There are several theories which tend to explain the causes of civil conflicts. These theories have identified certain elements or conditions which make civil conflicts feasible. Zimbabwe has experienced conflicts. Each time such conflicts have occurred, no one has been well prepared to handle them or prevent them. This paper attempts to examine and analyse various theories relating to the causes of civil conflicts and identifies elements in the theories which are critical to the causes of a civil conflict. The purpose is to identify natural and man-made elements that would make civil conflicts inevitable. By identifying such elements, the country can adequately prepare itself in preventing civil conflicts before they occur. The presence of abundant natural resources in Zimbabwe is seen as endowment and a blessing. Theory, however, predicts it as a source of its problems. By knowing the risks posed by such primary commodity export, measures can be taken to minimise the opportunities of civil conflicts through equitable distribution of their benefits or other measures as seen fit.
Keywords: Civil conflicts, man-made elements, natural resources
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