Research Proposal: Global Hotspots and Conflict Resolutions

Pages: 4 (1490 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Literature - African  ·  Buy This Paper

¶ … African States have been embroiled in civil and political conflict for the past several decades. The Federal Republic of Nigeria is located in West Africa and has a rich and varied ethnic history. It is one of the most populous countries in Africa and is the most populous country globally whose population is Black. It is listed as one of the "Next Eleven" burgeoning economies, is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, and has one of the fastest growing economies in the world. In fact, the International Monetary fund projects a growth of 9% in 2008 and 8.3% in 2009; a huge increase in economic base considering the location and issues. In Africa, Nigeria has the second largest economy, and remains one the foremost regional powers in Africa (Aminu, 2008).

However, some of this economic development comes at a price. Nigeria's human rights record remains poor, and according to the U.S. Department of State, the most significant human rights problems center around the government's abuse of power, harsh and arbitrary prison sentences, corruption at all levels of the government, discrimination, child exploitation, and a lack of civil rights ("2008 Human Rights Report: Nigeria," 2009). Too, because of the number of diverse ethnic groups and a population that is democratically immature but growing rapidly, sectarian violence is common -- although not as common as in other African nations.

Much of the current conflict in the Niger Delta began in the 1990s over tensions between foreign oil corporations and Nigerians who felt they were being exploited for foreign profit. Despite the conversion to democratic rule, the conflicts persist. Competition for oil wealth has also fueled domestic violence between the ethnic groups, causing the militarization of nearly the entire region by ethnic militia groups as well as the Nigerian local (police) and national (military) forces. In addition, victims are often reluctant to report abuse, creating a cycle of violence. In fact, "the regional and ethnic conflicts are so numerous that fully detailing each is impossible and impractical" ("The Price of Oil," 1999).

Conflict in the Plateau and the Nigerian Economy -- Conflict within a developing region has a multitude of local effects. Most especially, the economy suffers, and with it, the poor and disenfranchised at the bottom of the social structure often suffer the most. In Nigeria, the structure of conflict focuses on three major facets: internal ethnic and tribal disagreements and the pursuit of power; religious schisms between Muslims and Christians, often in combination with the ethnic disagreements; and the wealthy, and usually foreign oil companies who are accused of treating Nigeria like a colony by exploiting people and resources and having no check and balance to moderate their behavior. Regardless of the source of the conflict, though, killing of non-combatants, thousands fleeing their homes, and resulting in the government declaring a "State of Emergency" in the Plateau State in May, 2004 (Omeje, 2006). These ongoing conflicts also prevent the country from realizing its full economic potential -- imagine, if you will, without the conflict what resources could be focused on additional development and human needs?

Internal Ethnic/Tribal Conflict -- the late 1990s saw an increase in the number and severity of military conflict between ethnic/tribal groups -- among which the Ijaw and Itsekiri remains the most serious. The roots of the conflict go back centuries, the Itsekiri were the first to make contact with European traders, and quite aggressive in seeking Western Education and setting up Western commercial ties and contracts. When the British left Nigeria instead of a decrease in tensions between the two groups, the discovery of large oil reserves in the Niger Delta region actually increased new conflicts. Both groups claimed the right to own the very valuable real estate abutting the area. It was not until the death of General Sani Abacha in 1997 that the conflict became more military and less social. The issue of property allocation remains quite contentious. The Ijaw feel that the manner in which the wards have been allocated ensures that their larger numbers will not be fairly reflected in the number of political units allotted to each group. Thus, control of the major area city of Warri, a prime real estate location and source of political patronage, causing it to remain in a state of flux and highly charged emotion. Enter now the true indigenes group of the area, the Urhobo, and we see the tremendous conflict potential that greets each citizen daily… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Global Hotspots and Conflict Resolutions.  (2010, March 5).  Retrieved May 19, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/global-hotspots-conflict-resolutions/3082887

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"Global Hotspots and Conflict Resolutions."  5 March 2010.  Web.  19 May 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/global-hotspots-conflict-resolutions/3082887>.

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"Global Hotspots and Conflict Resolutions."  Essaytown.com.  March 5, 2010.  Accessed May 19, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/global-hotspots-conflict-resolutions/3082887.