Post-Conflict Reconstruction in Africa: Some Analytical Issues
In contrast to much of the twentieth century, when warfare between rich states was the norm, contemporary conflict now occurs almost exclusively in poor developing countries and is mainly internal in nature (although external parties and neighbouring countries may support internal belligerents). The period 1990–2000 saw nineteen major armed conflicts in Africa, ranging from civil wars to the 1998–2000 war between Eritrea and Ethiopia (Wallensteen and Sollenberg, 2001). Although the picture is grim, there has recently been some good news: a peace agreement has been signed in Angola; the governments of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Rwanda have signed a peace agreement; talks have resumed between the government and the rebels in Sudan. Sadly, these positive developments need to be counterbalanced with the empirical regularity with which peace agreements break down (Walter, 2001). Ensuring that the benefits of reconstruction are broad-based rather than narrow in their benefits, it is important to minimize the chances of conflict reigniting, since grievances will otherwise fester. Accordingly, the containment and reduction of inequality, and not just a reduction in absolute poverty, may be central to broad-based reconstruction.
KeywordsSocial Contract Production Frontier Military Expenditure Thematic Issue Military Spending
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