The international community has been following the crisis in the Ukraine, leading officials to speak up and urge an end to this conflict, before it gets worse.
The tension building up to this violence began in November. Ukraine President, Viktor Yanukovych, reversed a free trade deal with Europe. This upset many Ukrainian citizens which lead to protests that ultimately called for a revival of talks with Europe and the resignation of the government. Recently, the protests have turned aggressive and extreme, and the government’s reaction to the protests have been called “inhumane.” Medical professionals have claimed they have treated gun shot wounds in which the victims were shot by trained snipers, targeted at their vital organs. On Tuesday February 18, 2014, 26 people were killed. On Thursday, over 100.
Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General noticed the urgency of the ensuing conflicts and insisted on an abrupt stop to the fighting and violence, citing constructive dialogue as key in remedying this crisis. He also encouraged both sides of the conflict to cooperate in measures that would not intensify the conflict, such as vacating Government buildings experiencing protesting, as well as pardoning those detained for protesting.
Navi Pillay, the High Commissioner of Human Rights for the UN also voiced her concerns regarding the right to peaceful assembly, condemning the violence and requesting a quick solution. She additionally ordered an independent investigation into the matter, guaranteeing that those who are to responsible will be held accountable. Violations include use of excessive force, however, many police officers claim the use of force was necessary to free police officers that had been taken hostage.
The European Union has taken measures as well, freezing the assets of those responsible for the violence and preventing them from traveling throughout the Union. The White House has stated they were outraged with the violation of the right to peaceful protest. They are considering sanctions of their own, ensuring that such sanctions are not counterproductive to the efforts in remedying the conflict. German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Yanukovych to peacefully communicate with the opposition, through the aid of the Europeans.
Russia, who plays a vital role in the conflicts, has sent their human rights overseer to negotiate with the opposition. However, the foreign ministry has criticized the other nations who are intervening with sanctions or trying to influence the outcome. They claim the interactions are “inappropriate” and can “aggravate the confrontation.” However, Richard Haas, the President of the Council on Foreign Relations feels that the conflicts will escalate, not matter how much or how little outsiders attempt to intervene.
What do you think is the best way for the Ukraine to handle this situation and end the conflicts before it gets worse? Or do you think this is only the beginning of a civil war? Do you believe other nations should get involved and issue sanctions against the country?