In the recent past, conflict has been an inherent and legitimate aspect of the social and political life. In many places, the cost and consequences of the same has recorded detrimental effects. The violence conflicts dramatically disrupt traditional societal setups, and development, and consequently spills over boarders reducing growth and prosperity in the affected region. One of the most common reasons for conflicts particularly in African nations is the scramble and fight for the limited natural resources, land, water, pasture and minerals (People, 2005).
The question whether lootable minerals breed disorder commands great interest in research owing to the proliferation of civil wars and failing states. Lootable wealth, defined as easy-to-transport resources among them gem, and precious woods generate disorder by providing the means and the motives for armed rebellion (Collier, 2000).
Various scholars argue that lootable minerals fuel ‘greed based’ insurgencies suggesting a positive statistical association between the resources and political disorder. Journalistic reports of ‘blood diamonds’ Sierra Leone, Congo, and Angola, ‘logs of war’ in Liberia and Cambodia and ‘Narco guerillas’ in Colombia bring out a more concise picture showing the relationship between lootable wealth and strife (Campbell, 2002).
Despite the presence of the prominent cases, a comparative perspective shows the relationship between lootable minerals and strife is much more complex than one may consider it. Historical insights highlight that some of the world’s strongest regimes previously governed many of the countries considered to be in a paradigmatic state of collapse today in the face of lootable minerals. For example, Mobutu Sese Seko held power for a significant number of years in Congo (formerly known as Zaire). William Tubman in Liberia held the position for 27 years before handing over to William Tolbert who ruled for 9 years. Siaka Stevens in Sierra Leone held power for 17 years before transferring his government to his successor. Some of these examples however give a contrasting idea that lootable resources are not always associated with strife.
Oil in Nigeria
For quite a long time, Nigeria’s oil-rich southern delta area has been the scene of rehashed armed conflicts among nearby residents, protester groups and the military and police. The battling has claimed numerous lives and sporadically disturbed the nation’s primary export activity. The agitation has been fueled by famous dissatisfactions over poverty, increased pollution and heavy-handed security operations in the area. The region’s “endless oil riches has rarely touched individuals’ lives,” noted the UN Development Program (UNDP) in a July 2006 report on human advancement in the Niger Delta.
Many neighborhood occupants trust that the administration, military and outside oil organizations are not doing sufficiently about to right this circumstance. “Individuals realize that they won’t be permitted to enjoy the advantages of our oil unless they battle,” one revolutionary rebel in Warri told a specialist for the International Crisis Group, a non-governmental research and support institute situated in Brussels. Words by the locals give deeper insights on the dire situation caused by the presence of the oil fields. At that point, one may wonder if indeed the oil fields were a blessing or a curse in disguise.
Blood Diamonds’ in Sierra Leone
The rebel war in Sierra Leone is yet another epitome of a bloody mineral resource affair. The country was plunged into deep civil strife which took a negative toll on the country’s economy. The mayor of Koidu, one of the worst hit areas explains that the area was a major trading center due to its proximal advantage to Guinea and Liberia. However, during the strife, the economy of the place nose-dived and the region’s infrastructure was ruined. However, the region has begun re-building and the markets are buzzing with activity like they used to be (Mary, 2012).
Oil in South Sudan
Southern Sudan, the world’s newest country plunged into five months of brutal and intractable conflict triggering humanitarian crisis badly that the United Nations warned that the strife could turn out to be the worst in Africa. The main cause behind this strife is the presence of oil on the country. The oil has fueled vicious attacks mainly around the critical oil states of Unity and Upper Nile. The eventuality of this was a severe massacre that left hundreds of citizens dead. About half of the country’s population is predicted to be either in flight or facing severe starvation as a result of the chaos (Emma, 2014).
Lootable minerals related Conflicts
The civil clashes that emerged from the tension between natural resources and minority groups in numerous African nations have added to the continued crisis with financial difference between the developing nations and other resource rich nations outside of Africa. As a contextual example, the strife between a large number of Nigeria’s ethnic minority communities and its oil industry, which is regularly manifested as pressure between these tension groups and the Nigerian government, has brought about huge revenue losses, lost lives, and general turmoil in the recent decades. Issues of legitimate ownership for oil-rich areas, claims against oil organizations and the administration over a clear nonchalance for national development, and general hostile relations in between local people and industry agents and security forces keep on fueling this strife.
There have been legitimate endeavors and sorted out endeavors at enhancing these strains yet so far, there have been no dependable cures. Through a nearby review of the historical backdrop of the oil business in Nigeria, its improvement, and the cases made by the changing intrigues, conceivable resolutions can be proffered to address Nigeria’s issues and those of other African nations with comparable question.
