Sovereignty as Responsibility: Conflict Management in Africa

By Francis M. Deng; Sadikiel Kimaro et al. | Go to book overview

7
Conclusion

SOVEREIGNTY As responsibility means that national governments are duty bound to ensure minimum standards of security and social welfare for their citizens and be accountable both to the national body politic and the international community. Seen from this perspective, developments in Africa reflect a wide range in the performance of governments. On the positive side, recent events in South Africa signify a remarkable accomplishment in the creation of conditions conducive to the exercise of responsible sovereignty in the context of a multiracial society. South Africa is now a promising nonracial, democratic model, not only for Africa, but indeed for the world. At the opposite end of the spectrum are countries like Liberia, Rwanda, Somalia, Sierra Leone, and Sudan, characterized by acute ethnic violence or civil wars and a general disintegration of governance, public order, and personal and national security. In many parts of the continent, hundreds of thousands, indeed millions of people, are being lost in internecine warfare. Starvation, often the result of man-made causes, abounds. Economic conditions have degenerated, and states have collapsed or are becoming dysfunctional. In some countries, only foreign humanitarian assistance is sustaining life at a basic level. In between the models of South Africa and the failed or failing states are states with a broad range of successes and failures in discharging the responsibilities of sovereignty. But hardly any African country can claim total success.

Relating the theme of sovereignty as responsibility to the challenges of conflict resolution presupposes that managing conflicts is central to nation building and development. Although economic and social development are among the major challenges facing Africa, a process of self-sustaining growth and development is not possible without the

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Sovereignty as Responsibility: Conflict Management in Africa
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Publications of the Brookings Institution's Conflict Resolution in Africa Project ii
  • Title Page iii
  • The Brookings Institution v
  • Foreword vii
  • Contents ix
  • Preface xi
  • 1 - Normative Framework of Sovereignty 1
  • 2 - Governance 34
  • 3 - Identity 61
  • 4 - Economics 93
  • 5 - Regional Dynamics 131
  • 6 - International Actors 168
  • 7 - Conclusion 211
  • Index 255
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