Monday, 19 October 2020

Territorial disputes: Africa (Part 11) [Post 146]


 

Territorial in Africa: a recap and partial conclusions

So far, we have introduced the historical reasons behind the territorial disputes in Africa, and consequent issues related to natural resources, people, and forced migrations. The first points we made clear are the fact that these posts are a broad introduction and that there are particular elements related to each individual difference. Yet, we have learnt there are some constant issues: colonialism and imperialism, and the way in which powers outside Africa delineated the borders.


There were many “reasons” and explanations at the time (geography, social development, economy, conflict amongst them). Nowadays, some of these earlier explanations are still present. However, there is a clear message from academia, politicians, activists and many others that the “reasons” behind the partition were not that benign or have in mind the welfare of the inhabitants.


The previous posts show there is a connection between current forced migrations, poverty, bordering tension, the level of socio-economic development, political instability and the historical elements. It is not that pre-colonial Africa did not have problems. 

Indeed, there were migrations, fights, and struggle. What is different nowadays is the fact that parties alien to the continent have a central role in perpetuating and exacerbating these negative realities. Even under the umbrella of humanitarian aid, tensions between local and regional groups are fed from outside.


Different disputes include a myriad of specific elements. After introducing these key elements related to territorial disputes in Africa at large, the posts will focus the attention on some cases in particular to assess and evaluate their own components. Once we present the larger background and the specific cases the posts will conclude by exploring a way to solve them.


Posts about territorial disputes and Africa so far:












NOTE:  

This post is based on Jorge Emilio Núñez, Territorial Disputes and State Sovereignty. International Law and Politics (Routledge 2020).
Previous published research monograph about territorial disputes and sovereignty by the author, Jorge Emilio Núñez, Sovereignty Conflicts and International Law and Politics: A Distributive Justice Issue London and New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, 2017.

NEXT POST:

Territorial conflicts and Africa: the first steps back to dignity

Monday 19th October 2020
Dr Jorge Emilio Núñez
Twitter: @DrJorge_World

Friday, 16 October 2020

Territorial disputes: Africa (Part 10) [Post 145]

 



Territorial conflicts and people in Africa: forced migration and where it all started (cont.)


The previous post referred to intra-African and extra-continental migration as a phenomenon that dates back to the origins of humankind. However, these patterns of transcontinental migration were fundamentally altered with the advent of European colonialism in the fifteenth century. Cultural affinities and shared languages have always played a key role in movements across borders, in terms of both people and trade. The colonial era demarcation of international borders often disregarded cultural and ethnic affiliations.

This highlights a path dependency of contemporary migration patterns in Africa due to colonial heritages. Under colonial rule, labour, both skilled and low-skilled, was relocated from one colony to another, establishing migrant labour systems as well as trade patterns that continued beyond the colonial era. 
The temporary international migration patterns prevalent in Eastern and Southern Africa, whereby workers circulate between their homes and work in mines, has its roots in the colonial era. The underlying factors can be traced to the organization of tasks and living and working conditions prevalent at that time. The post-colonial improvement of the employment conditions of workers attracted further labour to, for example, mines in Zambia and plantations in Cameroon and Nigeria. 
Following independence, such migration was institutionalized, and various restrictive practices related to family reunions, residence and contractual labour systems in Eastern and Western Africa ceased, although some such rules continue to be enforced in South Africa. By imposing arbitrary borders, colonial rule modified the frameworks for labour movement on the continent, affecting international migration patterns. Colonial rule also brought new cultures and languages, which led to longstanding links to the colonial powers that are still apparent in today’s patterns of extra-continental migration. 
For example, France established labour recruitment schemes in Algeria and Morocco during and after colonial rule. Similarly, the United Kingdom recruited labour from colonies, for example for military campaigns.

Due to long-established social, cultural and economic ties, citizens of Commonwealth countries have well-established networks that facilitate further inflows into the United Kingdom by lowering costs and risks of migration. Since the end of colonial rule, new trade and economic ties have been established, and since the late 1980s, there has been an acceleration and spatial diversification (beyond colonial patterns) of emigration out of Africa to Europe, North America, the Gulf States and Asia.

The main migration corridors from Africa to outside the continent still reflect colonial ties. Cultural and linguistic ties between sending and receiving countries are also observed in the increasing levels of migration from Egypt and the Sudan to the Middle East. Existing national borders are often porous and fluid in terms of trade and culture, yet colonial boundaries still retain an economic and social presence in contemporary African life.

