n Institute for Security Studies Papers - Africa's international borders as potential sources of conflict and future threats to peace and security

Volume 2012, Issue 233
  • ISSN : 1026-0404



This paper examines the potential of Africa's international boundaries as sources of conflict and future threats to peace and security on the continent. It argues that although border-related inter-state conflicts have been displaced by governance-related intra-state conflict, Africa's poorly demarcated boundaries are still potent sources of conflict, particularly as far as the spilling over of intra-state conflicts to neighbouring countries is concerned. Despite the artificial and unviable character of the borders of many African states, the continent's governing elite has over the years stuck to a policy of maintaining the status quo of the continent's internationally recognised borders. However, a number of persistent pressures have recently forced a rethink on the approach to be taken to the management of Africa's boundary problems, with the focus being on the proper delineation and demarcation of borders.

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