Different Viewpoints of Contemporary African Intrastate Small Wars

Friday, July 18, 2014: 8:30 AM
Room: Booth 50
Oral Presentation
Rialize FERREIRA , RC01, PRETORIA, South Africa

Africa has always been affected by external influences such as Western colonial rule and processes of independence of most states since the 1960s. The changing nature of African post-colonial politics led to increasing conflicts in most states because of power devolution and violent regime changes by military coups. Historical causes of intrastate small wars are mostly due to belligerents and non-state actors having greed and grievance issues, power struggles, resource wars, ethnic and religious differences, a lack of western norms and values which are not part of cultural ideas of development and also a lack of democratic principles, as these are not yet instituted in most countries. The default action is always to fall back on violence when belligerents are dissatisfied with current governments and breaking of peace accords by either of them. Changing sides in Africa is a normal occurrence, because alliances can change overnight. Enduring conflicts such as those in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Sudan lead to economic hardships and social problems through the internal displacement of thousands of people in their home countries, as well as those of political refugees. Consequently, two-thirds of global conflict is currently in Africa and the majority of United Nations (UN) peace missions are hosted in these conflict-ridden African states. Reference to South African peacekeeping contributions in these states will be made briefly.