September 16, 2019
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 In Determining the Legitimacy of Secession Movements

Country: Democratic Republic of the Congo
Delegate Name: Reagan Overmyer

Delegate: Reagan Overmyer
Country: The Democratic Republic of Congo
Committee: SPECPOL (GA)
Topic: Determining Legitimacy of Secession Movements

The Democratic Republic of Congo feels that determining the legitimacy of secession movements is a very important topic that needs to be addressed. African secession conflicts are rare in the post colonial era, and in many ways remain exceptional phenomena. These conflicts have combined violence and politics in ways unlike any other problems they face on the continent. DR Congo is against secession, and believes that it is unlawful as states cannot physically separate themselves from the other. It has been ruled that secession movements need to have a political motive behind them, and if they don’t that is one of a few things that qualify the movement as illegitimate. Another belief the DRC has is that if a government allows secession freely, then it can and will crumble into anarchy.

The DRC has been severely affected by secession in the past. When they became fully independent from Belgium in 1960, they descended into a political disaster better known as the Congo Crisis. The lines drawn by colonial powers mixed with uncertainty and racial tensions spiraled the country into racial violence and disorder, and at the front of this disaster stood the Belgian-led army. Belgium sent troops in to protect their own citizens, but they ended up fighting with Congolese forces which led to the UN ordering all Belgian troops be removed from the country at once. In July of 1960, not even two weeks after they had claimed independence, Moise Tshombe (politician) claimed the southernmost and wealthiest province of the DRC to be an independent nation, named the State of Katanga. The DRC as a whole didn’t support the secession. The British, Belgians, and French all wanted influence in this region, so they supported the secessionist movement in practice. Ignoring the regulations forbidding countries from supporting the movement directly, they did it anyway. The Prime Minister of Congo appealed to the United Nations for the forces to end this movement, but they initially refused, but later they passed a law authorizing UN forces to take all appropriate measures to stop civil war in the DRC.

The DRC wants secession to be made illegal. They believe that there are more peaceful ways to sort out conflict rather than becoming a separate country/state. Putting laws preventing or at least limiting secession in place would be vital when it comes to solving this issue. There will be a much more peaceful society if there isn’t the option to secede. That way countries can work together to solve conflicts rationally. The Democratic Republic of Congo expects to find allyship in countries such as China and Angola.

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