Oil and Violent Conflict in Africa

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Centre for Peace and Strategic Studies, University of Ilorin, Nigeria


There have been violent scrambles to control oil wealth in Angola, Algeria, Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. This paper examines the linkages between oil and violent conflict in selected African countries. The author reviews extant literature on armed conflicts in oil-dependent African countries and explore what could be done to address it. The paper argues that the possession of oil resources and the revenues that accrue to governments from the exploitation of this resource exacerbate conflict and lead to war largely because of poor governance and corruption by states actors. Oil wealth has not been equitably distributed for the benefit of the people. However, if these African governments are transparent and accountable in the management of their oil revenue for the welfare of the people, this will likely reduce the incidence of armed conflicts in these countries. There is no innateness of natural resources that compel conflict. It is rather the hegemonic struggles between superordinated and subordinated groups and the nature of management and appropriation of resources that engender conflict.



Oil, Resource Management, Violent Conflict, Transparency, Africa


Babatunde, A.O. (2014). Oil and Violent Conflict in Africa. Journal of Peace, Security and Development. 2014. 1 (3): 144-164. Published by Centre for Peace and Strategic Studies, University of Ilorin, Nigeria.