Certain conditions, such as pre-existing armed conflict, latent conflicts and conditions that predispose the population to armed conflict are necessary for climate change to increase the risk or probability of armed conflict.
Climate change is the latest entrant to the long list of challenges that have strained Africa’s peace and security architecture (APSA). Other challenges include armed conflicts, religious-inspired insurgencies, terrorism, forced migration, state fragility, political and economic crises, and the proliferation of small arms and light weapons. The most formidable challenges to Africa’s peace and security mechanisms currently are forced migration and armed conflicts. Interestingly, most writings on climate change argue that there is no sufficient evidence to attribute armed conflicts to climate change; instead, they emphasise that changes in climate patterns increase the probability or multiply the risk of violent conflict. Through a review of academic studies and grey literature – policy documents, research reports, working papers, and media reports – this paper finds that certain conditions are necessary for climate change to increase the risk or probability of armed conflict. These conditions are pre-existing armed conflicts, pre-existing latent conflicts, or pre-existing conditions that predispose the population or some groups in the population, to violent conflict.
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