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Abstract

This paper discusses factors underlying internal and international conflicts in the Great Lakes Region of Africa. The systematic analysis of causal factors focuses on the following: Colonial legacy; inadequate political systems and political parties' cleavages; poor management of transitions and foreign negative interferences. It argues that the combination of these factors has led to the recurrence of conflicts and ineffectiveness of peace building instruments. The paper argues further that for sustaining peace and security in the region, there is a need for a paradigm shift in internal and international politics: First, local peace imperatives must prevail over geopolitical interests of foreign powers. Second, peaceful political change in the Great Lakes countries should be understood as an important strategy for national and regional security architecture.

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