Understanding of the natural resource conflict dynamics: The case of Tuareg in North Africa and the Sahel


The paper highlights the process leading to the armed conflict of Tuareg and the role of different countries in the conflict. In particular, it examines the way three dramatic events have shaped the livelihoods of Tuareg: the reorganisation of society in the post-independence period; the drought and desertification of 1970s, and 1980s, and the exploration and discovery of uranium and gold beneath their land in Mali and Niger. These events have created a hierarchy of rights to natural resources, with Tuareg being marginalised.

About the author

Muna A Abdalla is a senior researcher with ISS, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She received her basic education in Sudan and Egypt and her PhD from the University of Leiden, Netherlands. She has 15 years’ work experience in policy research, through affiliations to governmental and non governmental institutions in Sudan, Zimbabwe, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Côte d’Ivoire and South Africa. Previous experience includes researching Africa’s development challenges, poverty, institutions and capacity building.



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