Migrations, Security Challenges and Conflicts in Africa: Nigeria as a case study.
Presented by Keen and Care Initiative (KCI), Nigeria at Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo between 3-4 July, 2017
This paper interrogates the interface between migration, conflicts and the challenges of state building in Africa and a case study of Nigeria.
Research on Nigerian politics have shown that the numerous political conflicts and series of recurring subnational tensions in the country, pose a serious threat to the country’s corporate existence and democratic survival. However, this paper contends that the issue of right to self-determination is the major factor underpinning most of the country’s lingering protracted conflicts. This issue, the paper argues, is the result of the patterns of migratory flow in the political history of the country, an issue further compounded by colonialism and the country’s governing class.
Nigeria is currently experiencing insurgency, urban violence, tensions over environmental degradation and conflict over land and water – and gender inequality drives and is exacerbated by all these conflicts.
Conflict is as old as mankind. It is a salient feature of the human society.
The history of the human race is that of migration and conflicts. Human, by nature, is designed to be mobile. He / she moves, as the need arises, from one location to another in search of a variety of things. In the same vein, conflict is inherent in human relationship. Whether at the interpersonal or organizational/societal or national or international level, human interactions are laced with issues for conflicts. In Africa, like other continents of the world, migration and conflicts have contributed to the making and shaping of the histories of the people. This is because at different points in the political and social histories of the African people, records revealed a large scale of in and out-migration as well as different kinds of conflicts.
The historic contacts with Europeans, the Arabs, the Chinese and others at different times are all products of migration.
Similarly, the various inter-ethnic civil wars, state wars of expansion, religious conflicts, trade and commercial crises are all indices of the prevalence of conflicts on the continent.
In recent time, Africa has witnessed many protracted and gruesome conflicts that have sparked off a wave of demographic movement of people both within and outside of the continent.
Among these are the protracted civil war in southern Sudan, the Liberian civil war, the Rwanda genocide, and the crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the Sierra Leonean civil war, the Nigerian civil war, the Darfur crisis, Somalia crisis and a series of boundary clashes among many others.
These accounted for more than half of all the war-related deaths worldwide…” The implication of this is very grave as the ability of African states to evolve into political nations, rather than continuing as cultural nations that colonialism configured them to be, is being threatened. Indeed the current waves of democratization that could have ushered the states of Africa into the orbit of political nations are seriously being undermined. A myriad of other issues have equally emerged to compound the effort of African states at nation-building.
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