The crumbling of the dominant part minority ethnic relations has added to the rising clashes between the minority bunches and the administration. The cases of these gatherings are for the most part in light of the thought that they involve the wealthiest oil districts, yet get a littler measure of the incomes. In 1997, three of the biggest oil creating states – Delta, Rivers, and Bayelsa – got an offer of just 3.36%, 2.85%, and 2.28% individually, and a significantly littler sum was specifically gotten by the ethnic minority bunches (Frynas, Oil in Nigeria 44). This delineates one of the basic blemishes in Nigeria’s oil administration – while states are getting income, little as they might be, ethnic minorities remain minimized, as they have no immediate access to this income.
Lootable minerals Humanitarian Concerns
Natural clashes have likewise energized numerous challenges. The demolition of nature in the nearby groups has brought about genuine wellbeing related issues, furthermore influences the employment of villagers. Water sources, farmland, untamed life, and dairy cattle are among the couple of parts of the groups that are being undermined by oil toxins (Frynas, Politics and Economy 12). Also, more radical local people have required a complete independence over area and contend that responsibility for stems from authentic control of the area. For instance, a gathering in 1998 went to by an assortment of Iiaw from various groups brought about the reception of the Kaiama Declaration, which expressed that, “all area and characteristic assets (counting mineral assets) inside the Ijaw domain belong[s] to Ijaw groups” (Frynas, Oil in Nigeria 47).
African nations today confront more prominent difficulties to peace and strength than any time in recent memory. The nations of sub-Saharan Africa, including Sierra-Leone, Ivory Coast, Liberia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, are an unpredictable blend of shakiness, unsteadiness, degenerate political organizations and destitution. Alarmingly, the greater part of these nations do not have the political will to keep up past peace assertions, and in this way have fallen prey to persistent furnished ethnic clash. (Monty Marshall, 2003) This is mostly because of inadequate peace making.
The contentions in these nations are generally between ethnic gatherings, not between states. If not checked, ethnic clashes are infectious and can spread rapidly crosswise over fringes like malignancy cells. Ted Gurr and Monty Marshall have composed that most African clashes are brought about by the mix of destitution and feeble states and establishments. (Peace and Conflict, 2001:11-13; 2003)
What is the relationship between lootable resources and majority rule government? Lootable resources can give the financial establishments to political request under various types of non-just administrations (for instance, patrimonial and military fascisms).
Could lootable resources likewise give a monetary premise to stable majority rule administrations? What sorts of institutions of extraction make lootable resources pretty much perfect with law based political frameworks? Cases like Bolivia, Botswana, and Peru, which have vote based administrations and bottomless lootable riches, could help us answer these inquiries. Such cases may likewise offer essential bits of knowledge about how to accomplish majority rules system in the numerous other asset rich nations that, similar to Sierra Leone and Burma, have truly needed law based administrations.
Conclusions and Recommendations
Does lootable riches breed issue? Not generally and never straightforwardly. The impacts of lootable resources on political request are interceded by institutions of extraction. On the off chance that rulers can fabricate institutions of joint extraction, lootable resources can give the income which to oversee and in this manner produce not clutter, but rather strength. Yet in the event that joint extraction separates, or, on the other hand, if rulers neglect to accomplish it in any case, then lootable resources expand the danger of common war by making it simpler for radicals’ to compose and get the salary with which to revolt.
An attention on institutions of extraction gets past an imperative confinement of most existing examination on common war and fallen states: the inability to clarify why lootable riches is connected with turmoil in a few cases and order in others. To start with, the breakdown of joint extraction represents the solid and positive relationship between’s lootable riches and common war saw in late studies.
Secondly, the development of joint extraction clarifies the numerous situations where lootable riches does not deliver common war: if institutions of joint extraction are fabricated, then lootable resources can “breed” order. Along these lines the political economy of extraction structure gives establishment to an all the more intense hypothesis of state breakdown and common war, one that records both for turmoil and order even with lootable riches.
Campbell, G. (2002). Blood Diamonds. Westview: Boulder.
Collier, P. (2000). Doing well out of War: An Economic Perspective. Greed and Grievance:Economic Agendas in Civil War .
Emma, V. (2014, June 4). In South Sudan, the only thing oil really fuels is war. Retrieved from Independent: http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/in-south-sudan-the-only-thing-oil-really-fuels-is-war-9485546.html
Ernest, H. (2007, January). Conflict Resources: From ‘Curse’ to Blesing. Retrieved from Africa Renewal: http://www.un.org/africarenewal/magazine/january-2007/conflict-resources-%E2%80%98curse%E2%80%99-blessing
Mary, D. (2012, May 21). Sierra Leone ‘blood diamonds’ not forever. Retrieved from BBC News: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-18109186
People, U. F. (2005). Minerals and Conflict. Retrieved from USAID From the American People: http://pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_docs/Pnadb307.pdf