Organization of Islamic Cooperation
Islamic Republic of Mauritania
Topic One: The Conflicts in Syria and Yemen- White Paper
Since the Arab Spring of 2011, the world has been facing several terrible conflicts, both militarily and humanitarianly. In the Middle East alone, the turmoil stirred up by the anti-government protesters and revolutionaries has given birth to the ongoing civil wars in both Syria and Yemen. The war in Syria is a continuation of the Arab Spring because the people wanted to overthrow Bashar al-Assad, the president since 2000. The war has now lasted six long years and has escalated expeditiously. The rebels, known as the Free Syrian Army, receive backing from Western nations, including the United States, and Saudi Arabia. Assad’s current Alawite regime is supported by powers in the East, such as Russia, Iran, and Turkey. Furthermore, in the midst of the instability in the nation, two extremist groups have arisen and have begun to wreak havoc in the Levant: the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra. The other, somewhat lesser known, conflict in the Middle East is the Yemeni Civil War, a power struggle between the Shias of the North and the Sunnis of the South. The current president, Abd-Rabbu Mansur Hadi, a Sunni, is backed by Saudi Arabia and other Sunni dominated Arabian Peninsular nations; the Zaydi-Shia led Houthi rebels are supported by Iran. No Western powers have become involved yet. And unfortunately, the unrest has aided the resurgence of Al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula in Yemen. The war in Syria has lasted much longer than anticipated, and if not resolved soon, the two year-old war in Yemen will too.
The Islamic Republic of Mauritania believes that the only groups that stand to gain from these destabilizing conflicts are the extremist groups, so it is imperative to resolve these conflicts immediately. And the only viable solution is a political one. Peace talks, such as the suspended Geneva III talks in February of 2016, are necessary because they bring both parties to the table to present a compromise. Since majority of the world is involved in Syria and majority of the Middle East in Yemen, both civil wars have turned into proxy wars between stronger nations; in addition to the two sides being present, there has to be a third party mediary, such as the United Nations, to guide the negotiations. Mauritanian diplomat and the Special Envoy of the Secretary General for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, is currently seeking a cooperative solution to the Yemeni Civil War and is urging “all parties to show restraint and refrain from any action which undermines efforts to bringing about a peaceful, political solution to the conflict.”
Ahmed, Ismail Ould Cheikh. "12 August 2016, Statement of the Special Envoy for Yemen." UN News Center. Web. 26 Nov. 2016.