There is a growing perception that recent initiatives to achieve peace in Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo have been scuttled by the financial incentive offered by the trade in resources extracted from the two countries. The intransigence of belligerent rebel groups, and governments, to terminate their involvement in the conflicts, has been attributed to commercial interest in continued resource exploitation. The resources have therefore been called 'conflict' or 'blood' resources. Multinational, multi-pronged strategies to deprive perceived beneficiaries of the benefits of conflict resources, which commenced in the late nineties, are gathering pace.
This paper attempts to contribute to these strategies. It discusses the linkage between armed conflicts and extractive resources generally, and specifically with reference to Southern Africa. The paper explores the challenges arising, against the background of the objectives of law enforcement, and suggests regulatory policy and administrative changes.