Economic Development in Africa Report 2018 (UNCTAD)



NOTE:  

This post is based on Jorge Emilio Núñez, Territorial Disputes and State Sovereignty. International Law and Politics (Routledge 2020).
Previous published research monograph about territorial disputes and sovereignty by the author, Jorge Emilio Núñez, Sovereignty Conflicts and International Law and Politics: A Distributive Justice Issue London and New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, 2017.

NEXT POST:

Territorial in Africa: a recap and partial conclusions

Friday 16th October 2020
Dr Jorge Emilio Núñez
Twitter: @DrJorge_World

Thursday, 15 October 2020

Territorial disputes: Africa (Part 9) [Post 144]

 


Territorial conflicts and people in Africa: forced migration and where it all started


Conflict induced displacement includes those who are “forced to flee their homes for one or more of the following reasons and where the State authorities are unable or unwilling to protect them: armed conflict including civil war; generalized violence; and persecution on the grounds of nationality, race, religion, political opinion or social group”.6 Forced migration also occurs in response to border disputes, which have led to violent conflicts in several countries.

Conflict is thus a driver of migration. Severe conflicts often lead to flows of internally displaced people or refugees, if they flee across borders, yet conflicts can also be a driver of economic migration.

Intra-African and extra-continental migration is a phenomenon that dates back to the origins of humankind. Historical records from many centuries past show well-established trade routes between Western Africa, the Arabian Peninsula and India, and between either end of the Sahara through the trans-Saharan caravan trade.

Patterns of transcontinental migration were fundamentally altered with the advent of European colonialism in the fifteenth century. The extraction of labour, commodities and natural resources helped to build the European and North American economies, while denuding such opportunities for Africa. 
The colonial era was designed to meet the labour demands of mining and plantation based economies, and the control and regulation of human mobility was an essential Economic Development element. For example, France introduced various forms of labour conscription in Burkina Faso and Mali, as well as, to varying degrees, in Western Africa. Similarly, the hut tax was a type of taxation introduced by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland on a per hut or household basis, mainly in Eastern and Southern Africa, that was variously payable in money, labour, grain or stock. Such economic policies induced indigenous labour to move and work in colonial-owned mines and plantations on the continent.

Cultural affinities and shared languages have always played a key role in movements across borders, in terms of both people and trade. The colonial era demarcation of international borders often disregarded cultural and ethnic affiliations. 
The movement of people and trade, however, continued in line with traditional groups. For example, undocumented migration between Kenya, Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania for work on tea, coffee and cotton plantations has taken advantage of common cultural affinities, languages, currencies and shared colonial experiences.

The post tomorrow will continue focusing on the relationship between current issues related to forced migration, displacement, refugees and the historical reasons behind the territorial conflicts that cause them.

Economic Development in Africa Report 2018 (UNCTAD)


NOTE:  

This post is based on Jorge Emilio Núñez, Territorial Disputes and State Sovereignty. International Law and Politics (Routledge 2020).
Previous published research monograph about territorial disputes and sovereignty by the author, Jorge Emilio Núñez, Sovereignty Conflicts and International Law and Politics: A Distributive Justice Issue London and New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, 2017.

NEXT POST:

Territorial conflicts and people in Africa: forced migration and where it all started (cont.)

Thursday 15th October 2020
Dr Jorge Emilio Núñez
Twitter: @DrJorge_World

Wednesday, 14 October 2020

Territorial disputes: Africa (Part 8) [Post 143]

 


Territorial conflicts and people in Africa: forced migration


The global level of forced displacement across international borders continues to rise. By the end of 2016, the total number of refugees and asylum seekers in the world was estimated at 25.9 million representing 10.1 per cent of all international migrants. The developing regions hosted 82.5 per cent of the world’s refugees and asylum seekers.

In Africa, as a form of migration, conflict-induced or forced migration has also been a long-standing phenomenon across the world, although it gained prominence in recent times as a result of its severity, magnitude and frequency. Protracted conflicts in countries such as Syria, Libya, Mali, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan and Central African Republic as well as the heightened activities of terrorists, violent extremists and radicalized groups in North and West Africa and the Middle East have contributed to increased and widespread forced displacement of persons, in search of basic safety and security.

