Conflict resolution and prevention is of key significance to many policies and initiatives and aims at avoiding the violent escalation of humanitarian crises. Most of the humanitarian crises experienced across the world threaten the existing state borders and even flow beyond them as in the case of Ebola outbreak. Calhoun argues that the intensity and scope of international conflict has expanded and is posing unprecedented challenges and new types of dilemmas to conflict prevention and resolution (23).
Conflict resolution in this case refers to the efforts required for preventing or mitigating violence as a result of intergroup conflict and the efforts needed to address the underlying disagreements. In my independent study, I want to look at the different challenges faced by individuals and organizations trying to mitigate and prevent violence in complex humanitarian crises. Humanitarian crises are caused by incidences of violence among different groups within a given state. It can be noted that the great powers have in recent years become less willing to participate in the provision of security as well as other emergency assistance to affected groups. Humanitarian assistance and relief to violence victims has since been left to non-governmental organizations which face complex responsibilities and dangerous circumstances (Calhoun 24). This independent study allows me to explore the fact that humanitarian organizations have played a role in the escalation of conflict and violence instead of resolving or preventing the same.
Today, humanitarian organizations are significantly contributing in conflict resolution measures across the world since they effectively use integrative strategies rather than the traditional methods. During the Civil War in Sierra Leone, strategies of insurgency as well as counterinsurgency warfare were used to gain political control over the local communities. This involved inflicting costs on the civilians, at times killing people for military or political ends, and in some cases forcing civilian movements as a group. Casualties were considered as a measure of strategic gain and not “collateral damage” (Ramsbotham, Hugh, & Tom 12) Humanitarian organizations and civilians simply become victims and objects of political and military action. The purpose of this study is to analyze how humanitarian crises create conflict in communities, the challenges faced by humanitarian organizations during the crises, and how they hinder the humanitarian and peacebuilding work.
I aim to first analyze the various dimensions of humanitarian crises and discuss how these crises result in challenging situations for resolving conflicts. Secondly, I want to identify the different challenges faced by groups that come into the communities during the crisis and their implications to conflict resolution strategies and measures. I also want to identify the role played by humanitarian organizations in escalating conflict and violence rather than conflict resolution. I will review the contribution of these organizations in addressing different challenges. Finally I want to examine possible conflict resolution strategies in building peace and preventing conflict.
To accomplish the objectives, I will look at the recent Ebola crisis and the Sierra Leone Civil War. I will look at the position of the International community, the local authorities, and humanitarian organizations in conflict resolution and management strategies. The projected period required for this study would be about four weeks. Each area mentioned under the objectives would require a close analysis and discussion.
In the communication Plan, my aim is to successfully carry out this study and achieve the set objectives. There will be routine communication with my instructor through email and direct consultation during fee time. I will keep in contact will my instructor to ensure I don’t lose track of my study. I will also be submitting a weekly report of my work. In case anything does not go as per my expectations, I will inform my grading instructor within the shortest time possible either.
- Calhoun, Craig. The idea of emergency: Humanitarian action and global (dis) order. New York: Zone Books, 2010. Print.
- Ramsbotham, Oliver, Hugh Miall, and Tom Woodhouse. Contemporary conflict resolution. Polity, 2011. Print.