Early warning and conflict prevention

Authored by: Ulf Engel

The Routledge Handbook of Transregional Studies

Print publication date:  November  2018
Online publication date:  November  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138718364
eBook ISBN: 9780429438233
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9780429438233-71

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Abstract

Historically, with the end of the Cold War in 1989 and the contraction of proxy wars in the Global South, the number of intrastate conflicts has increased: in particular in Africa; in the Balkans and the periphery of the former Soviet Union during the 1990s; in Afghanistan and Iraq with the invasions in October 2001 and in March 2003, respectively, by allied forces; and currently in the Middle East and Central Asia. The nature of violent conflict is also said to have changed (see Chapter 70 by Engel). In Bosnia (1992 to 1995) ethnic cleansing and in Rwanda (1994) genocide were committed, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. According to data from the Heidelberg Conflict Barometer (HIIK 2000–2016), the number of wars in sub-Saharan Africa in the 2000s decreased from six to an average of one to three per year. The number of ‘severe crisis’ remained rather stable at around eight to nine per year. But the number of ‘crises’ after 2004 almost tripled to around 30 and, in recent years, has increased to as many as 50–60 per year. Partly, this trend reflects contagion effects from the popular uprisings and revolutions in the Arab world after the spring of 2011 and in particular the disintegration of Libya and Syria. According to the African Union (AU 2013a), many of the other conflicts are related to ‘unconstitutional changes of government’, such as coups d’état, electoral violence, or heated debates about presidential term limits.

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