Conflict prevention, management and resolution in Africa: a case study of the conflict in the Darfur region of Sudan (2003 – 2013)
Author(s)Chukwunaru, Charles Obinna
KeywordsConflict management -- Sudan -- Darfur -- 21st century
Conflict management -- Africa -- Prevention
Africa -- Politics and government
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AbstractAfrica has witnessed some of the most horrific and devastating conflicts in the world in recent times. This study, concerned about the problem of these seemingly intractable or endemic violent conflicts ravaging the continent of Africa since decolonisation; resulting in poverty, hunger, diseases, massive killing, rape, permanent disability and underdevelopment, examined the issues relating to conflict prevention, management and resolution in Africa. In doing so, it used the conflict in the Darfur region of Sudan as a case study. It examined the role of international organisations, especially that which the African Union and the United Nations played in the prevention, management and resolution of the conflict in the Darfur region of Sudan, as well as the remote and immediate cause of the Darfur conflict and major parties to the Darfur conflict. Other issues examined by this study include the outcome of the United Nations Commission of Inquiry into the violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law, including acts of genocide in Darfur; and the Sudanese government’s response. Moreover, it analysed the implication of the Darfur conflict in the problem of preventing, managing and resolving violent conflict in Africa while drawing some lessons for the African Union, as well as the government of Sudan. However, this research, which adopted the qualitative case study methodology in data collection, presentation and analysis, posits that the protracted violent conflict, which was triggered by some rebel leaders with doubtful motives in the Darfur region of Sudan, who capitalised on the age-long problem of underdevelopment in the Darfur region, as well as low intensity disputes among the tribes over ownership of land and water resources, was avoidable. It further asserts that the African Union lacked the capacity to engage in an effective peace support operation in Africa as witnessed in the failure of its mission in Darfur, which eventually got rescued by the United Nations through the UN-AU Hybrid Mission in Darfur (UNAMID). Further, this study has contributed in narrowing the existing gaps in academic literature on the aspect of conflict prevention management and resolution especially in Africa, even as it introduced the conspiracy theory in the understanding of the issues relating to the conflict in the Darfur region while recommending the immediate operationalisation of the African Union standby force to avert the reoccurrence of the Darfur conflict in Sudan and other parts of Africa, among other strategies aimed at enhancing the capacity and capability of the African Union to prevent, manage and resolve violent conflicts in Africa with or without the intervention of foreign powers. Moreover, this study recommends good governance that will promote political, social and economic justice as well as adherence to the rule of law; against all forms marginalisation, discrimination and other forms of structural violence in Africa. Essentially, this research has made an original contribution to the conflict studies literature with the formulation of the “Violent Intrastate Conflict Model” which explains the conflict dynamics and processes in most violent intrastate conflicts or civil war.