THE EFFECTS OF CONFLICTS AND CAUSES IN WEST AFRICA
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
The population of Africa to the rest of the world is about 11% with a global representation on trade of about 2% globally. Presently, 54 sovereign nations/states are the entity of Africa as a continent and this represents 25% of states globally. The African Unity (AU) recognises over 2000 different languages being spoken in the continent.
Africa has witnessed more conflicts than any other continent in the world. The United Nations security has spent not less than 75% of time and money resolving conflicts and performing humanitarian duties in Africa than any other part of the world. There have been over 9 million refugees and internally displaced people due conflicts in Africa representing conflict death tolls between 1990 and 2007 where the square area of continents/regions corresponds to their proportion of conflict death tolls:
Conflicts in Africa, as everywhere, are caused by human action, and can be ended by human action. Most of these conflicts has been characterised by extreme brutality. In Rwanda alone, in 100 days, about a million people were massacred, a scale of killings that is unprecedented in world history. More than 30 wars have been fought in Africa since 1970, and most of these have been internal rather than inter-state wars (Anup Shah 2009). From the above one can infer that most of the Conflicts in Africa are based on internal wrangling, Example of this can be seen fron the Ogoni land in Nigeria.
In 1996 alone records shows 14 out of the 53 countries in Africa were involved in armed conflicts and it resulted in more that 8 million refugees and displaced people. Zimbabwe is another bomb waiting to explode as many Zimbabweans has fled the country to neighbouring counties in millions as a result of the political crisis in that country which has crippled the whole country as a result of the dispute from their last general election.(wikipaedia). From this disturbing historical statistics, it is not far fetch to conclude that Africa is a Conflicts ridden Continent.
There are reasons for conflicts; there are no ‘good’ reasons why these conflicts should be allowed to degenerate into violence and brutality. Other alternatives to conflicts resolution should be embraced. Disputes and disagreement between one another should not be allow to resort into Conflicts as between individuals, groups or as nations
1.2 Objectives Of The Study
The main of objectives of this study is to investigate Conflicts And Causes Of Conflicts In Africa
The specific Objectives are:
1 To investigate Colonial legacy as basis of conflict in Africa
2 To analyze whether Conflict resolution or conflict management solves the endless problems of conflict in Africa?
3 To examine how far some Intervention actors and approaches Intervention agencies or actors has been doing towards Conflict in resolution in Africa
1.3 Statement Of The Problem
The conflict resolution community seems to pursue conflict resolution efforts in Africa from a variety of purposes and interests and with policies that are often replete with ambiguities and contradictions. This situation may be the reason why many African conflicts may be silenced but remain largely unresolved. As Zartman (2000:3) has pointed out, although African conflicts involve the activities of seasoned peacemakers using the best of personal skills and recently developed knowledge about ways of managing and resolving conflicts, international efforts at conflict management have not been particularly effective or efficient in overcoming the disasters that have brought them to the continent. The critical question then is how we understand the problem of conflict resolution in Africa when the actors, mainly external to Africa, propagate the idea of peace and conflict resolution corresponding mainly to their own interests and view of Africa and the world.
Although some scholars on conflict in Africa (Obasanjo 1991, Anyang’ Nyong’o 1991 and Msabaha 1991) agree that conflict in Africa stems primarily from crises of national governance and from the failure of governmental institutions in African countries to mediate conflict, this article engages the colonial factor as the root of many conflicts in Africa. It argues that this factor must be taken into consideration in the attempts to address African conflicts because the roots of many post-colonial conflicts in Africa, such as the recent case of South Sudan, remain buried in Africa’s past and, specifically, in the colonisation and de-colonisation processes. The article also argues that conflicts at sub-national and national levels in Africa are of several types, and that imposing peace-keeping forces as has often been the case, or merely imposing new political and economic institutions on the various African conflicts, may not provide the desired durable outcomes. Furthermore, and based on the same premise, the article questions how far a just and equitable future can be structured on an unjust past.
1.4 Research Questions
The study posited the following research questions to guide the study:
1 Do Colonial legacy act as a basis of conflict in Africa?
2 Does Conflict resolution or conflict management solves the endless problems of conflict in Africa?
3 What are the Intervention actors and approaches Intervention agencies or actors as been doing towards Conflict in resolution in Africa
1.5 Research Method
Due to the nature of the work, the researcher employed qualitative method. Data for the study were sourced from secondary data only. This includes but: Journal articles, scholarly works, newspapers review, and internet source.