when one group is agitating against the government for increased or equitable distribution of resources or for independence just the way the people of eastern Nigeria are agitating for the sovereignty of the Biafra Republic.

In cases involving disputes within a country, international law does not permit the intrusion of external forces in respect to sovereignty. Unfortunately, such international abstinence has seriously challenged human rights as the leaders of most countries - especially developing countries, resort to the use of the machinery of state to influence, intimidate, harrass and subject citizens to all forms of cruel treatments in order to force them to retreat or surrender. In many cases, the citizens are killed.

In order to be able to resolve conflicts, mediators must draw a line as the meeting point or common ground where all aggrieved parties will meet in agreement. The common ground will overlap and be interdependent. This point must take into consideration the various positions and aspirations held by opposing parties. Opponents must be allowed and encouraged to freely express their areas of grievances and what they want.

Reconcilliation takes into cognition the vital points of disagreement and the sacrifices each party has to make in order to ensure the peace that will be beneficial to both parties. Parties may be reminded about what they both stand to lose or gain if the issues are resolved or left unresolved.

Conflicts entail the processes put in place in order to achieve a certain goal. The mode and method involved in developing a conflict may take the forms of abstinence from contractual obligations, aggression or silence. Through conflicts our aspirations are re-defined and a new paradigm shift achieved. This shift may take the form of war or peace over time and space.

The existence of conflict is hinged on interpersonal and intrapersonal levels which are sometimes inter-connected. In resolving a conflict, a common ground may also be reached without directly benefiting each of the opposing parties, but pointing to a desired end. In such a situation, there may be a temporary agreement maintained by the mediator over a period of time in order to sustain peace. For example, the United Nations may decide to take hold of a disputed land space between two or more aggrieved parties for a period of time deemed fit for a re-visitation of the issue in order to sustain temporary peace.

In the case of the Bakassi Peninsula dispute between Nigeria and Cameroon, it was gradually growing into a military conflict but for the wisdom of the Presidents of Nigeria and Cameroon. The conflict was resolved by the International Court of Justice in 2002 with a United Nations support implementation mechanism. During the final signing of the agreement which ended the decades of conflicts, it was reported that President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria said “Our Agreement today is a great achievement in conflict prevention, which practically reflects its cost-effectiveness when compared to the alternative of conflict resolution…Its significance, therefore, goes much beyond Nigeria and Cameroon. It should represent a model for the resolution of similar conflicts in Africa and, I dare say, in the world at large.” In reponse, President Paul Biya of Cameroon said that “Reason and wisdom have been our main guides…by signing the present Agreement, we have armed ourselves with an efficient instrument to implement the Court’s decision bringing a definitive conclusion to our border dispute.”[12] The authority of 40 villages where handed over to Cameroon after the conclusion of the matter.

Though the UN sometimes resolve conflicts, in most cases, the countries involved engage in diplomacy in order to reconcile diffferences. In some situations, respected mediators are involved as third parties from the UN, Regional bodies or respected individuals. For example, President Jimmy Carter of the United States of America mediated the Camp David Accords between Egypt and Israel and the accord was signed by Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat and the Prime Minister of Israel Menachem Begin on 17 September 1978. The peace agreement was well received by the international community. Sadat and Begin were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1978. In 2002 Jimmy Carter received the Nobel Peace prize for his role in the resolution of the conflict.

The historian Douglas Brinkley reportedly summarized it thus: "There will never be a history of the Middle East written without Jimmy Carter's name in the index; Camp David is the beginning of a process that still goes on. And a hundred years from now, two hundred years from now, people will be talking about the Camp David process, that began in those Maryland mountains."

Negotiating a peace process or peace making is an intricate aspect of peace building which is usually succeeded by peacekeeping.

2.1 Conflicts from Natural resources:

Since World War 1, most of the conflicts that have erupted between countries usually emanates from the fight for natural resources especially oil and gas. The factor that heightened interest for the struggle of the Bakassi Peninsula between Nigeria and Cameroon was as a result of the presence of oil in the region just as oil fueled the zeal of Saddam Hussain to attack Kuwait.

