Following globalization that integrates operations across borders of countries in terms of politics, social and economic issues, relationships, as established between nations, have been an important topic. International relations refer to the study of how countries relate to one another. This paper seeks to provide a reaction to articles related to international relations. The paper will look into three articles and offer a response to them.
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“Look who is coming to Europe” by Antonio Guterres
Antonio, in this article, discussed the need for European countries to extend full support to African countries that are suffering from undemocratic processes. Using the illustration of revolutions that took place in Eastern Europe and the support that western countries offered to foster the revolutions, the writer held the opinion that the European countries ought one more time to rise to the support for democracy by providing support for the forces that are trying to establish democracy.
According to him, Libya, currently under a revolutionary attempt to establish democracy, has been receiving humanitarian support from neighboring countries supporting victims of the wars in that country. The African countries have been supportive by accepting individuals who flee from Libya in search of refuge. However, European countries have been blamed for blocking immigrants from the conflict prone areas and taking strict measures to control such immigration (Guterres 1).
The issue of immigration is a complex one that requires a critical approach since it is caused by several factors. Some people will, for example, flee their country to another country due to a humanitarian crisis such as a government attacking civilians. At the same time, the civilians can be under attacks from rebel forces that are out of control of government forces. Being unable to fight the troops, the civilians will be left with only two options: either flee their homes to other parts of their country or even foreign countries as refugees or to maintain their residence and risk their lives.
Another category of people will also move from their homeland into another country just on the basis of seeking better living conditions that are available in the receiving country. Antonio’s campaign for consideration can thus be viewed from two perspectives. One can agree with Antonio that the immigrants who are flooding Europe from North Africa are due to the humanitarian crisis that is a result of the instability induced due to the revolutions.
On this basis, every country has an international obligation to extend support to people who should be received as refugees. Thus, the European countries should establish grounds for settling these immigrants as is supposed to be done under provisions of international laws. Therefore, there should not be any closure of borders aimed at controlling the immigrations or even harsh treatments of the immigrants that include their subjection to judicial processes and subsequent deportation. Deportation of such people will raise negative sentiments on countries carrying out such kind of actions as it is considered a violation of the ethical duty to respond to victims of humanitarian crises (Guterres 1).
There are, however, possibilities that not all immigrations into Europe have been caused by the revolutions. There are chances that some of the immigrants are primarily crossing the sea into Europe to seek greener pastures compared to the conditions that are offered to them by their native countries’ economies. The fact that such immigrations were realized even before the commencement of the revolutions casts doubt as to whether the immigrants have been driven by the humanitarian crisis as recognized by international provisions.
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It might be that the immigrants are just fleeing their country on the basis of getting better lives in Europe. A consideration of the danger involved in crossing the sea into Europe is a light into this opinion. There have been reported deaths of people in the course of attempting to cross from North African countries into Europe, which makes immigration to Europe be a threat to human lives just as the crisis that is purportedly causing the movements.
Questions are therefore likely to be asked why there is a necessity of crossing the sea into Europe. Are there no neighboring countries to Libya, for example, where Libyans can safely run to for refuge? Are the borders to these countries opened to Libyans? If yes, answers can be found to these questions. Then there is justification for the European countries’ failure to open their borders to the immigrants. It means that these people’s main objective is majorly to get into Europe than to move from their country in search of refuge. Impacts of immigration that are identified by factors such as government expenditure on illegal immigrants and effects that are induced into the recipient countries such as those in the job markets may be suffered by Europe.
Antonio explained that countries such as Tunisia and Egypt had opened their borders with even civilians in these countries, extending a warm reception to immigrants. He also explained the perception that Arabs are identified to be more hospitable, especially to fellow Arabs. This would also prompt the immigrants from North Africa to move to Arab states rather than to Europe. The immigration to Europe is thus not based on the crisis in North Africa but, on the contrary, driven by the fact that European countries have better economies than the African economies.
Based on these facts, the European countries can be justified for moving to monitor their borders to control illegal immigration from North Africa. There is a need for the establishment of refugee camps for the people seeking to flee from Libya.
“Sudan’s Abyei dispute: Bashir vows to remain”
According to the article, forces of Northern Sudan are reported to have attacked Abyei committing crimes such as using military equipment to attack civilians. The international community condemned the government of northern Sudan for its actions (BBC 1).
Though the paper represented an initial attack on the Northern forces in the region by forces believed to be from the South, the steps that were reported to have been adopted by the government of Northern Sudan, as well as the reaction from president Bashir, were not consistent with good international relations. The terms of the peace treaty that was signed between the North and the Southern Sudan that left the region neither to be on the South nor the North were grounds for the condemnation of Bashir’s actions to deploy his forces in the area.
Attacks that were reported to have been carried out by the forces identified to belong to the government of northern Sudan were also against international laws and can be associated with crimes against humanity based on the fact that they have caused the forceful displacement of people in the area together with destruction of property (BBC 1).
Reactions from the president of Sudan, who is identified as the leader of the Northern region, over sanctions and possible sanctions against his government, were also not in line with the spirit of international cohesion. In reaction to threats by the United States government to uphold its sanctions against the Sudanese government contrary to initial considerations, Bashir replied that his country is not desperate for help from the United States and that he did not fear America. The sentiments that seemed undiplomatic had the threats of further straining diplomatic relations between Sudan and the United States.
Even if the conflict was instigated by forces from the South, whether forces of the government of Southern Sudan or rebel forces, the government of Southern Sudan seemingly took a low profile in the conflict by not having its forces in the region to counter the presence of the forces from the North (BBC 1).
The government of Northern Sudan is thus identifiable with straining its relationship with the South and even extending this to other nations that attempt to bring reconciliation between the North and the South. The absence of forces from Southern Sudan in the region indicates its commitment to the peace agreement signed in the year 2005, while the North is seen to be in violation. A peaceful solution to the long-term conflict between the North and the South that has been realized for decades in Sudan is therefore dependent on the cooperation of the government of the North, which is the only obstacle as it has violated the treaty which it signed.
Thus, success in establishing a solution to the conflict between the North and the South lies in convincing Bashir to adhere to the signed treaty. This should be sought through all means, whether diplomatic or military, to avoid another war like the former one that left more than a million people dead.
“UN human rights chief urges immediate end to violence in Abyei”
This article takes a neutral view of the above conflict in article two with respect to the Northern and Southern Sudan. It represents the facts and events of what led to the takeover of Abyei and the events that followed, such as attacks on civilians and movements of people from the region following violence (United Nations 1). Though the violence started after the forces allied to the government of Northern Sudan went into the area is admitted to, the article plays a soft ground over which government is to be blamed.
This does not form an excellent approach to criticism as the offending party will take advantage of the neutrality and continue the ills that cause humanitarian crisis against international laws. The article is also not realistic in calling for both the governments of North Sudan and South Sudan to investigate the crimes committed against civilians in Abyei when it at the same time acknowledges that forces of the government of Northern Sudan took control of the region.
This makes the report biased in trying to bring the government of Southern Sudan into blame by making it responsible for the other government’s acts. This is because it is not possible for the South to conduct investigations in a region controlled by another government. I feel that the third article does not give the crisis a practical approach; in fact, the approach adopted by this article is biased.
BBC. Sudan’s Abyei dispute: Bashir vows to remain. British Broadcasting Corporation, 2011. Web.
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Guterres, Antonio. Look who’s coming to Europe. UNHCR, 2011. Web.
United Nations. UN human rights chief urges immediate end to violence in Abyei. United Nations, 2011. Web.