Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
Research Report

‘The Middlemen’:: War Supply Networks in Sierra Leone and Angola

Mark Shaw
Copyright Date: Mar. 1, 2003
Published by: Clingendael Institute
Pages: 63

Table of Contents

Export Selected Citations Export to NoodleTools Export to RefWorks Export to EasyBib Export a RIS file (For EndNote, ProCite, Reference Manager, Zotero, Mendeley...) Export a Text file (For BibTex)
  1. (pp. 2-3)
  2. (pp. 4-4)
  3. (pp. 5-6)

    This paper is part of a larger research project, 'Coping with Internal Conflict' (CICP), which was executed by the Conflict Research Unit of the Netherlands Institute of International Relations 'Clingendael' for the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The CICP, which was finalized at the end of 2002, consisted of three components: 'Political Economy of Internal Conflict': 'Managing Group Grievances and Internal Conflict; and 'Security Sector Reform'. This paper was written in the framework of the research component 'Political Economy of Internal Conflict'.

    Addressing the political economy of internal conflict calls for policies on the basis of good analysis. The purpose...

  4. (pp. 7-9)

    The end of the Cold War ensured that in Africa the supplying of protagonists to conflicts had to rely less on the support of one of the superpowers, but on the initiative, and perhaps more importantly, on the available resources of the combatants themselves. This shift has given rise to a vigorous debate about the connections between resources and conflict on the continent.¹ Much has been said and written, for example, about the connections between the presence of diamonds in a number of African states and their seeming susceptibility to conflict. While such analyses of various African conflicts are now...

  5. (pp. 11-21)

    The juxtaposition between the potential wealth of both Sierra Leone and Angola and the misery of their peoples is stark. Both occupy the lowest rungs of the UN development index, having for example the highest under-5 mortality rates in the world with more than a quarter of children dying before they reach the age of five.³ On the face of it then, an abundance of natural resources has not brought much benefit to their citizens, only war. Such conflicts have been fuelled by resources that have ensured both the financial means to continue to supply the protagonists while at the...

  6. (pp. 23-64)

    It is apparent even from these brief overviews of the conflicts in Sierra Leone and Angola the degree of their complexity. The causal factors for conflict are an intermesh of political, economic and social factors, and while resources such as diamonds and oil have fuelled the conflict, analyses of such factors must take care not to forget the vital features of human agency and personality. The paper now turns to a detailed examination of issues related to the supply of the two conflicts. Again, it is worth emphasising that in carry out such a study, the danger is always that...

  7. (pp. 65-66)

    While the actual conduct of war is often scrutinised and debated, the logistics of war efforts are thought to be of less importance, or at least attract less attention.190 This is misplaced given that the effectiveness of war supply often determines the viciousness, extent, length and destructiveness of the conflict itself. Initially this was the case with the spate of wars that have plagued the African continent since the end of the Cold War. However, an increased focus on the resources that have driven conflicts and those individuals that have brought the requirements of buyers and sellers together, the ‘middlemen’,...