2.2 Energy as a global driver

World leaders believe that for their country to continue to be relevant in the comity of nations and to be able to confidently sustain itself and galvanize other national assets and infrastructure, it must be connected directly or indirectly with the source of energy.

Early in the last century, Winston Churchill was perhaps the first prominent leader to appreciate the strategic importance of oil. As First Lord of the Admiralty, he converted British warships from coal to oil and then persuaded the cabinet to nationalize the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, the forerunner of British Petroleum (now BP).The pursuit of energy supplies for both industry and war-fighting played a major role in the diplomacy of the period between the World Wars, as well as in the strategic planning of the Axis powers during World War II. It also explains America’s long-term drive to remain the dominant power in the Persian Gulf that culminated in the first Gulf War of 1990-91 and its inevitable sequel, the 2003 invasion of Iraq.[13]

With the development of political economy, countries have moved from buyers and spectators of oil to speculators of oil prices. They have seen the need to increase their stake and ownership in the energy sector. The growing need of domestic consumption, population and the prospect of huge foreign earning has made oil and gas a driving force and an indispensable avenue for investment. Yet, the sometime unpredictable oil prices, supply and energy equation makes it imperative to collaborate. Discourse on climate change, environmental protection and the resulting diversification towards renewable energy may greatly lessen this tension.

New sources of energy like the tar sands of Canada, Brazil’s ’pre-salt’ and the shale gas of America are energy resources that will hopefully douse the tensions which has led to many struggles and partitions. Fortunately, new technologies have opened opportunities for countries without oil and gas to explore other viable avenues for technological productions that could make them relevant in the market place and offer them avenues to compete and trade favourably with countries producing oil and gas. Some of such countries are already using technology to refine petroleum products and re-exporting such products either to the originating source countries, or wider markets. Nigeria for example is experiencing problems with its refineries. Despite the fact that it is a major oil producer and exporter, most of its refined crude oil are re-imported into the country.

I wish to review in more details, some other conflicts that evolved as a consequence of oil just within the year 2012. In some cases, countries journeyed far away from their territories into other territories in quest of oil or gas. Oil and gas has also been used as an instrument of political policies. Through the years of political tension and sanctions, Russia has used its supply of oil as a tool of political manipulation across Europe. Oil, which was naturally a blessing to some countries turned into a curse and subsequently, war. Oil and gas apart from causing international conflicts, is usually the reason why there are internal intrigues in several countries. It has been a source of tension within Nigeria, Syria and Iraq amongst others.

2.2.1 South China Sea: The South China Sea is believed to have oil and gas deposit. China, Philippine and the surrounding countries have been claiming ownership by their respective calculations. On the 7th April 2012 a Philippine naval warship arrested some Chinese fishing boats at the island of Scarborough Shoal located within the South China Sea. They accused the Chinese of fishing illegally in their water. China quickly mobilized its military resources and freed their detained nationals. The claim of ownership remains a strong issue of contention that has variously sparked intermittent pockets of crises for years defying any form of diplomatic intervention as China continue to claim sovereign ownership of the entire region.

2.2.2 Sudan and South Sudan: As part of the deal that paved the way for the agreement of South Sudan to secede, it was agreed that the town of Heglig which has oil, should be given to Sudan. After seceding, the government of the independent South Sudan went to occupy the town of Heglig on 10 April 2012. Sudan quickly mobilized its forces from Khartoum to attack the occupiers. This led to to renewed tension which challenged the intervention of the international community to negotiate a cease-fire. South Sudan started feeling short-changed by the negotiation because oil which represented an income generator was portioned to the north. Though the south received transit fees from the oil pipelines which passed from the north through the south to other locations, South Sudan kept increasing the level of their demand to as high as over $30 per barrel as transit fees.

2.2.3 Egypt and Israel: When the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation and Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company under the government of Hosni Mubarak officially decided to terminate the agreement on the supply of gas to Israel, it opened doors for violent demonstrations and pipeline vandalization within its borders. Gas supply from Egypt to Israel was one of the instruments of reconcilliation used by the Jimmy Carter-led diplomatic negotiation tool to woo for a peaceful agreement in the historic Camp David accord of 1978 which startled but pleased the world. Sealing supply was seen as breaking the celebrated accord. To Egypt, it was a tool for making political statements.

