Detecting conflicts in prints

He is analysing three border conflicts that eventually were brought to court of arbitration - and also the impact of these conflicts on domestic policy in the loosing countries. PhD candidate David Larsson Gerbre-Mehdin is now using the NAI Library for his research.

“I can’t find this material anywhere else but in this library”, he says, parked at a table filled with stacks of “BBC Monitoring”, the printed compilations of media reports from all over the world, translated into English. On the table this moment is Israeli media cover of the border conflict in Sinai with Egypt,  which was regulated in court 1989.

Choice of articles

David Larsson Gebre-Mehdin uses the same source for his study on the border conflict between Libya and Tchad. He scans his choice of articles, later to be digitally processed.

For his third study object, the Ethiopian-Eritrean conflict, which was solved 2002, he can skip the books: in 2000 “BBC Monitoring” was digitalised.

“There is an advantage in searching the printed version. I get the context and an impression on how big an issue the conflict was at that time. I mean, the idea with digital search is to exclude”

David Larsson Gebre-Medhin has family in Eritrea, a connection that helped him to choose topic for his thesis.

Symbolic value

The arbitrary court gave Eritrea the right to the disputed territory.

“It’s a small piece of land, but with huge symbolic value. The conflict is still causing bad relations between the two countries and affects Ethiopian domestic policy. The government is accused by the opposition of having sold out a part of the country.”

David Larsson Gebre-Medhin is a PhD candidate at the Department of Peace and Conflict Research at Uppsala University.

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