Borderlines, Natural Resources and Conflicts: Towards a Territorial Materialism of Boundary Disputes in East Africa
This article seeks to examine the phenomenon of boundary disputes in East Africa. By way of a case-study approach, guided by the theory of territorial materialism, the study posits that the ‘colonial causation’ narrative, exemplified in the ethnic partitioning/disintegration hypothesis, does not wholly explain contemporary boundary/border disputes in East Africa, but also elsewhere in the continent. The article posits that contemporary boundary disputes in the focal area are largely associated with territorial struggles motivated by the quest for the control of geostrategic and economic resources on the affected borderlines. The article also advances an agenda for a sub-regional mechanism for border governance and security as the way forward.
Keywords: boundary, border, borderline, boundary disputes, boundary politics, East Africa