The Contemporary Threats to Peace and Security in Africa

Topics: Poverty, Africa, Millennium Development Goals Pages: 3 (834 words) Published: June 21, 2011

With the collapse of the security system in most African States like Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, and the post-electoral violence in Cote d'Ivoire has worsened the phenomenon of insecurity among the people of Africa. However, there are certain crosscutting problems that link these diverse situations and have a real impact on the human security situation in the African region, for example:

1.Extreme poverty and social exclusion
2.Human Rights violations, especially women’s and children’s rights 3.Bad political and economic governance
4.The proliferation of small arms
5.Drug trafficking
6.Food insecurity
7.Environmental degradation
9.Endemic diseases, etc

Proliferation of light and small calibre weapons

The instability generated by the civil wars in Sierra Leone, Sudan etc, have led to a considerable spread in the proliferation and illegal circulation of small arms in Africa. Due to the porosity of national borders and the strongly intertwined African population, the accumulation of light weapons in a country prone to internal disputes rapidly takes on a regional dimension, thereby threatening the stability of neighboring States.

Hence, comprising a vicious circle, insecurity and the availability of small arms undermine economic development efforts, increase unemployment and promote violence. The proportional and integrated approach to security and development can therefore be found at the core of the various analyses of human security in West Africa, where almost 8 million light and small calibre weapons are circulating illegally.

Although these weapons are not in themselves the cause of conflicts in Africa, their availability extends such conflicts and makes the area fertile ground for them. The damage these light weapons cause Africa’s civil population goes from pure crime under ordinary law to the destruction of infrastructure that is vital for...
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