The role & influence of natural resources in civil wars in Africa: examples from the Liberian and Sierra Leonean civil wars

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Tsamenyi, Elikem Kofi
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The objective of this thesis is to test and analyze the proposition of whether and to what extent natural resource interests have been fundamental in either causing, fueling or prolonging civil wars in Africa. The study focuses on examples from the Liberian (1989-96 and 1999-2003) and Sierra Leonean civil (1991-2002) to better understand the workings of armed rebellion and the role of natural resources. These two conflict situations were chosen because of their international/transnational contexts and because of the large number of actors involved in either their management or resolution- (UN, ECOWAS, NGOs, and other International Non-Governmental Organizations). More importantly both nations are resource rich. This study examines closely the relationship between the management of natural resources (with focus on lootable natural resources) and armed conflicts and makes policy recommendations aimed at reducing the risk of resource-related violent conflicts.
Natural resources, civil wars, Africa