August 10, 2014
By Jude Obuseh
Every violent conflict brings with it a group of beneficiaries lurking in the shadows. These individuals capitalize on the chaos to pursue their selfish interests, often at the expense of countless lives and widespread suffering. This article delves into the roles played by conflict entrepreneurs and instigators in fueling and shaping violent conflicts.
Conflict entrepreneurs are individuals, groups, or organizations that profit from wars by supplying weapons, goods, and services to warring parties and civilians alike. They include arms dealers, commodity traders, and military contractors. These profiteers are driven solely by financial gain and are willing to exploit the opportunities presented by conflicts.
Instigators, on the other hand, are individuals or groups that deliberately stir up violent conflicts to achieve political, business, or other personal goals. They manipulate public sentiment and spread propaganda to incite tensions and foster dissent, often labeled as “Chicken-Hawks” by commentators.
Both conflict entrepreneurs and instigators play complementary roles in instigating and perpetuating wars. While entrepreneurs focus solely on financial gain, instigators seek both power and profit by orchestrating conflicts.
Throughout history, various conflicts have been driven not by necessity but by the egos of politicians and the greed of businessmen seeking personal gains. Examples include the Spanish-American War, World War I, and the Vietnam War, all of which had disastrous consequences.
In Nigeria, during the Civil War and the Niger Delta Crisis, certain individuals capitalized on the chaos to amass immense wealth through criminal activities and exploitation of the conflict. Similar patterns of profiteering have been seen in other regions plagued by violence.
In response to such unethical practices, some countries have introduced measures to curb war profiteering, such as imposing Excess Profit Taxes and prosecuting offenders under the Civil False Claims Act.
The article concludes with a call for international and national organizations to take more decisive steps in combating conflict entrepreneurs and instigators. The pursuit of global peace should not be compromised by the selfish desires of heartless power-seekers and their collaborators.
In summary, this article sheds light on the insidious roles played by profiteers and agitators in violent conflicts, emphasizing the need for concerted efforts to deter and punish those who exploit wars for personal gain.
Founder/Executive Director, CPPBI