Conflict can be defined as a clash or disagreement often violent
between opposing groups or individuals. It can also be said to be an
incompatibility, as of two things that cannot be simultaneously
The word conflict is as old as mankind. This is because the word has
been in existence in all area of man life since the inception of the
world. The word conflict is derived from the Latin word configure,
meaning to strike together. Conflict also means contradiction arising
from differences in interest, ideas, ideologies, orientations, beliefs
perceptions and tendencies.
Conflicts usually occurs primarily as a result of a clash of
interests in the relationship between parties groups and states, either
because they are pursuing opposing or incompatible goals.
CAUSES OF CONFLICT IN AFRICA
Conflict arising from the militarization of the society:
abundance of weaponry and trained soldiers and untrained volunteers
available to any would be warlord with resources and determination.
1. Poor economic performance: a more basic and long term cause of
conflict has been the catastrophic economic performance of many African
countries. Coupled with the debt problem. Poor flows of private capital
into some African countries and foreign and programs often inefficient
as Neil. Economic discomfort can bail out into conflict. The deepest
causes of the conflict; economic despair, social injustice, and
political oppression. In the midst of poverty, African ruling classes or
the elite group who happen to hold power at a particular time, have
enriched themselves and become the targets of envy or of rivalry by
other elite groups.
2. Political/Domestic: Power struggles hostile groups over population
economic or religious disparities oppression and demand for democracy
communal or ethnic violence related to economic social religious
cultural or ethnic issues.
3. Political/International:These takes the form of ideological or
political campaigns territorial claims and religious expansionism
against other states regional rivalries terrorism, coercion or
discrimination respecting the trade or economy of other states
4. Ethnicity;a major cause of Africa conflicts been ethnicity and it
has continued to be so, the creation of independence was accompanied
urgent calls for nation building by the new African leaders who werewell
aware of the difficulty in transcending Africa ethnic and regional
loyalties .There have been a number of separatistmovement causing
attempts of secession such as Katangain Zaire, Biafra in Nigeria and
others in SudanEthiopia and Somalia
5. Military: Interstate aggression annexation intervention or
hostility for example support for the rebels of other states or for
6. Inter-state borders: Commonto many conflicts is the unsatisfactory
nature of interstate borders. Nearly all the borders were inherited
from colonial times and were the product of negotiations and treaties
between the colonial power decided in Europe with the aid of poor maps
and with scant attention to Africa peoples, the African government
shield away from making adjustments and in any case these was difficult
as they did not all reach independence at the same time.
7. Persecution: It connotes violation of human rights mass movements
of refuges poverty or instability caused by the mismanagement or
ineptitude of the government including evident andperceived levels of
corruption by the government beyond and acceptable limit of traditional
8. Conflict over psychological needs: Conflicts over psychological
needs of group and individuals are conflict which cannot be seen but
affect the psyche of the individual and groups self-actualization need
for individual and group respect attempt to protect on group to be
better than the others.
9. Conflicting involving values: Contradicting value system such as
religious belief and ideological position and general worldview is
another factor responsible for social conflict among the interacting
10. Conflict over resources: These kind of conflict are usually easy
to identify because they can be seen and amore potentially easy to
resolve. This conflict occurs when two or more people are competing for
inadequate (or perceived to be inadequate) resources over a period of
time .The competition may assume negative or destructive dimension when
the available resources are not evenly and judiciously distributed.
TEN CONFLICT RESOLUTION MECHANISM BY THE UNITED NATIONS
The United Nations primary mission is symbolized by the
opening words of the charter. They dedicate the united nation to saving
“succeeding generations from the scourge of war which has brought untold
sorrows to mankind and the maintenance of international peace and
security. Theunited nation through diplomatic intervention has direct
role in assisting and encouraging countries to settle their disputes
peace and security contributeto world peace and security in this regard
the United Nations performs the following function.
1. Inquiry: fact finding by neutral investigation, they find fact by
neutral investigation they investigate about things they also inquire
about things that happen in the nation.
2. GoodOffices: encouraging parties to negotiate. TheUnited Nations
encourages parties to negotiate they preferother parties to relate with
each other to do things in common
3. Mediation: making suggestions about possible solutions acting asan
intermediary between two parties to suggest about possible solution.
They also serve as middle men between two different parties to help them
suggest about possible solution.
4. Arbitration: Using a special panelto find a solution that all
parties agree in advance to accept they find solution to all parties.
5. Adjudication submitting disputes to an international courts such as the United Nations international court of justice (I.C.J)
6. Enforcement ofsanction: peace maintenance involve three distinct but interrelated activities.
7. Peacekeeping: It involves coordinated efforts to ensure stability
and relative chaoticsituation. Peace keeping has no express
constitutional legislation in the UN carter it’s a pragmatic response to
8. United Nation extend goal is to create conditions conducive to
establish lasting political settlement they help to create a conducive
environment for last longing political settlement.
9. UnitedNations resolves conflict in Africa by using mediation
conducted by the use of good will eminent personalities mandated by the
assembly of head of states and government .They help to develop tools
which were quite effective in the mediation of interstateconflict.
10. Another mechanism was the mounted operations by the United
Nations the Africa union and other organization such as the commonwealth
ECOWAS ranging from political missions andelection monitoring missions
to military and civil policy observer groups, or to peace keeping and
peace enforcement missions.