UN Role Regarding Regime Changes and Rebel Governments
Around the world, rebels are fighting back against their governments in an attempt for change. These acts for regime changes are destructive acts with a history dating back to at least the American Revolution, an uprising of the American colonists against their British oppressors. When large groups of people are being treated unfairly and the government body is wielding too much power and control, the rebellions begin with a long chain of effects. Once war breaks out, the country often goes into a state of chaos and horror. Mass genocide, war crimes, and rapes are some of the vulgar crimes that are committed across the nation. Atrocities like this are carried out everyday and they must be met with power and force. Responsibility to Protect (R2P) is the agreement upon the need to protect populations in times of conflict when their government has failed to do so or is the perpetrator. This way of stopping the crimes and saving the people is being accepted and carried out across the world and has helped civilians in numerous situations. In order to carry out the R2P with further success, however, certain specific criteria and restrictions must be set and acknowledged. Also, in recent years with growing conflict, the need for R2P has increasingly emerged. In the past, there have been tragic times when the use of R2P would have saved many lives and stop mass genocide. The Holocaust during World War II and the Kurds in Iraq are examples of times in the past when the idea of R2P would have been very beneficial. The horrific situations in Syria and Libya are among the latest examples of modern R2P situations.
France is a supporter of the Responsibility to Protect and has done many things to show its support and care for the suffering people. Along with 27 other countries, France is a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), which sends the message of peace and is a constant helper to nations across the world. In some situations where R2P was used, NATO has played a key role in protecting civilian life. Also, France was one of the 67 nations which sponsored A/RES/63/308, which on September 14, 2009 was adopted by United Nations General Assembly as the very first resolution on the Responsibility to Protect. A Security Council resolution was also written regarding the condemnation of the Syrian government and the change of their regime. This resolution was supported by France and all other permanent members of the Security Council except Russia. Due to Russia’s veto, the resolution was not passed, and a resolution regarding the current situation in Syria still does not exist. Three other resolutions were written on the Syrian government issue, each supported and/or founded by France, but all were vetoed by Russia and China. France has also intervened and aided countries in their situations of government instability and rebelling civilians. In the 1994 Rwanda Genocide, a mass slaughter of an estimated 800,000 people in state of Rwanda occurred. France was the foreign power most involved in limiting the scale of the genocide. The UN-mandated force led by France, under Operation Turquoise, established and maintained a "safe zone" for Hutu refugees to flee to in the southwest. France was also very supportive of anti-government forces in the Libyan Civil War in 2011 and fought between forces loyal to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi and rebels seeking to oust his authoritarian government. The first country to both recognize the rebel governments in Libya and take military action against Gaddafi was France. France then led the international coalition which created and enforced a no-fly zone, a naval blockade, and military logistical assistance for the Libyan members.