Home Africa WHY PEACE IS BETTER THAN WAR — EFFECTS OF CONFLICTS IN AFRICA

WHY PEACE IS BETTER THAN WAR — EFFECTS OF CONFLICTS IN AFRICA

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The World Bank puts the annual global cost of conflicts at US$100 billion; — From pre to post colonial era, till the present, Africa continues to be haunted by political instability and crises occasioned by wars and conflicts, most of them orchestrated and provoked by senseless avoidable conflicts provoked by religion and other avoidable and meaningless issues. Peace has continued to elude several nation-states with the result that enormous resources that could have otherwise been expended on development are wasted on armaments and the prosecution of civil and religious wars. The giant of Africa, Nigeria has fought a bitter and fratricidal civil war that commenced in 1967, and lasted till 1970. It was provoked by political intolerance which almost tore the nation apart. Before the Nigerian debacle, a very fierce war, engineered by foreign interests had been fought in Congo Democratic Republic. Additionally, Somalia, Chad, Rwanda, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Libya, Tunisia and the Maghreb nations have all tasted civil and military disturbances that have rocked several parts of the region. From available indications, all these conflicts have slowed down the development of Africa. The economic situation in Africa also would improve if the military conflicts that have plagued the continent over the past half-century stopped. ARMED CONFLICTS: The natures of sub-regional conflicts have been described as strange and peculiar. “These conflicts are cruel, protracted, make no distinction between combatants and civilians, often have no discernable political agenda (unlike the Cold war insurgencies), and are relatively resistant to external pressure” (Hutchful, 1998, 1). Different types of conflicts have ns, succession conflicts in territories decolonised, political and ideological conflicts, and others, including those related to transhumance arisen in Africa in the past 100 years. The Economic Commission for Africa’s (ECA) Aide-Memoire equates conflict in Africa to civil war and describes four dimensions of a civil war. For example Salim (1999) classifies conflicts in Africa to include ‘’Boundary and territorial conflicts, civil wars and internal conflicts having international repercussion and irredentism. During the four decades between the 1960s and the 1990s, there have been about 80 violent changes of governments (Adedeji 1999, 3) in the 48 sub- Saharan African countries. During the same period many of these countries also experienced different types of civil strife, conflicts, and wars. At the beginning of the new millennium, there were 18 countries facing armed rebellion, 11 facing severe political crises (Adedeji 1999, 5), and 19 enjoying…

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