THE EFFECTS OF CONFLICTS IN AFRICA: A STUDY OF DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO
The effects of conflicts in Africa is greatly becoming overwhelming. It is even defying solutions proffered by different regional and subregional bodies and organizations. Thus, this research work is an effort to unravel these effects on the citizenry especially in the Democratic Republic of Congo. To undertake this study, the work was divided into six chapters. It began by looking at the issue of conflicts in Africa (DRC), the origin of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the issues that have given rise and had continued to give
rise to the crisis. There was also a look into the humanitarian efforts towards curbing the conflicts and the challenges it imposed, and also the various approaches necessary to stop the conflicts. An attempt was equally made to recommend some steps necessary, to reach an agreement among all the warring parties.
Conflicts have noticeably become part and parcel of life as far as human existence is concerned Africa is not an exception from this experience, which manifests itself in the form of ideological bloody wars,
civil wars, and tribal wars. For this reason conflict is generally defined as an interaction between interdependent people who perceive incompatible goals and who expect interference from the other party if they attempt to achieve their goal. As William Zartman observes, conflict is an inevitable
aspect of human interaction, an unavoidable concomitant of choices and decisions” conflict stems from the basic fact of human interdependency, for individuals to meet even their basic needs they depend on the active participation of other individuals. Hence North and Choucri (1983) stated seeking to satisfy their needs, wants and desires, people make demands upon themselves, upon whatever organisations and institutions appear to be in a position to help them.
Conflict is a triangle with structure, attitude, and behaviour as its vertices. The “structure” are the conflict situation, the parties, and the conflict of interest among them. Conflicts arise where the parties come to have incompatible interests, values or goals. Besides, conflict can be grouped as external or internal conflict, in which case it exists as a result of where it manifests from. Also, conflict can be seen as “armed conflict;
when it exists between governments (inter-state) or between governments and armed groups within states or between opposing armed groups (intra-state). However, African conflict situations which were noticeable as far back as 1980’s and 90’s was characterized with a lot of untold hardships and loss of lives or properties. Hawkins (2008) stressed that conflict in Africa since the end of the hostility have claimed over 9 million deaths in Africa. He adds that, conflicts have dominated the agendas of actors in a
position to respond (i.e policy makers, the media, the public and academic) and are often relatively small in scale compared to many of those that have consistently failed to attract attention.
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