The United Nations was formed as an organization that would help nations of the world remain conflict free in a post WWII-world. However, it appears that the organization has failed to live up to its promise.
1. Rwanda Genocide
In 1994, the civil war in Rwanda reached its peak as Hutu tribes were threatening to unleash violence against the Tutsi minorities. As early as January 1994, the UN had intel that Hutu mobs may carry out a genocide in the country. However, the threat was ignored. The UN failure cost the lives of 1 million Rwandans i.e., roughly 20% of the population.
2. Darfur Conflict
In 2003, Sudan was struggled to keep an internal conflict under control as militia groups within the country became increasingly critical of the way the government was oppressing non-Arabs. The government to fund a group of Arab militants called Janjaweed to carry attacks on villages through 2005. While the UN urged the African Union to intervene, it failed to take any action. In the next seven years, UN inaction caused the lives of 300,000 civilians.
3. The Cold War
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was established in 1948 to prevent the horrors of WWII from recurring. However, Stalin-ruled USSR crushed uprisings supporting enactment of the UDHR with brutal force. The various conflicts in the region arising out the UN’s failure to mediate in the Cold War resulted in the founding and funding of groups like the Al-Qaeda in the 1980s.
4. Sri Lankan Civil War
In the final months of Sri Lankan civil war that lasted from 1983-2009, the heavily populated northeast coast of Sri Lanka became the centre of the conflict. Even though this was a “safe zone”, the UN decided not to intervene to save the civilian population. Between January-April 2009, 6,500 civilians lost their lives due to this inaction.
5. Srebrenica Massacre
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in 1993, Srebrenica was designate a safe-zone by United Nations in order to protect the largely Muslim community of Bosniaks that were the target of an ethnic cleansing campaign by the Serbs. The Serbian army invaded the UN camp in Srebrenica and killed more than 7,800 Bosniaks in 1995 and the UN force present there didn’t do anything to prevent the massacre.