Between the just and the expedient: the problem of conflict resolution in Africa
ikpe, Ibanga B.
PublisherPhilosophy Documentation Center; https://www.pdcnet.org/
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This paper is about African conflicts and their tendency to persist despite attempts to resolve them. Such persistence has in the past been attributed to various causes but it is the contention of this paper that African conflicts fester due to poor governance and thereafter persist and recur because the issues that led to the conflict are not adequately addressed in the course of resolving the conflict. To justify this position, the paper attempts a classification and analysis of what it considers to be recurring patterns in the conflict processes of some post-independence African states and also attempts a classification and analysis of efforts at resolving such them. It argues that the expedient is often promoted over equity in the management of African conflicts and that mediators and facilitators routinely disregard the underlying issues of the conflict in their haste to abstract an agreement from the parties. It posits that some of the compromises that are extracted from the parties fail to meet their basic expectations and thus force them into a temporary peace that is abandoned at the earliest opportunity. The paper concludes that lasting peace is only feasible when issues of justice and equity are given priority of place and the parties are accorded sustained assistance as they embark on national reconciliation.