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Conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo - Africa's First World War - Essay Example

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The conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo has been described as ‘Africa’s first world war’. To what extent can Africa’s civil wars be seen as international conflicts? Introduction Most commentators on African wars have lamented on how civil and other internal conflicts in Africa have been internationalised in time past…
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Conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo - Africas First World War
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"Conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo - Africa's First World War"

Download file to see previous pages As explained by Farlex (2012), a sovereign nation is “one that exercises supreme, permanent authority, especially in a nation or other governmental unit” and that a sovereign nation “governs territory outside its borders.” This means that nations that are considered to be sovereign are expected to have maximum dominion over their territorial borders such that their borders must not be invaded by other sovereign nations, especially when the nation in question has not offended the intruding nation in any way. Though wars of all kinds are considered inappropriate, it is commonly believed that civil conflicts arise as a means of expressing the freedom and voice of the indigenous people. Most commonly, civil conflicts travel beyond the borders of the conflicting nation in question and this happens through a number of ways. Concepts of Civil Wars and Conventional, International Conflicts Civil wars are commonly propagated, fuelled and fought among civil groups within a given country. Smith (2012), therefore, posits that “a civil war is a war which is fought internally within a nation between differing factions, religious groups, or powers.” The National Intelligence Council (2004), on the other hand, notes that conventional wars are fought among two defined military sides without the use of any nuclear, biological or chemical weapons but strictly by the use of conventional weapons. International wars or conflicts, on the other hand, assume a position where war is embattled between two nations. The kinds of weapons used in international wars are undefined. Invariably, there could be an inference drawn from the definitions above to the fact that civil and international conflicts may be conventional conflicts or not. The difference as to whether or not they are classified as conventional wars depend on the kinds of weapons used. Between civil and international wars also, it could be said that civil wars are highly centered on only one nation and does not involve any second and third parties. When civil wars are fought as conventional wars, it is expected that the harm would not be as devastating as when they are fought with the use of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. International wars are, however, highly probable not to be conventional wars because of the high exhibition of warship authority by involving nations. Processes through which Internal Conflicts become Internationalised in Africa The first process that often leads to the internationalisation of internal conflicts in Africa is the problem of defence of national interest by intruding nations. This point is made against the backdrop that the world is fast becoming a global village. Coupled with other socio-economic relationships and pacts, the opening of commissions, consulates and embassies in other countries is very high. Once these offices are opened, countries with such offices tend to have an interest in the affairs of the host countries because of the need to protect visiting citizens Noting that Africa is one continent that is generally considered as developing, there are several foreign continents with their citizens in African countries with the aim of helping in the development process. Owing to this, once war breaks up in any African country, there are efforts made by resident countries to protect their citizens and other interests they may have in the host country. Unfortunately, some of their attempts ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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