2.2.4 Argentina seizes YPF: President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner of Argentina introduced a bill on April 16, 2012 for the partial renationalization of YPF, the nation’s largest energy firm. The state would purchase a 51% share, with the national government controlling 51% of this package and ten provincial governments receiving the remaining 49%.[14] Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales YPF, was founded in 1922 during the regime of President Hipólito Yrigoyens. The company started depleting in content, privatized in 1993 and bought by a Spanish company Repsol. SA. The company was turned around by huge investments and the managerial expertise of the Spainish company raking billions of dollars into the economy of Argentina and paying handsomely to its share holders. This development attracted the government of Argentina and the take over was nicely arranged.

Some time ago, Argentina was a major exporter of energy products but fortune reversed and it became a major importer spending billions of its funds to keep energy within the reach of its people. Struggling with indebtedness and its inability to break even, the government decided to renationalize this company by acquiring its lion shares. That action sparked reaction from Spain who vowed to stop importing biofuel from Argentina in a trade that financially fuels the economy of Argentina to the tune of $1 billion annually.

2.2.5 Argentina, Britain and the Falklands: The issue of the intrusion and occupation of the Falklands Island or Malvinas was raised by Argentina at the Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia which held between April 15-16. It has been discovered that the Island has huge deposits of oil and gas. British companies have already began to explore oil in this region where Argentina claims sovereignty.

2.2.6 Iran and Uranium : World leaders spear-headed by the United States of America vigorously declared sanctions against Iran and their uranium enrichment program which was believed were aspects of their nuclear production plan. The Obama diplomacy mellowed the tension which oozed around Iran and propagated by Israel. It was believed that the oil from Iran was a galvanizing force that provided the funding for the uranium project. As various sanctions hit Iran, it equally threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz, the channel through which oil is transported by the global market. With the easing of tension and the lifting of some sanctions against Iran by the Obama regime, countries like Israel are optimistic that the administration of Donald Trump will reawaken the controversies against Iran and give Israel a leeway to exert her influences around the Middle East.

When we consider the fact that six disputes surrounding energy occured in the month of April 2012 alone, it becomes glaring that energy continue to play a magnificient role in the affairs of countries. While either South and North Sudan continue to reel over the desire to control the total oil in the region as it was before the separation, China is relentless to claim sovereignty over the oil in the South China Sea despite the anticipations of the Philippines. Since Israel has no alternative but to import its energy, Egypt savours the joy of being endowed with such a natural resource and it is continually poised to use it as a political tool hinged on the saying that you ’get what you want with what you have’. Though Israel claim ownership of a gas field discovered offshore, Lebanon is not set to forfeit what they strongly believe is located within their sovereign jurisdiction. If for any political reason Iran decides to unilaterally regulate its oil production, many countries that depend on its oil will crash. When Russia used the withdrawal of its gas supply to Ukraine as a political weapon, Ukraine and its neighbours where heading for serious economic and social collapse. Will Argentina be tempted to dispute with Brazil and invoke the wrath of Spain? All of these intricate disputes, dependence and inter-dependence swings international relations like an orchestrated pendulum dancing to the drum of its master. Investments in renewable energy is a vital aspect of modern day life as we must continue to divert from energy products that has caused investments in war and investments in peace keeping.


Conflict or dispute resolution are the means and methods used to bring an end to conclicts. Such means may include negotiation, mediation, diplomacy and peace building.

Conflict resolution is a panacea for world peace and security. There are tendencies that countries would have disputes in relation to border, political, economic or social interests.

In times of war, it could be concluded with a peace agreement, which is a "formal agreement... which addresses the disputed incompatibility, either by settling all or part of it, or by clearly outlining a process for how... to regulate the incompatibility."[15] In the case of a ceasefire, it is ”another form of agreement made by warring parties; unlike a peace agreement, it only "regulates the conflict behaviour of warring parties", and does not resolve the issue that brought the parties to war in the first place.[16]

Peace keeping may be used to prevent a conflict from growing into a full blown war or put in place as a way of restoring and sustaining peace after a war.

