The Role of Borders in the Regional Conflict System of the Great Lakes in Africa

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 08:30
Oral Presentation
Sergio AGUILAR, UNESP, Brazil
Conflicts are seen as a complex phenomenon. In Africa, some of them extend over long time and are considered intractable. Being complex, African conflicts cannot be understood in a simplifying and reductionist approach of a linear analysis, which is normally done when we turn to the various paradigms in the field of conflicts and peace studies. That is why the systemic conflict analysis and, in some cases, the regional conflict system analysis can be useful to better understand the dynamics involved in various armed quarrels in that continent. The Great Lakes region in Africa can be understand as a regional conflict system where the border dynamics play a crucial role in the formation and maintenance of the conflicts. The dynamics are related to actors (internal and external), issues (declared and barely visible) and practices (legal and illegal) that fuel violence and keep its intractable and complex characteristics. The paper uses documents, second hand sources and other methodological tools to present the role of borders in the conflicts of three countries of the Great Lakes - Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan – analysing the dynamics that operate under the approach of regional conflict system.