Africa is disproportionately affected by conflict-induced or forced migration, with four of the top ten refugee accepting countries in the world being in Africa; and over 25 percent of the world’s refugees residing in Africa – this is excluding migrants who are internally displaced within different African countries. Based on this, participants collectively underscored the important need for accelerated and targeted regional action, and international support, to address the challenges faced by forced migrants and the root causes of conflict-induced migration in Africa.

Contestations over porous and artificial borders in Africa remain a cause of disputes and violent conflicts, which can lead to forced migration. For instance, borders disputes between Eritrea/Ethiopia, Sudan/South Sudan, Kenya/ Uganda, as well as Somalia and Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya, have led to various forms of conflicts. In addition, the porosity and poor management of borders in Africa, coupled with the effects of the war on terrorism, make border crossing dangerous and create strict border controls and enforcement. Often this has implications for the safety and protection of migrant populations, who are increasingly vulnerable to exploitation and abuse at border points by state and non-state actors.

The porosity of borders in Africa also tends to create disjoints in national identities, as communities on either side of the border are merely divided artificially, despite having family ties on either side. Given this artificiality and the fact that often people tend to simply migrate across the border, participants reaffirmed the need to promote migration for development, as espoused in Agenda 2063, including by identifying and focusing on connectors such as cultural heritage and language ties that exist across borders. Such an approach could help in fostering the receptivity of host communities to migrants.

International Migration Report 2017 (United Nations)

Conflict-Induced Migration in Africa (United Nations)


NOTE:  

This post is based on Jorge Emilio Núñez, Territorial Disputes and State Sovereignty. International Law and Politics (Routledge 2020).
Previous published research monograph about territorial disputes and sovereignty by the author, Jorge Emilio Núñez, Sovereignty Conflicts and International Law and Politics: A Distributive Justice Issue London and New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, 2017.

NEXT POST:

Territorial conflicts and people in Africa: forced migration and where it all started

Wednesday 14th October 2020
Dr Jorge Emilio Núñez
Twitter: @DrJorge_World

Tuesday, 13 October 2020

Territorial disputes: Africa (Part 7) [Post 142]

 


Territorial conflicts and people in Africa: migration


Migration in Africa no matter its cause has an important impact on population dynamics (African Union, 2010). Data from the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs shows that migrants from Africa are younger (on average at 29 years) compared to migrants from other regions of the world; they are younger by an average of 10 years compared to the global average of 39 years.


Africa as a whole currently suffers a net loss in its population due to migration. Although some of the regional losses are a result of within continent migration, notably to southern Africa, a larger portion of the net migration are moving as undocumented migrants moving to seek better opportunities in Europe and other places outside of Africa. 

Within the continent, migration has had its negative social consequences. In 2015, there was widespread xenophobic related violence in South Africa. The continent can expect to see an increase in xenophobia as migrants move into new areas and compete with locals for the ever-shrinking job opportunities.


In 2015 alone, Africa accounted for about 14% (or 34 million) of people who moved across borders to live in new territories. A majority (70%) of these moved to a higher income country. Furthermore, over half (52%) of Africa’s 34 million migrants moved within Africa, 27% to Europe, 12% to Asia, 7% to North America and 2% to Oceania (UNDESA, 2016).


Beyond the continent, there is a rise in Eurocentric behaviours which would affect relations between the African migrants and their host nations. 

Regional integration processes based on the movement of (human) capital demand much more than the mere harmonisation of policies that interlink trade, investment, transport and movement of persons; they need to aim at optimising regional labour markets as well as ensuring the maximum benefits of the migration process for the African youth. 


Addressing the mismatch between skills and labour market needs in Africa during the next decades will be crucial to reaping the demographic dividend.

Many analyses on migration tend to overlook gender dimensions, especially as it pertains to adolescent and young women, yet they too are an important part of the migration phenomenon. 


Studies estimate that young women make about half of all migrants in their age group in Africa and constitute about five percent of the total global migrant population. More worryingly, a larger segment of trafficked women are used for sexual exploitation and in forced labour, in which case their rights are routinely violated (United Nations, 2014).


State of Africa’s Population 2017 (African Union)


NOTE:  

This post is based on Jorge Emilio Núñez, Territorial Disputes and State Sovereignty. International Law and Politics (Routledge 2020).
Previous published research monograph about territorial disputes and sovereignty by the author, Jorge Emilio Núñez, Sovereignty Conflicts and International Law and Politics: A Distributive Justice Issue London and New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, 2017.

