Credit: Alberto Gonzalez Farran / UNAMID.
Confilct and Resolution
Many conflicts in sub-Saharan Africa are over rights to land and natural resources. Some conflicts may cause individual loss and fray the fabric of communities; others can cause large-scale displacements of people, or war. All undermine development, diverting resources and compounding hardships.
Disputes can arise between land holders and their neighbors, relatives, landlords, or governments. Competing needs for certain natural resources, such as water for livestock and crops, can fuel violent conflict. Conflict can also flare when internally displaced people return to their homeland, only to find it now occupied and claimed by others, or when people lose their land to more powerful interests with neither consultation nor compensation.
Among the factors that contribute to these conflicts are population growth and land scarcity; rising land values; environmental stresses, including from climate change; weak tenure security; and increasing demand for land and other natural resources.