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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Conflict and conflict resolution in Africa: engaging the colonial factor
Author:Achankeng I, Fonkem
Periodical:African Journal on Conflict Resolution (ISSN 1562-6997)
Geographic term:Africa
Subjects:conflict resolution
peacekeeping operations
colonial history
political conditions
Abstract:This article seeks to understand the ineffectiveness of national and international efforts to address conflicts in Africa by revisiting the colonial factor as the root cause. The author suggests that conflict in Africa does not always stem primarily from crises of national governance and the failure of governmental institutions in African countries to mediate conflict. A close examination of African conflicts reveals two broad categories: intra-state and inter-state conflicts. These can be broken down further into three relatively abstract dimensions of conflict: issues of contention (resources and interests or values and ideology); the conflict arena (families, communities, countries, or regions); and the contending parties (persons, organizations, classes, or peoples). In the light of these distinctions, African conflicts may belong to one or several of the following six types: 1. inter-ethnic conflicts (Liberia, Somalia); 2. inter-state conflicts (Cameroon-Nigeria); 3. liberation conflicts (South Sudan); 4. civil rights conflicts (Côte d'Ivoire); 5. annexationist conflicts (Western Sahara); and 6. political transition conflicts (Kenya, Zimbabwe). This typology suggests that better results can be achieved by analysing each conflict on its own merits and addressing it as a specific case, rather than using the strait-jacket peace-keeping approach as has been the case for decades. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [ASC Leiden abstract]