Activity 5: Conflict solution, peace-making and peacekeeping activities
- Print outs of the case description (see appendix)
- Internet access
1 ½ – 2 hours
Step 1: Show the students the interactive map of United Nations current peacekeeping operations: https://peacekeeping.un.org/en/where-we-operate
Instruct the students to team up in pairs of two, and to click through the map and learn about the different United Nations peacekeeping activities (20-30 minutes)
Step 2: Give the students printouts of the following case to read:
Two groups in a country have entered into a conflict. The one group, “the orange group”, has through 200 years become dominant in the politics of the country, is by far the most wealthy and dominates in terms of higher education. The other group, “the blue group”, work in jobs that are poorly paid and have not had equal access to education. The two groups live in relatively separate areas in different parts of the country.
One day 6 bombs explode and more than 2000 people are killed. It is found that the people who did it are a partisan group whose members belong to the blue group. Armed conflict spreads and develops into a civil war, which involves the entire population. The blue group gets military support from a neighbouring country. After 2 years, the UN managed to negotiate a ceasefire and at that point, the blue group has control over a small piece of land and the yellow hold control over the remaining larger part of the country. The small piece of land is indeed very small, but it includes the only natural resource in the entire area: large amounts of oil underground which are sold at high costs globally. The large territory that the orange group holds has no resources, but the orange group has educational resources and a wealthy population through many years of economic policy creating economic inequality and unequal access to education in the formerly shared country.
Step 3: Divide the class into 4 groups. Two of the groups – the peace plan groups – has to work out plans that will convince both the groups to end fighting and lead to a final peaceful solution. Use all relevant information in the case that can help to find compromises that are advantageous for both groups and a sustainable solution. (30 minutes)
The other two groups represent each of the two population groups – the orange people’s group and the blue peoples group. Students in each of these groups have to discuss the situation and reach 3-5 demands that they believe, can safeguard the group interests and give justice and peace. (30 minutes).
Step 4: The groups meet each other two and two: each peace plan group meets up with either the blue or the orange group. The task now is to try to negotiate a solution.
Step 5: The class meets in a plenum where the negotiating groups (the 2 groups, one peace plan group and one ‘population-group’) present together the process and results.