Africa's Global Impact
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Summaries International attention was directed to several African conflicts during 2000. Most notable were the wars in Sierra Leone, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and between Ethiopia and Eritrea. What became apparent was Africa's impact on global security concerns. This article focuses on key issues of global security through the lens of several African conflicts, including the economic dimensions of civil wars and peacekeeping in the midst of conflicts. It argues that African conflicts are instrumental in forcing outsiders to rethink various strategies to tackle conflicts. But what does this mean in terms of international response to crises on the continent? Will the outcome mean coherent and well thought?out policies, or a more ad hoc response as witnessed in the 1990s? Despite the international ramifications of African conflicts, concrete policy agendas for the continent are not forthcoming. Africa's security in the twenty?first century will be determined largely within Africa. But this should not be seen in a negative sense. African leaders need to demonstrate their commitment to finding peaceful solutions to conflicts on the continent. The history of externally?driven solutions and poorly?resourced peacekeeping initiatives has often hurt rather than helped African conflicts.