The Security Council has been empowered by the Charter of the United Nations to take action in ensuring international peace and security. As at 2009, the UNSC has ordered 63 peace keeping missions. This is usually implemented by troops of member states serving under the United Nations. In some other cases, regional organizations have been given authority to implement peace keeping just like the ECOWAS Monitoring Group in Liberia (ECOMOG) in 1998 and the ECOWAS Mission in Liberia (ECOMIL) in 2003. In 2003, the United Nations Security Council converted ECOMIL to UN International Stabilization Force. North Atlantic Treaty Organization has also been mandated to implement peace keeping in former Yugoslavia in 1994. In December 1995, NATO sent an unprecedented 60,000 troops to ensure that all sides would abide by the Dayton accords, which was replaced by a smaller force of 32,000 troops a year later.[17]

3.1 Niger Delta Militants: Within a country, disputes could arise when a section of a country agitate to secede based on perceived or apparent marginalization in terms of resource control and distribution of national wealth. For example, since the 1990s in Nigeria, the militants of the Niger Delta region of the country have been agitating for their rights with respect to the distribution of the proceeds of oil which is produced from the region and accounts for 60% of national revenue as of 2008. The 1979 constitutional amendment gave the federal government full ownership and rights to all Nigerian territory and also declared that eminent domain compensation for seized land would "be based on the value of the crops on the land at the time of its acquisition, not on the value of the land itself." The Nigerian government could now distribute the land to oil companies as it deemed fit.[18]

The hanging of activists from Ogoni land was a turning point in the agitation for socio-economic inclusion. In May 1994, nine activists from the movement who later became known as 'The Ogoni Nine', among them Ken Saro-Wiwa, were arrested and accused of incitements to murder following the deaths of four Ogoni elders. Saro-Wiwa and his comrades denied the charges, but were imprisoned for over a year before being found guilty and sentenced to death by a specially-convened tribunal, hand-selected by General Sani Abacha, on 10 November 1995. The activists were denied due process and upon being found guilty, were hanged by the Nigerian state.[19]

This agitation manifested into kidnapping, murders, oil pipeline vandalization and oil bunkery by militant groups such as the Niger Delta People Volunteer Force, Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND, the Niger Delta Avengers, NDA, Niger Delta Greenline Justice Mandate, NDGJM and the Niger Delta Vigilantes, NDV.

On June 26 2009 the government granted amnesty to the militants who later surrendered their armunitions. In the year 2000 the Niger Delta Development Commission was also established in order to improve and sustain development plans in the region as a way of resolving the conflicts. The amnesty was as a result of detailed negotiation geared towards a conflict resolution where both parties are appeased. The government was aware that apart from the huge insecurity which the militants represented, there was also huge economic loss to the revenue of the government as militants continued to bomb oil installations which spilled millions of barrels of crude oil.

As a result of the amnesty program, a body was specially set up to cater for the militants. They were trained in various professions within and outside Nigeria and placed on monthly financial remuneration. Though their agitations stopped for some time, unfortunately, it re-surfaced in 2016 with a new name known as the Niger Delta Avengers after the expiration of the tenure of the former Niger Delta President Jonathan Goodluck.

Within a short period of the resurgence of militancy in 2016, Nigeria lost 130 million barrels of crude oil to their vandalism because the militants came up with new demands in their insatiety and some of their grievances was based on the fact that most private owners of oil blocs in Nigeria were persons from the northern part of the country, an area which does not produce oil. Incidentally, Nigeria produced the first President from the Niger Delta region known as Jonathan Goodluck from 2010 to 2015. Many expected that his regime would visibly improve on the socio-economic lives of his people, but he arguably left much to be desired.

3.2 Boko haram: The Boko haram insurgency is another conflict in the north east of Nigeria that intermittently defied any form of negotiation. It was founded in 2002 and it began its violent radicalisation in July 2009 just around when the Amnesty program began for the Niger Delta militants.

