Wars across Africa have had all the characteristics that should have triggered Deutsch—denies the impact
Porteous 04 (Tom, London director of Human Rights Watch and syndicated columnist, writer and analyst who has worked for the BBC and the U.K. Foreign & Commonwealth Office, October. “Resolving African Conflicts.” http://www.crimesofwar.org/africa-mag/afr_01_porteos.html)
In West Africa another regional complex of conflicts, also driven by greed and political disintegration, was in full swing. The late 1990s saw the culmination of the diamond and corruption fuelled rebellion in Sierra Leone that had been going on for a decade. At the start of 2000 a recently signed peace agreement in Sierra Leone was on the brink of failure. Guinea was in danger of being dragged into the conflict. Liberia, nominally at peace after its own war in the first half of the decade but little more than a façade of a state benefiting no one but its gangster-like regime, was still fomenting conflict in all of its neighbours (Sierra Leone, Guinea and Côte D’Ivoire) and was itself edging towards a renewed civil war. Côte D’Ivoire too, once a beacon of prosperity and stability, was increasingly beset by its own internal political troubles that were to develop into armed conflict in 2002. Nigeria, the regional hegemon, was ruled for most of the 1990s by a repressive and corrupt military regime which thrived in part on fomenting ethnic and religious tensions. In the Horn of Africa, Somalia was still without a central government almost a decade after the fall of the last one (the Siad Barre regime which had been backed and armed alternately by both sides in the Cold War). The vacuum of state authority in Somalia left the country in a state of low level conflict and chronic economic weakness, on the one hand vulnerable to external interference and on the other a source of regional instability. To the north of Somalia, border skirmishes between Ethiopia and Eritrea developed into full scale war in 1999. Meanwhile in Sudan, the second phase of the post independence rebellion was well into its second decade and there were no signs of resolution. One peace initiative after another had failed. At the other end of the continent, in Angola, another war that had in an earlier phase been fomented by Cold War rivalry was still raging. Now deprived of their superpower sponsorship, but aided by international businesses which continued to buy the Angolans’ oil and diamonds and sell them weapons, the leaders of both sides (MPLA government and UNITA rebels) were plundering the country to support their war efforts and to fill their foreign bank accounts. In a country fabulously rich in natural resources, including agriculture, the majority of the peasant population were living in desperate poverty, many of them living on food handouts from the international humanitarian relief system. Africa’s wars in the 1990s were all very different in their specifics. But they shared a number of important characteristics. First, one of the main underlying causes of these wars was the weakness, the corruption, the high level of militarization, and in some cases the complete collapse, of the states involved. Secondly, they all involved multiple belligerents fighting for a multiplicity of often shifting economic and political motivations. Thirdly, they all had serious regional dimensions and regional implications. And fourthly they were all remarkable for the brutality of the tactics (ranging from mass murder and ethnic cleansing, to amputation, starvation, forced labour, rape and cannibalism) used by belligerents to secure their strategic objectives.
Existing conflicts should have trigged the impact
The New Times 08 (8/29, Africa News, “Rwanda; PM Encourages EASBIRG States to Contribute Funds,” Lexis.)
Makuza reiterated the need for a speedy establishment of the Standby Brigade because of several conflicts in the region that have hampered development. "The Eastern Africa region is one that has been plagued with conflicts and calamities. Existing conflicts such as those in the Horn of Africa, Darfur, the presence of threats to Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi in Eastern Congo are clear examples of the need to have a robust peace and security mechanism," said the Premier. The director of the EASBRIG Coordination Mechanism (EASBRICOM), Simon Mulongo, said that so far, the organization has finalized an eight objective strategic plan which include elaboration on the structures and processes that can support the full range of the standby force. "Also incorporated in the plan is the development of a force support system capable of sustaining regional capabilities," said Mulongo, who heads the Nairobi-based EASBRICOM. Earlier in the week, he had informed the meeting that brought together Chiefs of Defence Staff that the operational exercise of the force will be conducted in November this year. Rwanda has already made available one battalion as her contribution to the brigade.
Ext #2 – Don’t Escalate
No escalation—U.N., African initiatives, great power incentives for cooperation Porteous 04 (Tom, London director of Human Rights Watch and syndicated columnist, writer and analyst who has worked for the BBC and the U.K. Foreign & Commonwealth Office, October. “Resolving African Conflicts.” http://www.crimesofwar.org/africa-mag/afr_01_porteos.html)
At the UN, following the publication of a hard hitting report2 in 2000 on UN peacekeeping operations, there has been significant improvement in planning and capacity at the Department for Peacekeeping Operations. There also appears to be a new readiness on the part of the Security Council (which prior to the Iraq crisis devoted a majority of its time to deliberating about conflicts in Africa) to equip UN missions in Africa and elsewhere with the mandate and capacity to do their job (once the UN operation in Liberia is fully deployed, the three largest UN peacekeeping operations in the world will all be in Africa). Crucially there is also now a UN Security Council acknowledgement of the imperative to incorporate the protection of civilians into the mandates of UN and other peace support operations. Other UN mechanisms have also been deployed to help nudge African conflicts towards resolution including special panels to monitor sanctions in Angola, Liberia and Somalia, a special panel monitoring the links between conflict and the exploitation of resources in DR Congo, international war crimes tribunals for Rwanda and Sierra Leone andthe establishment of a special UN office headed by a senior official to examine the many regional dimensions of conflict in West Africa. In Africa itself, there is a new recognition among leaders like South Africa’s Thabo Mbeki, Senegal’s Abdoulaye Wade, Ghana’s John Kuffuor, Nigeria’s Olusegun Obasanjo, and the new Chairman of the African Union (AU), Alpha Omar Konare, of the negative impact of Africa’s wars on theprospects for the whole continent and a determination that Africans themselves should play a more active and creative role in ending wars. As usual there is a lot of rhetoric. But there is some substance too. The new mood (symbolised by Mbeki’s ambitious blueprint for an African renaissance, the New Partnership for African Development3) has been translated into some successful African peace initiatives on the ground (e.g. in Burundi and DR Congo) and into a programme to reform Africa’s own regional security communities4 and to increase Africa’s own peacekeeping capacity. Among the big Western powers, particularly the US, the French and the UK, there has been a greater engagement on Africa at a higher political level and a greater willingness to bury past differences on Africa and co-operate. This has been in part because of a real sense of guilt at the failure of the West to prevent or halt the genocide in Rwanda in 1994. But it is also because of a new post 9/11 consensus in the West that, quite apart from humanitarian concerns, there are compelling strategic reasons (oil, Islam and terrorism) for preventing Africa from slipping further into poverty and conflict. In policy terms these factors have led to greater support for Africa’s own efforts to deal with conflict, support for beefed up UN operations and, when all else fails, a greater preparedness to commit Western troops in response to African crises.