We investigate whether uranium, similar to other resources, is associated with armed conflicts. The analysis uses grid cells in Africa to test this hypothesis. Results from logistic regressions reveal that uranium operations are not an independent conflict risk; however, it is significantly linked to local conflict events when interacting with ethnic exclusion. The analysis is supplemented by process tracing in four countries, where armed conflict broke out after uranium operations started (DR Congo, Central African Republic, Niger and South Africa). We find substantial evidence for a link only in the case of Niger. Our results suggest that uranium promotes intrastate conflict only under specific circumstances.

Carlo Koos

Associated Senior Researcher