Natural resources prolongs conflicts
There is no direct link between natural resources and violence. It is not a reason to why people fight, however, conflicts are maintained due to the existence of natural resources. This point was made by Koen Vlassenroot, professor of political science at the University of Ghent, at the first lecture of the NAI lecture series "Violent conflicts over land in Africa today" on October 16h.
Based on case studies from eastern DR Congo, he illustrated how land, identity and power are linked in the region in a manner that affects local violence and conflict. Koen Vlassenroots research indicates that land issues are increasingly recognized as key drivers and maintenance factors of the conflict in Congo.