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Book chapter Book chapter Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Natural resources, scarcity and conflict: a perspective from below
Authors:Bruijn, Mirjam deISNI
Dijk, Han vanISNI
Book title:Is violence inevitable in Africa? Theories of conflict and approaches to conflict prevention
Geographic terms:Mali
Burkina Faso
Ivory Coast - Côte d'Ivoire
natural resources
land use
Abstract:Based on three cases of interaction between herders en farmers in northern Côte d'Ivoire, the Mossi Plateau in Burkina Faso and the Hayre in Mali this chapter discusses the role of resource scarcity in farmer-herder conflicts in the Sahel-Sudan region in West Africa. In all three case studies described resources are diminishing. However, in none of these is there a direct link between scarcity - such as drought or excessive localized pressure - and conflict. It seems that, for example, herders adapt their herding strategy to scarcity. When conflicts arise frequently, it can be shown that they are sparked off by a set of conditions that enhance the potential for violence. Ecological factors are important for the understanding of the presence or absence of conflict. However, people engage as social beings in these conflicts and not in isolation. The relationship people have with those whom they regard as their own kind and with other groups always affect access to and the use of resources. Explanations of conflict have to be sought in the nature of these relations combined with the relevant ecological features of the resources in question. Bibliogr. [ASC Leiden abstract]