Civil War: A Comparative Analysis

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There is little peace in a world characterized by painful differences between the rich and the poor, between the haves and the have-nots. Poverty is certainly not conducive to peace. Inequality in resources and opportunities is a direct burden on the poor themselves i.e. poor people as well as poor countries. When poverty is persistent, degrading, miserable, life-shortening, life-threatening, and life denying, it is an affront to human dignity. According to the orthodox Marxist thinking, wars are caused by class struggles, including conflicts within societies as well as those between the upper classes of different societies for control over other countries. But one does not need to be a Marxist to know that poverty can cause dissatisfaction,…show more content…
A wide range of empirical research finds that per capita GDP has an important, statistically significant relationship with the likelihood of civil war outbreak (Susan E. Rice, 2007). The case of Sierra Leone is an example of this. Just before the civil war broke out in March 1991, economic growth was negative and real GDP per capita had dropped more than 35 percent from 1970s. Sierra Leone in 1990 ranked last on the UN Human Development Index. Youth unemployment had escalated and the education system, once among the best in the region, had collapsed with the economic decline of the 1980s. With little or no employment opportunities, dissatisfied youth were more easily drawn to rebel activities as a means of gaining power and income, looted from civilians and the country’s rich alluvial diamond fields. When conflict breaks out, poverty can help perpetuate the fighting, and once a conflict has ended, poverty may also increase the likelihood that it will recur. Poverty and falling income are the critical drivers of violent conflict in less developed countries (Edward Miguel, 2007). Draman (2003) argues that in 2002, of 63 low-income countries, 38 are located in sub-Saharan Africa and so there is the tendency for poor countries to experience…show more content…
While one school of thought thinks that poverty causes conflict, the other school of thought argues that only the reverse is true. There is some consensus around the proposition that conflict causes poverty. This is not a particularly new idea that if poverty leads to conflict, it is also true that the destabilizing effects of conflict make it harder for leaders, institutions, and outsiders to promote human development. Civil wars therefore, may also result in poverty and diseases. Liberia and Sierra Leone are typical examples; these two countries have not been able to stand on their feet after their civil wars with the Ebola epidemic now worsening their plight. Therefore the fact cannot be denied that conflict has a negative impact on

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