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Humanitarian Intervention in South Sudan SIMULATION

South Sudan protest

Source: Reuters/Thomas Mukoya

Grade Level Grades 9-12, Higher Education


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In this simulation from Model Diplomacy, students will role-play as members of the U.S. National Security Council (NSC) to deliberate and debate humanitarian intervention in South Sudan.


  • Humanitarian intervention
  • Responsibility to protect
  • Weak states
  • Peacekeeping, peace enforcement, and peacemaking
  • Civil war
  • Multilateralism
  • Peace negotiations


  • Costs, benefits, and risks of humanitarian interventions
  • Debates surrounding R2P
  • Underdevelopment and its effects
  • Impact of the resource curse
  • U.S. role in South Sudanese independence and corresponding U.S. interests

The Situation

Rival South Sudanese factions have fought a civil war since the end of 2013, causing mass displacements, tens of thousands of deaths, and widespread hunger. The president has asked the National Security Council for options on whether and how the United States could pursue a humanitarian intervention in or around South Sudan. NSC officials will need to take into account the pressure on the United States to act, including the “responsibility to protect” (R2P), as well as the significant costs, benefits, and risks of unilateral or multilateral intervention.


Model Diplomacy is a free simulation program that invites students, educators, and professionals to step into the roles of decision-makers in the U.S. National Security Council (NSC) or UN Security Council (UNSC). Model Diplomacy simulations help students develop critical thinking, persuasive speaking and writing, and collaboration skills, all while giving them hands-on experience grappling with the challenges of our modern, globalized world.

CFR Education is an initiative within the Council on Foreign Relations that aims to make complex foreign policy and international issues accessible for middle, high school, and college students through its educational products: World101, Model Diplomacy, and Convene the Council.


Military Humanitarian Intervention Explained | Model Diplomacy
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