NEXT POST:

Territorial conflicts and people in Africa: forced migration

Tuesday 13th October 2020
Dr Jorge Emilio Núñez
Twitter: @DrJorge_World

Monday, 12 October 2020

Territorial disputes: Africa (Part 6) [Post 141]

 


Territorial disputes and people in Africa


Global population has increased by 2.9 billion over the past 35 years, from 4.4 billion in 1980 to 7.3 billion in 2015. Although population growth rates have slowed, the world’s population is still growing by 81 million people each year, and Africa is contributing significantly to this phenomenon.
Africa’s population has nearly trebled from its estimated 478 million in 1980 to the current estimate of close to 1.2 billion, and is projected to increase to 1.5 billion by 2025 and 2.4 billion by 2050.
The top 10 countries that are contributing to the increase are Nigeria, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, the United Republic of Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, the Sudan, South Africa and Algeria. Together, those 10 countries accounted for 61 per cent of Africa’s overall population increase during the period 1980-2015.

Annual population growth rate on the continent is very high, at 2.5 per cent over the period 1980-2015, and is projected to remain as high as 1.5 per cent for the next 10 years.
Urban population is currently estimated at 40 per cent, compared with 27 per cent in 1980. Despite that rapid increase and the fact that it is the fastest urbanizing region globally, Africa remains the least urbanized continent in the world.
The most urbanized countries on the continent are Gabon, Libya, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Algeria, Cabo Verde, Tunisia, the Congo and South Africa. The average growth rate in the urban population stands at 3.7 per cent and is projected to remain as high as 2.6 per cent during the period 2025-2050.
Africa’s urban population is expected to increase by an additional 867 million over the next 35 years. By 2050, Africa will be majority urban, with nearly 56 per cent of its population living in urban areas.

This precipitous rise owes to the fact that infant and child mortality has dropped dramatically, and life expectancy, though still relatively low, has improved. On average fertility rates remain high at about five children per woman. Until Africa’s fertility rate falls sharply, its population will increse exponentially. 
This growth will be fueled by the young age structure of the African population (the phenomenon known as the population momentum). Africa’s population will also remain very young with a median age of just 20 years, as compared with 43 in Europe. By 2035, more than half of all new jobseekers will be African.
However, the biggest problem can be summed up in one word: jobs. Unlike in growing and prospering Asia only a few countries, among them Ethiopia, have anything like a coherent industrial policy.

Africa’s demographics are unique and brimming with potential. In an aging world, the region has a young and growing population. Rapid urbanization is expected to double the population of cities within 25 years, raising hopes for the productivity, innovation, and economic diversification that such trends have brought to other regions.
By 2030, Africa’s middle- and high-income groups are expected to grow by 100 million, boosting them to over 160 million people across the region. These rapidly expanding groups of consumers will spend smaller portions of their income on basic necessities such as food and beverages and more on transportation, information and communication technologies, housing, education, clothing and footwear, pharmaceuticals, and other products and services.
However, significant obstacles stand between African economies and full-tilt growth and progress.

A general lack of financing continues to constrain growth and development in the region, as less than a quarter of adults have access to formal financial services. The region’s infrastructure gap—a lack of electricity, roads and other transportation, and sanitation, for example—is not closing as quickly as regional governments had hoped. Growing cities, despite their potential, continue to struggle in terms of costliness, housing availability, efficient delivery of services, and other issues.

The Demographic Profile of African Countries (United Nations)
Africa’s Population in the 21st Century
Shaping the Future of Africa

NOTE:  

This post is based on Jorge Emilio Núñez, Territorial Disputes and State Sovereignty. International Law and Politics (Routledge 2020).
Previous published research monograph about territorial disputes and sovereignty by the author, Jorge Emilio Núñez, Sovereignty Conflicts and International Law and Politics: A Distributive Justice Issue London and New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, 2017.

NEXT POST:

Territorial conflicts and people in Africa: migration

Monday 12th October 2020
Dr Jorge Emilio Núñez
Twitter: @DrJorge_World

Friday, 9 October 2020

Entrevista por el Prof. Andrés Botero Bernal (Colombia)

Territorial Disputes and State Sovereignty

International Law and Politics

By 

Jorge E. Núñez 





Entrevista por el Prof. Andrés Botero Bernal (Colombia) respecto a mi más reciente obra "Territorial Disputes and State Sovereignty. International Law and Politics" (Routledge 2020)

Página con detalles y entrevista completa (Prof. Andrés Botero Bernal)
Jueves 08/10/2020