Skip to navigation – Site map

The Janus face of water in Central African Republic (CAR): Towards an instrumentation of natural resources in armed conflicts

L’eau en République centrafricaine : « les visages de Janus ». L’instrumentalisation des ressources naturelles dans les conflits armés
Isidore Collins Ngueuleu Djeuga
p. 577-594

Abstracts

In the conflict that is destroying the Central African Republic (CAR) since 2013, belligerents have used water in many ways, including polluting water facilities, destroying water pipes, denying access to water points to civilians and denying humanitarian access. This has raised an important issue of international humanitarian law regarding the position of water in conflict as either a civilian property or a military target. The targeting of water facilities intentionally or not has made it become a victim, target or weapon in the conflict. Gangs, militias and bandits have developed tactics of war that, in controlling territories also control water points, pollute wells, destroy water pipes and humiliate the enemy by raping women at water points. Transitional justice mechanisms and humanitarian aid should include activities that intends to turn water from an instrument of conflict into an instrument of peace.

Top of page

Text / excerpt

Cairn

Full-text article available to subscribers or on a "pay per view" basis. It will be available on this URL in January 2019.
Read it

Outline

The deterioration of the access to water-related conflict
Access to water before the conflict
The use of water during the conflict
The pollution or contamination of water facilities
Destructions of water pipes
The springs of the deterioration of access to water: an intentional logic?
Water as a victim of the conflict
Water as mean and method of war
The intentionality of belligerents
Access denied to aid workers
Proportionality of the phenomenon
Humanitarian intervention in the fight against the degradation of access to water
Beyond emergency: The importance of mainstreaming protection in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programs
Putting water in post-conflict reconstruction priorities

Text / first lines

“Of all ‘things’, water is among the least cooperative of subjects to be contained in” (Linton, 2006). Water is certainly not easy to understand. In his PhD dissertation aiming to understand water, Jamie Linton clearly admits that “Water is an ambiguity that is impossible to pin-down”. It is certainly the transformative character of water that makes it more complex. Falling in a cycle, it appears in many representations including drinking water, ground water, rainwater, etc. that is in an ongoing collaboration, or conversation, between people. Therefore “water is nothing but what we make of it” (ibid.): we want to pin it as ultimately connected to humans and their environment.

When water is perceived as a resource in humans’ territory it reflects the way or strategy they struggle to satisfy their needs in energy and information (Raffestin, 1980). It is also a resource they want to affect, influence, or control in a given area they identify themselves (Sack, 1986). There is therefore...

Top of page

References

Bibliographical reference

Isidore Collins Ngueuleu Djeuga, « The Janus face of water in Central African Republic (CAR): Towards an instrumentation of natural resources in armed conflicts », Les Cahiers d’Outre-Mer, 272 | 2015, 577-594.

Electronic reference

Isidore Collins Ngueuleu Djeuga, « The Janus face of water in Central African Republic (CAR): Towards an instrumentation of natural resources in armed conflicts », Les Cahiers d’Outre-Mer [Online], 272 | Octobre-Décembre 2015, Online since 01 October 2018, connection on 25 September 2017. URL : http://com.revues.org/7667 ; DOI : 10.4000/com.7667

Top of page

About the author

Isidore Collins Ngueuleu Djeuga

Université Paris 5 Descartes, France, PhD Candidate, Centre Maurice Hauriou pour le droit public, 61 Terrasses de l’arche, 92000 Nanterre, France, collisidore@yahoo.fr

Top of page

Copyright

© Tous droits réservés

Top of page
  • Logo Presses Universitaires de Bordeaux
  • Revues.org