n AFFRIKA Journal of Politics, Economics and Society - Proxy border wars and management strategies in Mano River and Darfur regions

Volume 5, Issue 1_2
  • ISSN : 1998-4936
  • E-ISSN: 2075-6534


This paper presents a comparative analysis of proxy border wars in Liberia/Sierra Leone and Sudan/Chad as well as examines the conflict resolution strategies that worked for them. While the Liberian conflict started as a proxy war for Ghadafi who trained and armed Charles Taylor's NFPL in pursuance of a continental hegemonic agenda, the Sierra Leone's crisis also started as a proxy war for Charles Taylor who backed and funded Foday Sankhor's RUF rebel movement in order to have unfettered access to Sierra Leone's diamond fields. Both NFPL and RUF later engaged in cross-border raids with attendant heavy tolls on human and material resources. In the same vein, Sudan and Chad were for some times embroiled in a proxy war through various rebel movements and auxiliary militias, with each government supporting rebels fighting against the other. Khartoum continues to encourage Janjaweed militia attacks across the border into Chad and actively supported various groups of Chadian rebels, and even masterminded a coup attempt in Ndjamena. This was in response to Chad's support for the Zaghawa anti-Khartoum rebel fighters operating in the Darfur region. The effects were catastrophic for civilians on both sides as evident in loss of lives, property and displacements of multitude. However, the conflicts were eventually resolved. The questions now are: what are the major actor groups in the regions? What were the impacts on the regions and the peace process? What mechanisms were used for the resolution? The study locates regional, international and non-state actors' active and persistent intervention in the resolution of the proxy wars. Specifically, the main thrust of this paper is the explanation of the proxy border wars in these regions and the examination of the strategies that worked for resolving the crises.

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