THE ROLE OF UNITED NATIONS AND REGIONAL ORGANIZATIONS IN RESOLVING DISPUTES IN INTERNATIONAL LAW: A CASE STUDY OF CONGO
The devastating consequence of the World War II led to the establishment of the United Nations with main objective to maintain International Peace and Security. Under Article 24 of the UN Charter the United Nations Security Council has the responsibility for the maintenance of International Peace and Security. Similarly, the regional organizations under Article 33 of the UN Charter are also required to complement the UNSC in the maintenance of Peace and Security in their regions. In the quest to achieve this objective, the regional organization and particularly the United Nations have over the years established difference peace keeping operations to resolve the Congo conflict which appears to be intractable.This study is relevant, it provide additional information for understanding how most international disputes arose and degenerate into violent stage due to poor management. The states and the world at large also stands to benefit from this work in that regional and international peace which this work set out to achieve will no doubt guarantee sound international relations and consequently save the succeeding generations from the scourge of war which has on two separate occasions brought untold sorrow to mankind. Congo is one African state that has been engulfed in conflict since 1960s what started as a struggle for political power later degenerated into civil wars and communal violence for decades leading to near disintegration of the state and spreading to other neigbouring states. From 1960s to the year 2000, Congo has been engulfed in some forms of internal conflict, compounded by multiple external interventions and fuelled by the desire of all parties to gain control over the natural resources of the country.The Congo conflict started as a result of the vacuum created by the sudden departure of the colonial powers, Belgium, from the Congo effected apparently by the UN – inspired wave of decolonization which resulted in the political independence of many African countries. The departure of the colonial power was followed by a barracks mutiny triggered by the demand of pay rise. The Belgians sent their paratroopers to quell the mutiny and to protect their citizens in the Congo. The Congolese government asked for assistance which led to a fight between the President (Kasavubu) and the Prime Minister (Lumumba) who in a struggle for supremacy dismissed each other.It was under this chaotic situation that the UN hastily deployed its first peacekeeper in Africa in Congo under the name of United Nations operation in the Congo (ONUC). The Secretary-General in his proposal to the UNSC in setting up an operation group recommended steps for maintenance of order in the country and the protection of life. He further states that it would be understood that were the UN to act as proposed, the Belgian government would see its way to a withdrawal.”The objective of this study is to explore the role of the UN and regional organizations in resolving the Congo conflict. Using doctrinal research method mainly, the study finds that the UN peace keeping operations in Congo have not been very successful for many reasons chief among which were the involvement of the peacekeepers in the internal politics of the Congo. In doing so, the peacekeepers collaborated with the major power to advanced their strategic objectives and lack of active involvement of the Regional organizations like the A.U. in the conflict. Consequently, the study recommended that the UN and regional organizations must be more robust and proactive to be able to discharge their responsibility of maintenance of international peace and security.