Mitigating African Conflicts Through Securitization of Development
The 1990s introduced profound shifts in the realm of peace and security in Africa. With the demise of the Cold War, the East-West tension eased considerably. South Africa and Namibia installed democratically elected governments. Mozambique achieved relative peace and stability after decades of warring struggles (Rugummamu and Osman 2003). Many other African countries conducted democratic elections. These developments indeed reflected positive steps to peace. However, whereas many parts of the world moved closer to peace, stability and development, Africa remained quite unstable (Rugummamu and Osman 2003). Political insecurity and protracted violence have increasingly marked the African continent. Ironically, the continent’s institutional and organizational capacity to mitigate these conflicts has not developed at the same pace as the escalation of conflict. Within this realm, peace and peacemaking in Africa emerge as critical issues in global politics (Rugummamu and Osman 2003). The societal conflicts in Africa have always been made complex by poverty, illiteracy and weak systems of governance. The capacity of many states in Africa to adequately respond to the critical social needs of the citizens has equally declined. This is what Rugumamu (2001) refers to as traumatic episodes of collapsed and fragile states.