Chapter 5: Framing International Relations - The Role of Laws and Organizations


You are the president of Songhai, a coastal state in the western Sahara. Kabi, a landlocked neighboring state, has become increasingly unstable over the past decade. A prolonged slump in gas prices combined with rampant corruption has left the Kabi economy in shambles and led to the rise of extreme ethnonationalism. Recently, Kabites have elected a new, extremist prime minister. She has promised to bring the Kabi economy back on track, and blames the woes of her nation upon the large minority of immigrant and immigrant descended citizens, including a contingent of ethnically Songhai Kabi citizens, within her nation. In the past week, her government has introduced a new identification system that prominently displays whether one is ethnically Kabite or not. Reports indicate outbreaks of violence as the Kabite army brutally represses several protests by minority groups, leading to several dozen deaths. The risk of violent civil war or outright genocide increases with the day as minority groups begin organizing paramilitary groups. Your foreign minister has raised his concerns to you, and it is now up to you to decide how to proceed before it’s too late.

Important background information

What do you do?

Negotiate bilaterally with KabiWe are uniquely positioned to affect change in the current situation. The Kabite prime minister is only a phone call away.
Reach out to Kabi’s neighborsOur efforts will only be augmented by the combined efforts of our neighbors. Fortunately, a regional summit where all three heads of state will be in attendance is occuring in only a few days.
Reach out to the UNReaching out to the UN for arbitration of the dispute will allow us to engage great powers and claim international support
Reach out to Human Rights NGOsNGOs play a key role in the monitoring of human rights around the world. We should reach out to a group like Amnesty International with our findings.
Claim R2P and protect Songhai citizens through armed interventionInnocent citizens are in danger. It is an obligation to protect them.
Encourage Songhai citizens to evacuate, but otherwise respect Kabi sovereigntyWhat another sovereign nation does is no business of ours. The consequences of intervention could be too great.