Conflicts and the attempts to resolve them are utterly inherent in human nature. That is why conflicts generally, and armed conflicts in particular, along with efforts to resolve them, can be traced back to the advent of humans on the earth. An examination of the evolution of armed conflicts in human society reveals humans as a common denominator. The methods and means used in armed conflicts have only been changing up to contemporary times, with the most sophisticated weapons being used. Since armed conflicts have caused untold human suffering, the study of armed conflicts is necessary. The knowledge gained is then directed principally at conflict and crisis prevention and resolution. Thus the approach of this Masters-level Program is contemporary and principally Africa-oriented. The concepts learned can apply to the different armed conflicts that have plagued mankind over the years, thus permitting the participants to be able to appreciate their dynamics and make comprehensive proposals for their resolution. These armed conflicts have been principally of two major types since the coming into being of the Westphalian state system in 1648. They are international and non-international armed conflicts, with both categories exhibiting some different sub- categories. Thus since states are at the crux of the dynamics of armed conflicts, the link to international relations can absolutely not be avoided. While the Masters-level students will have additional course training and simulations in international relations, the PGD students will be having specialized courses and simulations in humanitarian action, which results from armed conflicts principally.
The main objective of the study is for participants to comprehend the causes and dynamics of armed conflict, with the residual aim of understanding perfectly the various routes available or to be designed to resolve armed conflicts within and between states in international relations.
Expected Learning Outcomes
At the end of the study period, students will be able to recommend appropriate conflict resolution methods to various types of conflict. They would be able to create or innovate on resolution methods that can add to the efforts of the current non-state, state and international institutions working within the domain of conflict resolution and crisis prevention.
The Program duration is two academic years for the Masters program, and one academic year for the PGD. The first part of the program will be used for lectures, tutorials, field placement, internships and the writing of end of course examination. The last part will be spent on research and thesis writing.
The Program targets principally university graduates from the social sciences and arts, government technocrats in the administrative, judiciary or legislative divisions, diplomats, development practitioners, lawyers, and teachers, as well as all who aspire to contribute to the work of international organizations such as the African Union and the United Nations institutions.
The career opportunities are principally of three types. To compete for myriads of national and international jobs with both non-state and state institutions, to qualify for and to compete for international research fellowships within research institutions and universities within the global market. Finally, graduates can create their own NGOs and use them as the career vehicles for their future professional success and excellence.
There are three components to this Program and in the order of handling and treatment, they are armed conflicts, peace and international relations or international diplomacy. Participants will be taken through these three major areas. However, it should be noted that these areas are interconnected. For the P.G.D. participants, the focus areas will be armed conflicts, peace and the humanitarian action that originates as a consequence of armed conflicts. Peace-building and enforcement also involves issues of humanitarian interventions, as will be discovered during the course.