Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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Sub-Saharan Africa grapples with persistent security challenges, particularly in Sahel countries like Burkina Faso, Chad, Niger, Mauritania, and Mali, where prolonged conflicts and humanitarian crises prevail.

Research indicates that discontent with state institutions among marginalized groups serves as a primary catalyst for unrest in the region. Distrust in governments stems from perceptions of inequitable resource allocation and insufficient inclusive growth, exacerbating feelings of exclusion among certain segments of the population.

Institutional shortcomings exacerbate this sense of exclusion, denying rights, opportunities, and resources to specific groups. Such conditions undermine fairness and inclusivity, essential for sustainable development, and increase the likelihood of conflict.

The concentration of conflict near national borders, where public services are often limited, further fuels feelings of exclusion, posing significant security risks in affected and neighboring countries alike.

Examples of conflicts with potential cross-border impacts include Ethiopia’s recent civil war, enduring conflicts in South Sudan and the Central African Republic, and extremism-driven unrest in the Sahel and northern Mozambique.

An analysis spanning sub-Saharan Africa from 1990 to 2022 reveals the pivotal role of social, political, and economic exclusion in driving conflicts, as evidenced by a new exclusion index. This research aims to guide policymakers in navigating the region’s complexities and enhancing livelihoods.

Addressing violent conflict necessitates a holistic approach to mitigate various forms of exclusion. Establishing trust between citizens and governments, ensuring justice, and equitable public service delivery are critical for sustainable peace and social cohesion.

While poverty and underdevelopment contribute to conflict dynamics, they are exacerbated by experiences or perceptions of social and economic exclusion, providing fertile ground for armed groups and demanding urgent intervention.

While exclusion and government distrust are significant conflict drivers, conflicts may also arise from climate change, food insecurity, and other factors. The severity of security crises underscores the urgent need for humanitarian aid and enhanced security expenditure quality and efficiency, including counterterrorism financing. However, these efforts may prove insufficient without addressing the core issue of exclusion simultaneously.

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