Conflict and natural resource impasse: balancing resource exploitation and human rights to achieve sustainable development & food security. A case of the Niger-Delta & South-Sudan
Okon, Mfon Victor
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Developing countries have for years been haunted by the resource curse theory. Researchers have identified many reasons for this. One, resource curse has been linked to heterogeneity in the effort of international economic growth. Secondly, conflict has been identified as a characteristic resource-rich countries share in common. Bad policies effectively sustained by corrupt government and weak institutions have been identified as another reason behind the curse. Nonetheless, however we look at it, resource curse is bad. It has become like a selffulfilling prophecy. A path developing countries in Sub-Sahara Africa must toil repeatedly. At the center of the resource curse theory is food insecurity and man’s unsustained pattern of living. While these developing countries possess large reserves of natural resources that can sufficiently benefit its present population and future generations, its exploitation often benefits a tiny percentage of the population. As a result, the deprivation theory sets in, causing grievances and civil unrests. This thesis, using an interdisciplinary approach analyzes the resource curse theory, its effect on sustainable development, food security and in newly independent South-Sudan and the Niger-Delta. I argue that for human rights to be upheld, certain aspects of sustainable development pertinent to well-being and the environment ought to integrate human rights based approach into its policies to strengthen the rule of law and reduce civil unrests in resource rich areas.