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close this bookWar and Famine in Africa (Oxfam, 1991, 36 p.)
close this folder1. Introduction
View the document(introduction...)
View the document1.1 The international context
View the document1.2 Oxfam's experience in Africa
View the document1.3 A Note on methodology

1.1 The international context

Since the end of World War II, there have been no direct conflicts between the leading states of the developed world. This peace, however, has co-existed with a growth of violence and war in the Third World, typically in the form of proliferating internal or intra-state conflict. Moreover, most casualties have been not soldiers but civilians. Millions have now been killed, maimed, bereaved, or made destitute by such wars. The end of the Cold War, apart from confirming peace in the West, has helped to focus attention on the growth of civil wars elsewhere, and to highlight the fact that, whether arising from ethnic, environmental, or political and civil conditions, such internal conflicts are largely beyond the bounds of current international conventions on warfare or accepted political structures (Rupesinghe, 1990). In many respects, the present period is one of great change and uncertainty as traditional definitions of sovereignty and the state, from Europe through the Middle East to Africa, face major challenges and pressures to adapt.