Africa’s International Borders as Potential Sources of Conflict and Future Threats to Peace and Security

"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."