The West African sub-region has always and incessantly witnessed and suffered so many conflicts-tribal, religious, clannish, sectarian and rebellious motives have mostly under toned and characterized conflicts in West Africa. Nearly ten of the sixteen states in West Africa have experienced militant unrest, civil war, ethnic and or religious conflict(s). Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Ivory Coast, Niger, Senegal, Gambia and Nigeria have all experienced brutal conflicts in one way or the other. The other West African states which often are referred to as relatively calm and peaceful have also experienced (Ghana has seen numerous coups after independence) or even are experiencing some form of conflict tension.
What is discomfiting about these conflicts is that even though they could have started with so-called skirmishes and clashes, the lack of attention and understanding about their causes, nature, history and traditions and motivations of the parties involved had almost in all cases allowed these skirmishes and clashes to degenerate into brutal tribal, clannish and religious conflicts or even civil wars.
What remains pitiful about these conflicts that have resulted into needless massacres, destructions, devastations and other stemming effects such as hunger, poverty, diseases, unproductivity, waste and misplacement of resources, human degradation and immoral vices are often preventable, manageable and even resolvable. The missing link is the lack of effort to investigate, understand and give them due and adequate attention and responses.
It is for these reasons that Quaker Peace Network West Africa (QPNWA) has seen the need and seeks to establish a Centre for (QPNWA Members and Supporters at Bradford Universityy, UK) Research to help investigate and prevent all ongoing, pending and future conflicts in West Africa. Quaker Peace Network West Africa is of the firm belief that if brewing conflicts are investigated early and in good faith their detonation into major conflicts can be prevented and their resolution more possible. It is therefore paramount to consider an establishment such as proposed above that will provide the tools necessary to investigate pending, ongoing and future conflicts in West Africa for timely prevention, management and resolution. This will minimize security risk, political instability, human massacre, suffering and other stemming effects like poverty, hunger, diseases and dehumanization.
The centre will also serve as a research coordinating and supporting centre to assist student researchers in universities and institutions in the Diasporas who might come or want to come to West Africa to do research on conflict and peace studies. It is intended that the centre will also forge collaborations with universities and other academic bodies to share information via research and related work.