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Helpdesk Report - K4D: Lessons Learned in Promoting Accountability and Resolution of Natural Resource-based Conflicts in Africa

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This report looks at lessons learned around the promotion of accountability and resolution of conflicts over natural resources, with a focus on Africa, specifically Nigeria. This rapid review focuses on water and land conflicts specifically, although some of the literature refers to natural resources more broadly to also include mining and fossil fuels (oil). Key measures focused on that may help societies to achieve accountability and resolution in conflicts over water and/or land in Africa include formal institutions (reform of public institutions and policies), informal or traditional mechanisms (such as community-based peace initiatives, customary rules, dialogues) and hybrid mechanisms (such as land tribunals). There is a vast literature on natural resource conflicts in Africa, much of which focuses on the “resource curse” and the drivers and dynamics of conflict; less literature focuses on resolution mechanisms, specifically accountability or the role of security providers. However, this body of literature is still significant (especially in relation to community-based and traditional peace mechanisms in Africa). There is a strong focus in the literature on framer-herder conflicts in Africa (and Nigeria). This rapid review mostly draws on academic sources of literature, although some non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and donor literature is also utilised.

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