Contested natural resources
                and political conflict:
        case-studies from Darfur and Gambella




Euro...
Ethiopia and Sudan:
         Territory and Natural Resources
Agriculture and Livestock:
•   Main economic sectors
•   Main...
Land Use
Darfur




         Gambella
Livestock Density

Darfur




             Gambella
Human Density
Darfur




            Gambella
Ethiopia and Sudan:
    Political dimensions of resource-based conflicts

Blurred political setting:
•    Property rights/...
DARFUR – A local water war?
         Roots of the Conflict: Resource-based

         •     Semi-arid region
         •    ...
DARFUR – how a resource-conflict
        became a political conflict
1990s:
• Darfur: Underdeveloped and marginalised regi...
GAMBELLA – Resource-based conflict?
                The setting
                • Marginalised and underdeveloped
        ...
GAMBELLA – The environment
           White Nile River




                         Sobat River



                       ...
GAMBELLA – Pressure over riverian areas




                                                                          90s ...
CONCLUSIONS
• Potential for resource-based conflicts in Ethiopia and
  Sudan is high

• Growing pressure over land and wat...
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Cascao Leipzig Contested Natural Resources Horn Darfur Gambella

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Cascao Leipzig Contested Natural Resources Horn Darfur Gambella

  1. 1. Contested natural resources and political conflict: case-studies from Darfur and Gambella European Conference on African Studies Ana Elisa Cascão Leipzig, Germany King’s College of London, UK 4-7 June 2009 CEAUP, Portugal
  2. 2. Ethiopia and Sudan: Territory and Natural Resources Agriculture and Livestock: • Main economic sectors • Main source of livelihoods • Inputs: Land and Water • Competition for control • Patterns of cooperation and conflict Environmental challenges: • Overexploitation of land and water resources • Environmental degradation • Uneven patterns of rainfall • Desertification Other challenges: • Population growth • Population movements (migrations, refugees, etc) • Resource-grabbing
  3. 3. Land Use Darfur Gambella
  4. 4. Livestock Density Darfur Gambella
  5. 5. Human Density Darfur Gambella
  6. 6. Ethiopia and Sudan: Political dimensions of resource-based conflicts Blurred political setting: • Property rights/Land Tenure • Acess and distribution • Unclear development options • Traditional conflict-resolution mechanisms • Alternative conflict-resolution mechanisms? Power politics: • Marginalisation • New competition: for political power and weatlh • Political manipulation of group-identities • Selective empowerement “Extra” political dimensions: • Porous administrative borders • Spillover effects of neighbouring conflicts
  7. 7. DARFUR – A local water war? Roots of the Conflict: Resource-based • Semi-arid region • Concentration of population • Longstanding competition for fertile/grazing land – land tenure problems • Competition for water access • Agro vs. Pastolarist disputes • Customary conflict resolution 1980s: • Increasing desertification/degradation • Limited water supplies • New agro-pastoralist migrations • Growing competition for resources • Governance failure “Darfur is an environmental crisis – a conflict that grew at least in part from desertification, ecological degradation and a scarcity of resources, foremost among the water” (Ban Ki-Moon, 2007)
  8. 8. DARFUR – how a resource-conflict became a political conflict 1990s: • Darfur: Underdeveloped and marginalised region • Increasing competition for natural resources • Increasing competition for political influence • Increasing political unrest • Local/National governance failure 2000s: • “Black Book”: call for power/wealth redistribution • Intra-state spillover effects (Central government + SPLM involvement) • Instrumentalisation of identities (ethnicity) • Empowerement of militias • Inter-state spillover effects (Sudan-Chad relations)
  9. 9. GAMBELLA – Resource-based conflict? The setting • Marginalised and underdeveloped region • Political instability • Federal/regional complexity • Population movements • Spillover effects from Sudan Gambella region The competition(s) • Competition for land and water – farmers, pastoralists, new comers • Problematic land tenure • Patterns of cooperation and conflict • Competition for political power • Instrumentalisation of identity politics The environment?
  10. 10. GAMBELLA – The environment White Nile River Sobat River Baro River Akobo River Gilo River Vast water supplies and fertile land But... • Increasing ecological degradation/deforestation • Increasing pressure over riverian areas • Potential land grabbing
  11. 11. GAMBELLA – Pressure over riverian areas 90s U l er s + Mo Dwel ent 8 vem r b an an 0s A d R rm ef u y ge es 0s 00 ists s /2 l Conflict 90 tora s Pa s Conflict r al s i st 0 Pa s/200 sto 90 80s Hig hlan 00 i st s der 0s s 0s 00 ists 0s oral /2 0s oral 9 t /2 9 t s s Pa Pa
  12. 12. CONCLUSIONS • Potential for resource-based conflicts in Ethiopia and Sudan is high • Growing pressure over land and water resources • Environmental degradation – social, economic and political impacts • Trend: political instrumentalisation of resource conflicts • Growing competition for political resources • Risk for transboundary spillover effects

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