Boko Haram, referred to by themselves as al-Wilāyat al-Islāmiyya Gharb Afrīqiyyah (Arabic:الولاية الإسلامية غرب أفريقيا‎‎, (Islamic State West Africa Province, ISWAP), and Jamā'at Ahl as-Sunnah lid-Da'wah wa'l-Jihād (Arabic: جماعة أهل السنة للدعوة والجهاد, "Group of the People of Sunnah for Preaching and Jihad")[20]

Many of the group were reportedly inspired by Mohammed Marwa, known as Maitatsine ("He who curses others"), a self-proclaimed prophet (annabi, a Hausa word


[1] President Discusses Beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom. http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2003/03/20030322.html. Retrieved 6 September 2016

[2] “Excerpts: Annan interview”. BBC News. 16 September 2004. Retrieved 6 August 2016

[3] Wilson, Joseph C. (6 July 2003). “What I Didn’t Find in Africa”. The New York Times. Retrieved 6 September 2016.

[4] American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. ( 2011) Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

[5] Bodansky, D. ‘What’s so Bad About Unilateral Action to Protect the Environment?’ (2000) 11 Eur J Intl L 339.

[6] Akehurst, M. ‘Jurisdiction in International Law’ (1972) 46 British Ybk Intl L 145, 146–147.

[7] David M. Malone and Yuen Foong Khong, ed. Unilateralism and U.S. Foreign Policy: International Perspectives (2003) Lynne Rienner Publishers. p.3

[8] United Nations Charter, Chapter VII : Action with respect to threats to the peace, breaches of the peace, and acts of aggression. http://www.un.org/en/sections/un-charter/chapter-vii/index.html Retrieved 26 August 2016

[9] Bodansky, 339.

[10] Morningstar L. Richard L. Blacker and Coit D. World Orders:unilateralism vs. multilateralism(2004)Harvard International Review. Harvard International Relations Council, Inc.Volume: 26 Issue 3

[11] Washington, George. 1796. Farewell Address. U.S. Department of State International Information Programs: Basic Readings in U.S. Democracy. http://usinfo.state.gov/usa/infousa/facts/democrac/49.htm.

[12] United Nations. AFR/1397 12 JUNE 2006 http://www.un.org/press/en/2006/afr1397.doc Retrieved 12 November 2016

[13] Michael T. Klare, TomDispatch, May 10, 2012. http://www.alternet.org/authors Retrieved 21 October 2016.

[14] Energycrises provokes Argentine YPF expropriation, https://www.yahoo.com/news/energy-crisis-provokes-argentine-ypf-expropriation- Yahoo! News. 22 April 2012.

[15] Uppsala University. Department of Peace and Conflict Research. http://www.pcr.uu.se/research/ucdp/definitions/#Peace_agreement Retrieved 12 November 2016.

[16] ibid.

[17] Congressional Research Service, Bosnia and the European Union Military Force (EUFOR): Post-NATO Peacekeeping, https://fas.org/sgp/crs/row/RS21774.pdf

[18] Human rights watch 1999. The Price Of Oil Corporate Responsibility and Human Rights Violations in Nigeria’s Oil Producing Communities. http://pantheon.hrw.org/reports/1999/nigeria/ Retrieved 12 November 2016

[19] Mathiason, Nick (2009-04-05). “ Shell in court over alleged role in Nigeria executions. London: Guardian. Retrieved 12 November 2016

[20] BBC. 4 March 2015. Is Islamic State shaping Boko Haram media? http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa Retrieved 24 September 2015

Excerpt out of 72 pages


Unilateralism in Conflict Resolution. Its Challenges in International Relations and Human Rights
International and European Studies
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
File size
1020 KB
Odorige, Unilateralism, Conflict, Resolution, Challenges, Inernational, Relations, Human, Rights
Quote paper
Frederick Omoyoma Odorige (Author), 2017, Unilateralism in Conflict Resolution. Its Challenges in International Relations and Human Rights, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/379026


  • No comments yet.
Read the ebook
Title: Unilateralism in Conflict Resolution. Its Challenges in International Relations and Human Rights

Upload papers

Your term paper / thesis:

- Publication as eBook and book
- High royalties for the sales
- Completely free - with ISBN
- It only takes five minutes
- Every paper finds readers

Publish now - it's free