Violent Conflict and Security

Violent Conflict and Security

Violence is destructive. It may be directed at either animate or
inanimate objects. The most obvious form of violence is overt physical
assault on another person or group of persons. Violence is associated
with illegitimate or legitimate use of force. In political systems, violence
occurs when groups or individuals overstep their constitutional bounds
to the extent that some other groups experience some degree of
constraints (Anifowoshe; 2004:67).Violence has been used by the
groups seeking power, or by the groups holding power, and by groups in
the process of losing power. It has been also pursued in the defence of
order by the privileged, in the name of justice by the oppressed, and in
fear of displacement by the threatened (Anifowose; 1982:1). Max
Weber (1966:506) states that “The state owns the exclusive right of use
of violence against its elements and components, and the state’s
elements or components may use violence to the extent or degrees
permitted by the state’s authorities”. Bruce (1968:111-112) states that
“Violence has always been part of the political process… protest
activities of one form or another efforts to dramatise grievances in a
fashion that will attract attention and ultimately the destruction or
threatened destruction of life and property appear as expressions of
political grievances even in stable, consensual society…”.
For example, state security apparatus like the police is legitimately to
administer law and order through the use of violence. Violence can
therefore become illegitimate; when used by the state’s security
apparatus when its use of violence is questionable or brutal in nature.
But when violence is legitimately used, it is often not equated with or
seen as violence. The state’s use of violence is considered to be proper
when it is carried out through recognised accepted channels.
Violence manifests itself in a variety of forms that include riots, political
assassinations, demonstrations, revolutions, civil wars, coup d’etats,
guerrilla warefare, suicide, lawful or unlawful arrest, etc. The effect of
violence cannot be underestimated, when it is negatively exercised
either by the state or by non-state actors. Its intense effect causes risk of
lives and property, disunity, psychological pains and trauma,
disintegration, displacement, socio-cultural problems,
underdevelopment, etc.
Security can be simply defined as orderliness, stability and peaceful coexistence,
the absence of fear, threats, anxiety, tension and apprehension
of losing life, liberty, property or other important goals and values. “A
nation is said to be secure to the extent that it is not in a position to lose
its core values of life, property and liberty, if it wishes to deter
aggression or win war when it is unavoidable” Lipmann and Aja
(1999:31).In other words, the relationship between life, services and
security is crucial. It is serves as a protective measure, medium,
substance and insulator of life to all other sectors in a system. No nation
or a reasonable society will take the issue of security for granted or
carelessly. Security is the state of being free from the terror of threats
stress, strain or fear of losing life and values of life. Types of security
are: political, domestic, economic, industrial, human and others such as
work place security.
 Effects of Violent Conflict on Security
The degree of the use of violence within a state or any society is in
disparity between or among all the state’s or society’s elements like
state’s institutions, non-state actors, groups and individuals. In addition,
the fact that the state’s institution or authority has exclusive right of
violence use over the people creates an imbalance in their relationship
with the people. Often, the state misuses its legitimate right to use
violence and this usually creates confusion and crises. The resultant
effect of this within the state is insecurity that may yield disunity,
distrust, trauma, agony, disintegration, displacement and

Political and Structural Disruption: The effects of violence on the
political security of any society or state may be disunity, distrust,
disagreement, agitation, and total disharmony. Such a society will
definitely lack the needed mutual understanding, which is the basic need
for the attainment of its goals. In a situation like this, the socio-political
structure would be disrupted and this could result in insecurity and
socio-economic problems. The security needs of both the state and its
population at large will be disrupted.

Psychological Pain and Agony:
Violence is psychologically painful
and traumatic. It results in weapon proliferation, thuggery, assassination,
murder, armed robbery and anarchy. The ex-combatants that are not
disarmed and reintegrated into the society will be dangerous and
definitely transfer their frustration and aggression to the society.
Displacement and the Emergence of Refugees:
The displaced persons
who become refugees will be dangerous to the security of any society.
All because the refugee camps are full of different characters. Also as
people become displaced, they are vulnerable to threats of personal
security. Their living conditions will encourage the spread of diseases.
They will lack access to food, water, medicine and shelter, and most
often will rely on donors for survival.
The effect of violence on security will definitely
bring about underdevelopment in the society, since violence involves the
destruction and disruption of the society’s components and its features.
Due to the individuals’ agitation for means of livelihood, there will be
an increase of cases of unemployment, youth restiveness, gangsterism,
robbery, fraud, drug trafficking and abuse and assassinations.
Crime and Arms Proliferation:
Violence will naturally produce
feelings of insecurity in the society, which may be generally dominated
by the hoodlums. People will then begin to acquire arms unlawfully, for
protection and vengeance. This on its own will encourage trafficking in
arms and weapons of destruction. It is difficult in today’s world to find a
society that is capable of controlling arms trafficking effectively.
Human Rights Violation: 
There is no doubt that in any violent
situation, there will be violation of human rights. This is because, in
violent situations norms and values of the society will be totally ignored.
Many people will be killed and abused. Violence runs counter to
fundamental human rights set out to include:
the right to life; the
prohibition of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, as well as torture;
and the right to freedom and security.
Structural Disruption: 
This has been a major problem to all societies
because violence usually ends up disrupting the social structure of a
society. It will lead to a large concentration of the poor, homeless and
unemployed people who can easily be recruited for political violence.
They are the categories of people that turn a peaceful demonstration into
a bloody confrontation.
This is in connection with the unlawful activities of
individuals or organisations, which seek to discredit or overthrow a
government. This type of unlawful activity includes the illegal
acquisition of weapons in an anticipation of the fall of a government and
the subsequent disturbances connected with the breakdown of law and
This is a deliberate unlawful act committed by individuals or
organisations with the aim of embarrassing or undermining a
government and its security machinery, so as to create a general feeling
of poor security in a society. Acts of sabotage are mainly targeted at the
essential facilities and services, such as public buildings and transport
Ethnic and Social Agitation:
It could be through protests,
demonstrations or disturbances and militancy that intend to display a
loss of patience and trust in the state or another organisational authority.
Social agitations carried out by young people and students in particular
have occurred in dangerous proportions, with the demonstrators using
unlawfully purchased arms.
Ethnic problems develop in a multi-ethnic society, where different
groups are formed on ethnic or tribal bases. Societal integration will be
jeopardised when these groups assert their ethnic or tribal interests in a
militant manner. Ethnic and social agitation includes ethnic hatred,
discrimination and oppression, religious and ideological conflict and
socio-economic deprivation. Others are political inequality and
marginalisation, infringement of rights, injustice, inadequate channels of
peaceful communication, existence of violent traditions, disaffection
weakness of government, police and judicial organs and erosion of
confidence in the regime.
Terrorism: Insurrection is a rebellion against a government, while the
terrorism is connected with an act of violence and intimidation carried
out for a specific purpose. Resistance movements that engage in armed
struggle create a crisis around a certain phenomenon. Armed struggle
and terrorism can only occur if the rebels and terrorists have previously
taken care of acquiring firearms, ammunitions and explosive substances,
which can only of course be acquired unlawfully.

Post a Comment