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Khazar Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences

Yıl 2012 , Cilt 15 , Sayı 4

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Small arms proliferation and armed conflicts in africa: the case of rwandan conflict

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Yazar kurumları :
Nnamdi Azikiwe University1
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This paper studies of the use of small arms in the Rwandan civil wars that resulted to a spate of genocidal killings that shocked the moral conscience of mankind. Notwithstanding the importance of small arms during conflicts, analytic studies of their roles and use during intensive episodes of violence are nearly absent. Conflict studies often stress the curse of mineral wealth, but they neglect the fact that one does not kill a human being with a gallon of oil or a sparkling diamond. Without weapons, conflicts within and between countries wouldl not reach the toll on human lives as we have seen in the recent bloody conflicts in Sierra-Leone, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan and Rwanda. In view of this, the paper intends to contribute to the understanding of the importance of the use and role of small weapons in Rwanda, and more generally, the importance of small and light weapons in other kinds of conflict. The main finding of this study inter alia is that though ethnic imbalance, created by colonialism and deepened by bad governance, necessitated a conflict situation in Rwanda, but the proliferation of small arms within Rwandan society worsened the conflict. The paper posits that mere legislation is an insufficient answer to the problems of small arms proliferation. It suggests that a look at the root causes of what in the first place raises the demand of small arms is imperative.

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