Conflict Resolution in Africa

Conflict Resolution in Africa

Conflict Resolution in Africa

Conflict Resolution in Africa

Synopsis

While dramatic changes are taking place on the international scene and among the major powers, Africa continues to suffer from a multitude of violent conflicts. The toll of these conflicts is monumental in terms of war damage to productivity, scarce resources diverted to armaments and military organizations, and the resulting insecurity, displacement, and destruction. At the same time, Africans, in response to internal demands as well as to international changes, have begun to focus their attention and energies on these problems and are trying innovative ways to resolve differences by nonviolent means. The outcomes of these attempts have urgent and complex implications for the future of the continent with respect to human rights, principles of democracy, and economic development. In this book, African, European, and U. S. experts examine these important issues and the prospects for conflict management and resolution in Africa. They review the scholarship in resolution in light of international changes now taking place. Addressing the undying, internal causes of conflict, they question whether global events will promote peace or threaten to unleash even more conflict. The authors focus their analysis on the issues involved in African conflicts and examine the areas in need of the most dramatic changes. They offer specific recommendations for dealing with current problems, but caution that unless policymakers confront the security situation in Africa, further destruction to national unity and political and economic stability is imminent. Case studies and themes for further, long-term research are recommended.

Excerpt

The domestic and regional conflicts in Africa pose challenging issues for scholars and policymakers. While they are more limited in scale than the issues that directly engage the major powers, they entail great physical and emotional suffering for the people involved. The toll is monumental in terms of war damage to productivity, scarce resources diverted to armaments and military organizations, and the resulting insecurity, displacement, and destruction to the environment. In this book, African, European, and U.S. experts examine these conflicts and the prospects for their resolution. They review the scholarship on conflict resolution in Africa in light of current changes on the international scene, assess the potential implications of these changes for regional conflict, analyze the specific issues involved in African conflicts, evaluate the prospects for conflict management and resolution, and recommend case studies and themes for further, long- term research.

The book comprises the papers presented at a research conference on conflict resolution in Africa held at Brookings in October 1989. The papers have been revised and updated, but the book has not been subjected to the formal review and verification procedures established for research publications of the institution.

The two editors of this volume have diverse backgrounds in conflict resolution. Francis M. Deng, formerly Sudan's minister of state for foreign affairs and ambassador to the United States, is a senior fellow in the Foreign Policy Studies program at Brookings. For many years he has been involved in efforts to mediate conflict in the Sudan. I. William Zartman, director of the African Studies and Conflict Management programs at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies of the Johns Hopkins University, has published many works that analyze conflict resolution with a special reference to Africa.

The editors wish to thank the many people who participated in the Brookings conference. They are particularly grateful to John D. Stein bruner . . .

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